Posted October 22, 2014 by

The Journey of Change and Learning: Why an Internship Is Useful Even Long After College

Swati Srivastava

Swati Srivastava

How important is experience for a job seeker? Does an internship hold importance only for beginners or can an established professional like you make use of it? The following article will seek to answer these questions to support the idea of internship even long after college.

Internships are the rare opportunities provided to the privileged. However, these privileged interns may not necessarily be college students, they can be professionals like you and I. Life begins to burst our bubble as each day teaches us a new lesson. Each day can bring a revelation that allows us to change our perception of the world as we know it. But the question is – Are we willing to empty our cup to absorb the wisdom that life has to offer? Among the large number of fallacies that are existent, one of the prevalent myths that have restricted the growth of several professionals is that internships are only for 20-somethings.

Well, this may come as a surprise to you but the fact remains that even seasoned professionals like us can benefit from on-the-job training at the bottom of that ladder. So even if you attended college ages ago, it is perfectly normal to become an intern at the age of 30.

Careers don’t just happen to you; it is a choice that you make. Depending on what you wish to be and where you’re hoping to reach professionally, an internship can offer the ideal opportunity when you are looking for a fresher job or want to make that big career move.

Let us take a look at some of the reasons why experienced professionals should take up internships.

1. It Helps You Discover Your Calling

Internships have traditionally been considered the stepping stone for newly minted grads, but they also allow experienced people to explore other career options. It helps you with the smooth transition when you are considering a career change. You should view internships as a crash course as it gives you a quick preview of what it’s like to work in a particular position or a specific company. It provides valuable learning when you are contemplating a switch. Different internships let you find a role or industry where you really want to work.

2. You Gain Professional Experience and Develop New Skills

Internships are a great way to increase your knowledge and gain experience, but it isn’t just the college students who need it. Individuals with years of experience often get frustrated with monotonous work and take up an internship to acquire new skills and update themselves with the industry trends and requirement. You may have a technical job that pays you very well, but it wouldn’t hurt you to take up an internship in a field that helps you acquire skills that complement and enhance your existing job profile. The very purpose of an internship is to acquire knowledge of something that you don’t know much about. At first, it may seem like a step backwards but then you only live once, you don’t want to get stuck in a job that you don’t love.

3. Internships Enhance Your Portfolio

Work experience never goes waste. Even if you take up an internship in a field of interest different than your current field of work, you can always show your stint as an intern in your resume. Try relating this experience with your current profile to show how the skills you imbibed during training can help you improve your performance in your present job or a job you are applying for. When you do so, potential employers know that that you are a go-getter who follows his dream and are yet focused on self-development.

4. You Get Your Foot in the Door

Certain careers take more than just a short experience to land a gig. However, this experience marks the onset of the attempt to switch. Before you have a real chance at your dream vocation, it is always wise to get your foot in the door first. Once you land yourself an internship of your choice you can learn the ropes of the industry while interning and who knows you may get lucky if the same company offers to turn your internship into full-time employment.

5. You Wouldn’t Have Any Regrets

Nobody likes to live a life where they keep thinking “What if…” Internships bring you a step closer to fulfilling your professional aspirations. So if you decide to pursue your dreams, an internship is the answer for it. Even if it does not materialize into a full-fledged career, you would not have the regret of not giving it a shot.

6. Networking Always Helps

Knowing the right people in your own industry always helps you professionally. But making professional connections during an internship helps you reach your destination more quickly. During your internship, try and get acquainted with as many people as possible. Your little efforts of taking interest in the people you temporarily work with can help you in the long run. The same people can inform you of vacancies in the company and can even share with you leads about positions in competitor companies. If you yourself do not require help or assistance from these resources, you could even use their expertise and influence to help your friends and relatives.

Now you know why internships are a great medium for professional growth for people other than students. So, go ahead and get your feet wet! Happy trotting!

About the Author –

Swati Srivastava is an avid writer with a keen interest in the extensive domain of job search and career counselling. She is Assistant Manager Content at Naukrigulf.com (a part of Infoedge), her articles are published on several reputed job search portals and online career magazine.

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