What is an internship? All you need to know

What is an internship?

An internship is a brief job opportunity offered to students and fresh graduates to gather the necessary experience they need to arm themselves with, in preparation for full-time job opportunities. These students and fresh graduates, in the period of their internships, are called Interns. 

Because certificates no longer guarantee job placements in the world today, Internships became a child of necessity. As experience rates above certification in most recruitment processes. It, therefore, serves the purpose of creating an avenue for students and fresh graduates alike to get the experience(s) they shall be needing in the future as they start their professional career journey.

How long does an internship last?

Depending on the terms of the contract, Internships last for a couple of weeks, months, into 1 or 2 years. During this period, Interns are expected to be busy working on relevant projects, gaining knowledge, building an industry-based network, as well as developing both hard and soft skills.

Do internships turn into full-time jobs?

The good thing about Internships is they could lead to full-time job offers in the same company as well as easily landing the Interns with full-time job roles outside the organization almost immediately after completing the program. This, of course, depends on the Intern’s performance during the period covered. They could also be either paid or unpaid. 

Learn about everything you need to know before, during and after an internship from a program manager @ Microsoft

What is the purpose of an Internship?

An Internship is the best ‘classroom’ to learn professionalism in the workplace, ethics, and handling work-related responsibilities. This explains why an average recruiter will likely select a fresh graduate that has gone through the internship program over another that has just a University degree and nothing more. Working the former will save the company the cost and time of training and re-training such candidates. Even where necessary, it will not be from scratch as it will be expected in the case of the latter.

Going through an Internship program builds the confidence of the candidate. He/she already has what it takes to be a professional and communicate with other professionals. It helps candidates network properly and bank on human resources. Someone with such professional background undoubtedly has 1 or 2 people to contact and get solutions to some work-related challenges. Through an Internship program, candidates develop proper Business etiquette and understand working as well as communicating in a team. 

Where to find an internship?

There are Internship opportunities littered everywhere. But it’s rather unfortunate that a lot of candidates are busy looking, without seeing. It is the year 2021 and it’s no lie that the world is now a digital one. A candidate seeking an Internship opportunity must therefore be ready to digitally find it. Not disputing the opportunities offline, there are several sites online to land several of these opportunities. Both can be targeted. 

Internship opportunities can be found on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Angel.co, even Twitter. As little as a google search may land one an Intern placement. The good news for Africans is an Indigenous NGO called the Youth Initiative for Economic Empowerment (YIEE) where opportunities like this can be found day in, day out. The organization apart from linking candidates with Internship opportunities also connects interested people with full-time job roles. It’s an organization centred on Economic Empowerment for Africans.

Is an Internship considered a job?

An internship should not be mistaken for a full-time job. The former is a bridge between graduation and the latter. It is during Internship that professional skills needed to thrive when full-time jobs start landing are learned- most of which aren’t taught in the four walls of a classroom. A candidate with no experience can land an Internship easily but experiences are required for full-time job roles. Just as it is expected for a child to crawl before walking, so are young professionals expected to gain Internship experiences first, before thinking of full-time jobs.

Domestic or International Internship?

Internship opportunities can come either from domestic or international companies. Both, if done properly are okay to kick-start a professional career. But there are features unique to both.

Domestic internships are easy for candidates to settle into as they are in a familiar national environment. So, communication is easier, knowledge easily passed across, and work-related challenges easily solved. The fact that a Domestic Internship is usually in a comfort zone is good and bad. 

International Internship usually takes you away from your comfort zone. There is the challenge of cultural differences, not forgetting the stress and cost of getting a visa if the candidate is expected to be physically around. This undeniably can be tasking. On the brighter side, is that it expands the Intern’s global networking, building experience from international ideas, not just local. The candidate’s understanding is equally on the global standard. Not ignoring the fact that it could be exciting as it creates an opportunity to experience different parts of the world.

Worthy of note, however, is the fact that an Internship program is a good step in the right direction, irrespective of its geographical location.

Virtual or face-to-face Internship?

It has become important to consider this factor when deciding on an Internship program. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the contract, Internships may require the candidate to resume every morning, work for a couple of hours before retiring back home for the day (e.g. 9-5). It can also be a remote role where instructions on tasks to carry out are electronically passed to the candidate trusted to effectively do as required.

