If you are wondering whether doing an internship while studying is beneficial? Then, in my opinion, the answer is a big YES!
Internships are a great way to acquire work experience and gain new skills.
Excellent marks and good grades have just a very small role to play in your employability.
Whenever an organization is looking to hire new candidates, they give a high preference to candidates who have good work experience.
Internships will not only help you in your employability but also you will get industry exposure and you will be able to take a call on whether this is the right career line for you.
So, it is a good idea, doing an internship while studying so that you have an ample amount of time to experiment with different organizations and domains.
This will help you recognize your interest and most importantly make you job-ready, once you graduate.
- Internships are a great way to acquire work experience and gain new skills.
- Understand what type of Internships best suits you based on various parameters such as – Job Profile, Duration, Pay, Long-term Goal and Scope of Growth.
- Treat an internship as a learning experience to extract the most out of it.
What are the benefits of doing an internship during my Undergrad?
This is one of the most common questions students today are dealing with. Firstly, if we think about the long-term goal of any student.
Most commonly it is either pursuing post-graduation or landing a job soon after Undergrad through campus or offline placement.
In both cases, your work experience is a vital aspect of the application process.
Today there is an increase in awareness around the importance of skills and everyone is trying to equip themselves with all the knowledge they can absorb.
According to a report published by Internshala, last year alone, 76, 000 students applied for an internship every day.
That means you are competing with lakhs of candidates who want an internship or who have already completed their internships in the past.
In such a situation, when an industry is recruiting or a University is rolling out its application.
They are most likely to give high preference to a candidate who has relevant work experience in the domain he/she is applying for.
The internship will also let your prospective employers know that you are keen on pursuing a career in that particular field.
As you have gone beyond the academic curriculum to get industry insights and exposure.
Most importantly, internships will help you understand the practicality of academic learning along with workplace culture, industry working, and give you immense exposure to the real world.
What kind of internship should I do?
Once you make up your mind that Internships are beneficial and you would like to apply for them. The next question that would most probably pop up in your mind is – What kind of internships should I do?
1. Quality > Quantity
You may find many internship opportunities in various job portals. Most of the people you would inquire about internships will definitely ask you to do plenty of internships.
It’s crucial that you understand that quality matters over quantity. There is NO guarantee that doing multiple internships will help you bag your dream job.
What matters is the quality of work you put in, the skills you gained, whether it is relevant to the industry/ University degree you are applying for and how well you understand that industry.
2. Do core work/projects
When you apply for an internship. Make sure that you apply for the ones that will give you the freedom to do core work and in-depth research.
DO NOT stick to the ones which will just ask you to perform basic tasks or support roles.
During the recruitment/admission process they prefer to select candidates who have done in-depth research or worked on a core project as a part of their internship.
So make sure that you apply for internships wisely.
3. One internship per semester break
If you are confused about how many internships you should do.
Then 1 internship per semester break would be ideal. Since semester breaks are long this would help you do a full time internship role.
During this period you can invest your time in doing in-depth research on the domain you are working for or any live projects.
The work you do during this period should add value to your future prospects, so make sure that you utilize your time and energy wisely.
The goal of pursuing an internship
With plenty of internship opportunities available today. It is obvious that one might get confused about how to select the right internship.
There are different types of students who would have different reasons to pursue an internship.
Some might want to do it as the University has laid down rules for a compulsory internship, some may do as they were told by their friends that it’s beneficial, some might be looking forward to the internship converting into a full-time employment role, or some even do multiple internships so as to add value to their resume.
So, we now have an idea that different people have goals for their internships.
We need to understand that internships will require you to invest a lot of time and energy in completing the tasks.
Things to keep in mind before choosing an internship
1. Job Profile
This is one of the most tricky but crucial parts. For example. If you receive 2 internship offer letters.
One from a well recognized MNC but for a low job profile and another from a Start-up that has a potential for exponential growth with a high job profile.
Then in my opinion you should opt for the Startup as it would add higher value to your resume as well as your future career prospects.
As, it would give you ample learning opportunities and the knowledge, skills, in-depth understanding. Moreover, any project that you would do during your tenure of the internship plays a higher role than just working for a big corporate but only at a surface level.
2. Paid/ Unpaid
Even though internships are a learning experience and you need not keep pay as your primary concern.
If you are wondering whether you should take up a paid internship or an unpaid one?
In my opinion, If you get an offer letter from an MNC or a well recognised corporate from the field of your choice then go for it even if it’s unpaid.
Whereas if you are getting an offer letter from a start-up which is not that well known that you should consider the stipend aspect.
As, when they hire you without any pay you will most likely be asked to do a surface level task or support role which is not worth it.
On the other hand, if they offer you pay as well as a good job profile then you should seize the opportunity.
The duration of your internship is another crucial aspect you should pay attention to.
Many organizations while recruiting pay emphasis on the duration of your internship and consider the minimum duration of the internship to be 6-8 weeks.
Like mentioned in the previous section, it would be ideal if you pursue your internship during your semester breaks.
It would give you ample time to do a full-time internship. Especially if you are looking forward to converting your internship opportunity to a full time employment role.
Which internship is better: Virtual or Offline?
Remember that your goal to do an internship is mainly to:
a. Harness your skills
b. Gain new skills
c. Understand and analyze industry insights
d. Gain exposure
In my opinion, you should always give preference to offline internships.
All this can be done to their fullest potential only when you are at the workplace.
So, it will always be a wise choice if you choose an offline internship.
Keeping in mind the current pandemic situation many organizations are hiring interns for a virtual internship.
So, in a situation like this where you have no other choice but have to do an internship then go for an online one.
Plan according to your long term goal
It is ideal that you choose your internship keeping in mind your future on what you want to do next.
For example, you might want to do an internship in Digital Marketing if you are looking forward to pursuing a career or higher education in that line.
If you do not have a clarity on what to do next. Don’t worry, you can choose to do an internship that will help you in pursuing multiple career interests.
This will help you not only to find your interests but you will also be able to gain immense knowledge from different domains which will add value to your resume.
In conclusion, doing an internship while studying is highly beneficial. As it would help you to understand your interests, gives you industry exposure, you learn to multitask, and you can gain new skills.
Pursuing an internship has various benefits, what you have to keep in mind is choosing the right internship for yourself.
Reflect on the pointers mentioned in the different sections of this blog. Next, head on to select the best internship in accordance with your long term goal.
Remember to NOT do an internship just for the sake of it, treat it as a learning experience. This would add value to your learning curve and help you with your future career prospects.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many internships should I do while pursuing my Undergrad?
One internship per semester break would be ideal. Since semester breaks are long this would help you do a full-time internship role.
2. Are internships useful?
Internships are a great way to acquire work experience and gain new skills.
3. How to find the right internship?
To find the best internship based on your goals and interests you need to do a thorough research, keeping in mind various factors such as – Company Profile, Job Profile, Scope of Growth and Pay.