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Internship Programmes and Why They Are Important in Career Development. Learn More!

Target Audience

Internship Programme, Interns, Internships, Graduates, College Students, Career Development

Programme Overview

Internship programmes play a pivotal role in equipping graduates for the new challenges ahead of them in the corporate world or the job market at large. Gone are the days when one would secure a job straight out of college. Today, there is a need for interns to have gone through the internship process across all departments so as to broaden their knowledge and experience. Some of these departments include accounting and finance, sales and marketing, human resources, procurement and logistics, information technology, production, etc., depending on the organization. I’m going to explain the benefits of enrolling in internships below.

1. Your network is your net worth

  • Networking is a key element of the internship program. Learners will get exposed to various mentors across the industry as they meet captains of industries in the job market. With this, they are able to draw lessons from them in terms of career development and future opportunities in their field of work. These networks can be established at corporate functions, sports days, meetings, client visits, LinkedIn, or social media networks.

2. High employability

  • According to career gurus, those who have gone through internships are likely to yield better results when they are employed full-time than graduates who are coming straight from college. That internship exposure helps them differentiate themselves from other graduates, as they would have gone through various departments while learning and earning.
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3. Diversity of Culture

  • As South Africa is the hub of multi-cultures, internship opportunities enable learners to communicate and relate with various employees, regardless of race, as they train them on how to work and cope in a diversified environment. This helps them be more relevant to the industry and the corporate world, be it locally or internationally.

4. Practical experience

  • Internees will benefit from real-world experience as they will be doing on-the-job training, which promotes a hands-on approach in various departments. At college, they only learned theories, and this is an opportunity for them to apply what they learned practically by applying various concepts to real-life issues. This boosts the chances of being hired after the completion of the internship program.

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5. Development of skills

  • Internship programs help learners develop all-round skills, from communication skills to problem-solving techniques, teamwork, presentation skills, and time management, which they were not able to learn in school. This creates a total person who will be able to address various challenges in life and in the corporate world. Furthermore, this also increases their confidence levels.

6. Discovering yourself

  • Internships help learners do some introspection and figure out what they really want to do in life. Some graduates chose their first degree program or course out of circumstances beyond their control, as some did not meet certain grades for the programs of their choice. Following this, internship opportunities give graduates a level playing field to rediscover themselves and shift to their dream career. For instance, when one is in the Finance Department, after visiting or working at the Marketing Department, they may realize that they enjoy traveling and visiting clients for product presentations; hence, they would want to change their career path from Finance to Marketing when they move to another organization for full-time employment.
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7. Creating references

  • Internships are key to building and strengthening CVs. When graduates complete their internships well, they can be recommended and linked to join well-established organizations by merely providing an outstanding reference letter, citing that they worked with you well.

Conclusively, internships are of paramount importance in career development as they help learners discover themselves, mold their skills, gain practical experiences, experience cultural diversity, enhance their employability, and create beneficial networks.

The End!

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