So as candidates apply for Intern placements, it must be done with open-mindedness. The arrangement may be virtual, or face-to-face. Both are unique in their ways and the experience they pass across.

What should I do after an Internship?

Do not burn the bridge! This cannot be stressed enough. After successfully completing an Internship programme, candidates should do well to nurture the relationship they built with the company, ensure you leave on a pleasant note. After which, it is important to take note of the skills acquired so far, like a form of inventory of skills. Resumes should be updated to reflect the newly acquired skills. Then, you can prepare for your next Internship (if there is), or hunting for full-time roles. In fact, this can be done before completing the Internship. You don’t necessarily have to be idle to take the next step.

For every student and fresh graduate out there, you all need to understand that you need the experience to experience that role you working on landing. And that experience you need is an Internship role. This is not the time to be hell-bent on whether it is a Paid role or not, neither is it time to say the pay is too poor. This is rather the time to gather as much experience as possible and start building your professional network.

If you are a student or fresh graduate in the African Continent, why don’t you grab the opportunity that YIEE offers? It promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Register for her Internship and Upskilling programs via the link below and you are on your way to being an outstanding candidate, deemed suitable for those roles you anticipate landing, as there is a team of professionals, waiting to walk you through the journey and help you build your career from the scratch. A lot of people have had their lives changed by making the same decision. Do not hesitate to do the same. Remember, hope is not a strategy. You need to be prepared for the opportunities you aspire to get. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an internship?

An internship is a brief job opportunity offered to students and fresh graduates to gather the necessary experience they need to arm themselves with, in preparation for full-time job opportunities. These students and fresh graduates, in the period of their internships, are called Interns. 

How long does an internship last?

Depending on the terms of the contract, Internships last for a couple of weeks, months, into 1 or 2 years. During this period, Interns are expected to be busy working on relevant projects, gaining knowledge, building an industry-based network, as well as developing both hard and soft skills.

Do internships turn into full-time jobs?

The good thing about Internships is they could lead to full-time job offers in the same company as well as easily landing the Interns with full-time job roles outside the organization almost immediately after completing the program. This, of course, depends on the Intern’s performance during the period covered. They could also be either paid or unpaid. 

What is the purpose of an Internship?

Going through an Internship program builds the confidence of the candidate. He/she already has what it takes to be a professional and communicate with other professionals. It helps candidates network properly and bank on human resources. Someone with such professional background undoubtedly has 1 or 2 people to contact and get solutions to some work-related challenges. Through an Internship program, candidates develop proper Business etiquette and understand working as well as communicating in a team. 

Where to find an internship?

Internship opportunities can be found on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Angel.co, even Twitter. As little as a google search may land one an Intern placement. The good news for Africans is an Indigenous NGO called the Youth Initiative for Economic Empowerment (YIEE) where opportunities like this can be found day in, day out. The organization apart from linking candidates with Internship opportunities also connects interested people with full-time job roles. It’s an organization centred on Economic Empowerment for Africans.

Is an Internship considered a job?

An internship should not be mistaken for a full-time job. The former is a bridge between graduation and the latter. It is during Internship that professional skills needed to thrive when full-time jobs start landing are learned- most of which aren’t taught in the four walls of a classroom. A candidate with no experience can land an Internship easily but experiences are required for full-time job roles. Just as it is expected for a child to crawl before walking, so are young professionals expected to gain Internship experiences first, before thinking of full-time jobs.

What should I do after an Internship?

Do not burn the bridge! This cannot be stressed enough. After successfully completing an Internship programme, candidates should do well to nurture the relationship they built with the company, ensure you leave on a pleasant note. After which, it is important to take note of the skills acquired so far, like a form of inventory of skills. Resumes should be updated to reflect the newly acquired skills. Then, you can prepare for your next Internship (if there is), or hunting for full-time roles. In fact, this can be done before completing the Internship. You don’t necessarily have to be idle to take the next step.

2 thoughts on “What is an internship? All you need to know”

  1. Abba Queen Esther

    Wow, I just got to understand what “internship" means in a full dimension. Thanks for the article

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