Today we have a guest blog from Step. The Step team connect enterprising students and recent graduates with smaller, growth-focused businesses through a portfolio of student placements, graduate internships and permanent positions.
The benefits of a paid graduate internship
Internships are often an afterthought in the graduate and student world. Second fiddle to the sandwich placement or graduate scheme, but they are no booby-prize, in fact they offer many distinct advantages over a longer-term role.
Here are some reasons why a paid internship could offer you the golden ticket:
Trial a role/company
An internship is perfect for the student or graduate who isn’t sure what direction they want to take their career. Maybe you’re a recent marketing graduate, but you aren’t sure whether you want to work for an agency or go in-house with a leading business. Perhaps you’re an engineering student with the gift of the gab and are toying with the idea of engineering sales. A lot of graduates and students find their long-term career through an internship but even If you discover that your internship isn’t for you, you can still leave at the end with a great reference and experience gained without anything lost for you or the business.
Foot in the door
While graduate schemes are often ultra-competitive, comprising many stages of interviews, assessment days, psychometric tests and more, an internship offers a far easier entry route. Often requiring less experience and a more simple one stage recruitment phase, internships can offer you the same foot in the door that a graduate scheme would. Many internships lead onto a full-time position – in fact over 80% of Step graduate internships turn into permanent roles!
Develop your skills / experience
Internships can offer you the route to gaining the vital work experience and skills that may be the missing piece, preventing you from landing your dream permanent role. An internship is your opportunity to develop your employability skills and gain valuable experiences that give you real world examples for competency-based questions at future interviews.
An internship can offer you an invaluable way to build up contacts that may point you in the right direction of an opportunity you might not otherwise have come across. Make it part of your internship to network with as many people as possible both in and out of your host company, as this could open up endless possibilities. You may make current industry contacts who could offer you a permanent job, recommend you to their best friend who just happens to be MD at a similar company, point you in the right direction moving forward, or at the very least they might check your CV is the best it can be for the sector.
One of the most important things you need to ensure, before embarking on your internship, is that you will be PAID. While unpaid internships do exist, we believe they are wrong for a variety of reasons. They hinder social mobility, they may be illegal and ultimately you should be paid for the valuable work that you contribute, just as any other worker would. All Step internships are paid, but if you do decide to source your own internship, make sure you are compensated (at least at the national minimum/living wage) for your work.