An internship refers to the placement of students in an organisation to undergo supervised practical training in selected industries whether in the country or abroad within a specified period prior to their graduation.
Different students will have different internship experiences, but the essence of undergoing it lies in the way they perceive the various tasks assigned to them in a real-world work environment in the long run, no matter how trivial or crucial they can be.
Arguably, an internship provides students one of the greatest opportunities for them to build the foundation needed for their own career or even entrepreneurial path, and to do away with the mindset of a student for that of an employee.
What we can learn from it?
An internship gives you as future graduates the platform to be more independent in your work and more aware in assessing your knowledge, skills and attitude when applying them to the task at hand.
It also allows you to communicate (and sometimes tolerate) with your colleagues and supervisors as part of improving your negotiation skills, from the way you speak and interact to the way you demonstrate your body language.
For example, if you are unable to accomplish your task on time, rather than running away from your responsibilities, you should discuss any problem you have with your supervisor prudently; situations like this tend to be the best time for your work supervisor to assess your capability as an employee.
With the COVID-19 pandemic compelling many to make changes in how they work, the work-from-home arrangement has posed a number of challenges, especially for supervisors or senior managers who find themselves unable to oversee their subordinates’ performance as easily as they have done face-to-face.
Thus, as interns and like your colleagues, you should strive to be more honest and disciplined in completing your assigned tasks, for the workplace may change but the job scope remains generally the same.
Furthermore, while you are new to the job so the speak, you can volunteer to tackle assignments before being told to do so to show your ability to take initiatives and willingness to learn something new.
Doing so will enable you to have a better understanding of your work and uncover potentials and talents on your own when you make progress in accomplishing your assignments.
Overall, as you are being evaluated for your contribution to the organisation, an internship educates you to be more mature in a work environment.
This is because you are exposed to the commitment and responsibility that you are expected to carry in the future like every other employee, which tends to differ greatly from your time as a student.
Experience matters, not perfection
For some interns, their lack of work experience prior to their internship might contribute to their fear of making mistakes, and therefore their tendency to be ‘perfect.’
Perfectionism isn’t necessarily bad, but in the long term it won’t be beneficial, more so for those new in the work environment who don’t want to show their weaknesses, when the truth is their failures are truly their best teachers.
As such, when you join an organisation as an intern, make full use of your time there by being open to learning and understanding the work environment in an actual setting, and afterwards share your experience with others, whether with fellow or future interns.
At the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that an internship isn’t just your final stage before graduation, but your first step towards the challenging world of work – a world where you’ll continue to build your professional character and integrity in hopes of boosting your job marketability and achieving your career goals.
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