FOR students in Sarawak, choosing a career is an enormous decision. It can also be a very difficult one, particularly for those who are yet to discover where their passion or skills will lead them.
It is not uncommon for younger people to drift from job to job until they find their true calling. However, if you have doubts about what direction you should push yourself, there is one thing you should consider: an internship.
There are numerous benefits to doing an internship, not least the prospect that you may find your future employer. But even if the company does not offer you a full-time position after the internship has finished, you will walk away as a more attractive job candidate. The benefits, such as those outlined below, are invaluable.
1. Strengthening your resume. If you have just recently graduated from university but have little, or no, work experience, your resume is going to look quite thin. The inclusion of an internshinternshipip will not only give this a boost, it will also demonstrate to future employers that you someone who is ready to learn and work hard.
2. Test driving a career. Perhaps you have a few ideas about what career to follow, but still have some doubts. An internship gives you a certain amount of hands-on experience in a specific field, allowing you to essentially test drive that career as an option. You can leverage the opportunity to learn whether you are best suited to working in a smaller organisation or a large corporation, office work or in-field work, or whether the culture of that particular company suits you. At the same time you are gaining real-world experience.
3. Discover your strengths and weaknesses. An internship helps you get a better understanding of your strengths and weakness. The benefits of this can be enormous, as it can provide clarity on the types of jobs and tasks you will excel at going forward and also areas you should probably avoid if you want to succeed in your career.
4. Networking. Advancing your career is not simply down to working hard and delivering results. While that obviously plays a significant role, your ability to grow or move into higher roles either within the same company or elsewhere can also be determined by who you know. That’s why the value of networking cannot be underestimated. An internship is the ideal place to start building up those relationships which, if you nurture correctly, could open up some great possibilities in the future.
5. Learn new skills. Fresh out of university, most Sarawakians will be bursting with energy, ready to launch themselves into the working world. By pursuing an internship first, in addition to the other benefits described above, it also allows you to learn new skills and expand your knowledge. This can give you a huge advantage over other graduates who may have skipped the internship route – not only will you have a stronger resume, but you will have adopted new skills that you can immediately bring to any new employer.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
* This article first appeared in The Borneo Post (www.theborneopost.com)