In the clamour to get graduate jobs after university, many graduates are left unable to make the career start they wanted to. Step in, graduate internships.
Rate My Placement define an internship as “a period of paid work experience between one and four months, usually taking place during the summer.” (RateMyPlacement, 2016).
However, not all graduate internships are like this. In fact internships after graduation not only give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an industry you’re interested in, but will often lead to much longer term employment.
So what are the advantages of an internship after university?
A Graduate Job Afterwards
Recent High Fliers research suggests that amongst the UK’s top 100 graduate employers, almost a third expect to fill their graduate positions with people who have already interned specifically for that company. So while internships might appear to be a short term prospect, or simply an opportunity to gain experience, it could well secure you a full-time graduate job.
Of course, one of the main motivations to apply for internships is the opportunity to gain some work experience in a certain sector. As they are employing fresh graduates, many companies looking to hire an intern will provide a lot of training. As a result you’ll have the opportunity to gain experience in certain procedures and technical areas, as well as the type of soft skills you generally gain from being in a professional environment.
Build your Network
Doing an internship at a top company can also be a great way to build your business network. Even if you don’t secure a job afterwards, you can use it to establish relationships with certain people in the business as well as outside of it. They might not have a role available for you, but they may know someone who does. At the very least you’ll have a contact book who you can call on for advice or mentoring.
Not Sure What to do?
While internships are often seen as an opportunity for employers to assess candidates before they decide to hire them full time, this works both ways. If you’re unsure about exactly what area you want to go into, you can take a plunge into an internship in a sector you might be interested in working in and assess whether it’s right for you. As much as they have the option to not offer you a full-time job at the end, you’re not obligated to take an offer if it’s given.
Matt Arnerich is the content writer over at graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns, writing about all things graduate recruitment and graduate careers advice.