Understanding the importance of internship after graduation
For many graduates, getting a job is the most important next step after completing their studies. However, the stiff competition in the job market means you may spend more time than you like searching for a position that aligns with your professional goals. If working outside of your field is out of the picture and you don’t wish to enter a graduate program, getting into an internship after graduation may be the best course of action.
While many people look down on internships after college, these opportunities offer several upsides. Internships help you build your resume and gain valuable on-the-job skills that can help you stand out from equally qualified candidates. They also give you insights into the activities and environment of an actual workplace, preparing you to fit in when you eventually get hired. Internships can also help you develop important professional and industry contacts and help you identify the work you are most passionate about.
Here, we discuss the reasons to do an internship after you graduate, how to get internships and provide a list of potential internships to do after finishing college.
Can you do internships after university?
You can do internships after graduation. There is a misconception that only current students can do internships. However, this is not true. Graduates can also apply for internships, although these may not be as many as those designed for students.
If you intend to do an internship after graduation, you need to know where to look. Several organizations and companies create internship programs specifically for people who have finished college. They often use these internships as stop-gap measures due to labour shortfalls. Graduate internships can also help to attract talent to companies.
At the end of the internship, the company or organization can select interns who have demonstrated the ability to excel in specific roles. Even if you don’t get employed at the end of the program, you would have gained valuable on-the-job experience. The experience will also strengthen your resume with industry-relevant skills that can improve your chances of getting your first job.
Reasons to do an internship after you graduate
Here are some of the reasons to do an internship after you graduate:
1. Discover the right career for you
It is normal to finish college and not be sure of what to do. If you are in this camp, an internship is one of the best ways to discover your core strengths and what you want to do next. Internships allow you to explore different fields and experience the work environment of diverse companies. At the end of your internships, you will likely find what you love doing. So if you are not sure of the right career or profession for you, an internship may be ideal for you.
For an internship to help you chart your career path, it is important to immerse yourself in the experience and take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. It might be learning new skills or procedures, taking a leadership role, or helping to improve operating procedures. These experiences will help you identify your core strengths and the profession that aligns with your interests.
2. Build your resume
Lack of experience is a major impediment to getting a job for many recent graduates. If you have zero or minimal work experience, an internship after graduation is a simple way to build your resume with job-specific skills and professional achievements. Internships offer opportunities to learn and grow in a work setting, allowing you to beef up your resume, make a better impression on employers, and stand out from less experienced, equally qualified candidates.
3. Grow a professional network
Internships after college can also help you develop professional contacts that will be of immense value in your career journey. If you take opportunities that an internship present you, you can prove yourself as an effective professional that can deliver results. You will gain the respect of more experienced colleagues, and you may even leverage your contacts to get your desired job after the internship.
4. Become productive
Doing an internship after graduation is a good way to stay productive and learn new things as you search for that dream job. With an internship, you get to contribute meaningfully to an organization, become a better person professionally, and escape the boredom and drudgery of staying at home after the exciting and activity-filled college years.
5. Earn an income
Not all graduate internships pay, but many will compensate you for your work. Even if you are not sure of what to do or haven’t been able to land your dream job, an internship can provide a source of income-regardless of how small it is. The income from your internship will go a long way to reduce the pressure of looking for a job while helping you build your skills sets and resume as you prepare for a more permanent role.
6. Learn from experts
Graduate internships provide a rare opportunity to work with established professionals in your chosen industry. It allows you to learn from the best in the profession, revealing valuable insights on how to succeed in the industry and achieve your career goals. Use the opportunity to distinguish yourself, build relationships, and learn as much as you can to maximize the benefits of the internship.
How to get an internship after graduation
Here are tips to help you get an internship after graduation:
1. Use internship search engines
There are several online platforms that can help you quickly find internship opportunities for graduates. Most search engines and job recruitment sites have this feature. To make your search easier, filter your results by selecting that you are looking for graduate internships. Add your location, profession, and other specifics to streamline your results. There are even websites dedicated to internships. You just need to search them for graduate internships.
2. Use social media and websites
Social media is also a fertile ground for finding graduate internships. Most employers now post information about recruitment and internships on their website and social media handles. Check the social media handles and the websites of companies you’d loved to work with regularly to know of any available internships for graduates.
3. Check job boards
Employers and several other organizations post internship opportunities on job boards like Glassdoor to reach a large audience. If you are looking for an internship after graduation, you can filter your results by educational qualification, location, experience, and other parameters.
4. Leverage your network
You can also find internship opportunities through your social and professional networks. Let people around you know you are looking for internships. If you are active in online professional communities, put out the word to people in organizations you would like to work for. Doing this might even turn up permanent job opportunities for you.
5. Approach employers
If you have a list of companies you love to work for, you can approach them directly to learn about any internship opportunities for graduates. To increase your chances of success, choose smaller, less popular companies where you will face less competition. Be ready to persuade them to give you a chance, if you need to.
6. Use with a career counsellor
If your area has a career centre, speak to counsellors on how to get graduate internships. Most of the advice is free and might even turn up valuable insights that will help you land your dream job.
7. Go to career fairs
While these are not popular anymore largely because of the internet, they still offer opportunities. Since most people don’t go to job fairs anymore, you stand a higher chance of getting internship opportunities and even jobs when you attend them.
Doing an internship after graduation is an effective way to gain valuable on-the-job experience, build industry-specific skills, and strengthen your resume. Graduate internships can also help you earn an income, identify the profession that aligns with your core interests, and develop long-lasting professional relationships.