How to organise an internship and gain work experience

How to organise an internship and gain work experience
Photo: Mentatdgt, Pexels.

When you’re trying to get a head start in your preferred industry, getting work experience via an internship is always a smart idea. However, finding an internship that’s suited to you and that will give you the best opportunities for securing future employment isn’t always straightforward if you’re trying to do it by yourself.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of resources out there that you can use to organise and internship and gain valuable work experience. There exist services that help prepare you for and connect you with an internship placement that’s perfectly suited to you and gives you the best chance of securing a full-time job.

The following businesses provide internship training and help connect you with an optimal placement. We’ve ranked them in terms of overall quality.

Rank: Provider: Website:
1 Premium Graduate Placements www.premiumgraduate.com.au
2 Industry Placements Australia www.industryplacements.com.au
3 Grad Connection www.gradconnection.com.au

Regardless of which method you use to secure an internship, the following advice will be relevant to you throughout the process.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can organise an internship and get useful work experience out of it.

Use an internship placement service

As mentioned, there exist businesses that specialise in connecting students and graduates with internships that are optimised for them. Engaging one of these services gives you the most assured means of finding a placement quickly and being fully prepared to get the most out of it.

It wouldn’t be ideal to end up at your internship with no plan in place for what you’re going to learn, how you’re going to measure your progress and how you’re going to test your knowledge under pressure. Using a service that seeks to connect you with reputable firm helps you to avoid getting into an internship that doesn’t engage you very much beyond grabbing coffee for everyone.

The training you receive covers everything from writing a resume, nailing your first interview and networking with colleagues to secure future opportunities. A premium internship provider may come with an upfront cost, but you stand to recoup that cost and more in the time you save finding a great placement that leads into a lucrative career.

Reach out to different firms

The old-fashioned way of organising an internship is still valid, although you need to be prepared for more rejection as not everyone you email is going to have the time, patience or will to take on an intern. For a business to take you on as an intern and make the experience worthwhile for you, they may need to prepare for an interruption in their workflow as they assign people to train you and potentially clean up inevitable mistakes you make while learning.

Of course, the firms you speak to have something to benefit from taking you on and it’s your job to make sure they understand this when considering your request for a placement. You need to be polite, acknowledge that they are indulging you out of kindness and communicate to them the benefit you will bring them.

How to organise an internship and gain work experience
Photo: Mentatdgt, Pexels.

If the circumstances are right, a firm stands to gain a lot by training an intern to later recruit them as a full-time employee. Employees who find employment after being given a chance to prove themselves as an intern a more loyal and have a greater work ethic that firms can benefit from.

Recruiting an intern also means that a firm doesn’t need to spend as much time training the new employee as they will already be familiar with how work is done at the company. Make sure you use all of this information when trying to secure a worthwhile internship.

Network with peers and professors

While you’re trying to organise an internship, don’t forget about the people you already have around you at your university campus. The people you are studying alongside and getting instruction from are all relevant contacts when it comes to discovering internship opportunities for you to get practical experience with.

While your university course may require you to complete an internship of some kind towards the end, this is usually piecemeal and done out of obligation rather than being the best placement for you. Rather than go with the bare minimum, reach out and get your name out there and you’ll notice that you get more interest from employers who appreciate your eagerness to impress.

You should never stop building your network – even when you get a full-time job you should always be making new contacts. All of this gives you greater security as you’ll have more resources to find a new job if you lose your current one or just want to find something else to do.

Find a mentor

One of the best things you can do for your future career during this time is to connect with a mentor. This could be a professor, a boss or colleague at an internship or even just a family friend who works in the industry you are interested in.

The person you choose as a mentor is going to give you invaluable insider information about how to get what you want/where you want that you won’t learn through official channels. Every industry has lots of unspoken rules that you can only get a grasp of by working closely with seasoned veterans – you won’t find this information in a textbook!

Show humility but remember to assert yourself where appropriate

Its important that throughout this process you show an appropriate level of humility without constantly beating yourself up. You have to find the perfect middle-ground between exuding confidence without coming across as arrogant.

Showing that you have a healthy sense of humour about yourself and can take jokes at your expense go a long way in impressing jaded industry veterans who can see through insincere attempts to demonstrate passion for work. Your likeability as an employee is just as important as the academic knowledge you acquired at university.

Conclusion

Finding the right internship in order to get the work experience you need for success in your career is all about your willpower and determination. There’s something out there with your name on it – you just need to be open to exploring every avenue to get there.

What do you think about it?