An internship is not a strange term to college and university students. It is an important phase of what they have to go through while they are still making the best out of their life as a student.
Besides juggling between books, assignments and exams, life as a student also involves an overview and entry into the career world upon graduation. If you do well in the internship, you will be able to step further in your future employment.
If you’re one of the students who are trying to figure out how an internship actually works, then you’re coming to the right page!
What is an internship?
An internship is a professional work experience given to students within a fixed period. This short-term job is normally in line with the student’s field of study or career interest. It gives students the opportunity to explore what the career world has to offer before properly venturing into it as full-time staff.
As a student, you would take it as an access key to the industry or field that you wish to work in after graduating. Interns typically spend their time gaining some work experience, getting involved in projects, making connections and developing skills.
Although not all universities make internships compulsory in the curriculum, having the internship experience stated in your resume demonstrates your credibility as an employee and can increase your chance to get employed. If you’re lucky, your internship could also turn into a full-time job if you show good performance to the company.
How does an internship work?
An internship is like early exposure to the real working environment, so your expectation as an intern can be the same as an employee who has just landed their first job.
The company and interns will have an exchange of services whereby both parties get to earn benefits. The interns get the opportunity to understand better if the industry fits their career goals and the company will be able to make use of the skills possessed by the intern.
If you’re worried about having zero experience, there will be a supervisor assigned to help and train you well. This will give a direct experience on what the job scopes are, understand what the organisation does and what they can expect from you as an intern.
Believe it or not, most employers will likely hire fresh graduates with excellent internship experience.
How much can you get as an intern?
An internship can be paid or unpaid. A paid internship happens when the company or organisation you work with agrees to pay you a certain amount per month. This type of internship is obviously the internship of choice for many students. They will feel more motivated as the skills and hard work earned will be rewarded in cash.
While there are companies that do not provide numerical benefits for their interns, it is best for you to get confirmation from the people team before enrolling on the programme.
According to Glassdoor numbers, the salary for interns falls roughly between RM300 to RM2,000. The numbers differ depending on the company.
How long does an internship last?
An internship can be completed within three to six months. It may also depend on the length of the semester or your major as required by the university. Most internships are usually designed to follow the academic calendar set by the university or programme you’re enrolled in.
A typical internship programme requires the intern to serve full-time by working eight hours per day, while some companies may require the intern to spend a certain number of hours per week. It all depends on what is agreed between two parties which are the student and the company.
Should you do an internship?
This question is about whether or not an internship is required by your university. There are some courses that make it compulsory for the students to complete their internship programme, and there are some that don’t. You will have to consult your academic advisor and ask if an internship is needed for you to earn your credit hours.
How to apply for an internship?
Landing an internship is hard as securing the first job. The process is quite similar to those who are applying for jobs. It includes preparing the resume, submitting an internship application and going through the interview session.
Take note that the process involves competition as well, especially when the company you’re applying to is one of the top and best workplaces in the country. But behind all the struggle, you will be able to get the idea of a job searching experience. Here are some quick tips:
1. Prepare your resume and cover letter
2. Understand the industry that you’re interested in
3. Do your research on internship openings
4. Apply for several internship programmes
Now that you know what an internship is all about, it’s time to ace the preparation stage while you’re at it! You’ll be able to gain many benefits as an intern within a short period and the experience will make you feel as if you’re ready to shape your career in the best possible way.
If you do well in an internship, the possibility of turning your internship into a full-time job is high. You will impress your supervisor, the company and its staff, showing that you are worth it for them to keep you as an employee in the long run.
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