Gaining industry knowledge and practical experience are essential for young professionals who wish to get their dream job. Internships, as they turn out, happen to be the best way to do so. Throughout my undergraduate journey, I have been frequently told that internships open a world of possibilities. From networking opportunities to learning more about the industry, the benefits of signing up for an internship are aplenty.
Having graduated amid a pandemic, I have to agree that internships, whether they are short-term stints or long-term ones, can be a valuable stepping stone. Usually, it is a cause for celebration if you happen to land an internship while studying.
For students, it is crucial that you understand your school’s curriculum and see when best to fit in an internship stint. Read on to find out different types of internships available in Singapore.
The most uncommon of the lot, part-time internships are best reserved for students in their last semester in university or Polytechnic. That is when they have fewer classes or modules and can afford to allocate time to intern.
Otherwise known as holiday internships, these internships span across 1-3 months. Students who are going on their holiday break can consider enrolling themselves in an internship. For Polytechnic and other tertiary education students, that would be between the months of March - April and September – October. Undergraduates on their summer or winter vacation can consider enlisting in an internship during June – August or December – January.
If you have graduated, recently ORD-ed, or awaiting school to start, you might have some time to spare before embarking on your next phase in life. Consider taking on a long-term internship (of at least six months) to beef up your portfolio. You have plenty of time to get exposure to the different responsibilities and even time to take on new projects.
Bonus Tip 1: Never put your eggs in one basket; seek out different options and apply extensively. Expect rejections to come your way and try not to feel dejected when you receive one.
Bonus Tip 2: Plan your submission application months in advance. This means having your cover letter written, your resume/CV updated, and allocate time to do an interview. Avoid the last-minute rat race to secure a spot. A good gauge would be to start submitting your applications six months before your break!
Now that you have an inkling of what the different types of internships are, read on to find out the different benefits of having an internship.
For many undergraduates, figuring out their next phase in life post-graduation can be challenging. You may deliberate between diving headfirst into a full-time employment and taking up an internship. If you are feeling lost trying to figure out what to do, you should consider taking on an internship to get a sensing of what the industry you are interested in has to offer.
Take this opportunity to ask questions, seek mentorship, and feedback from your superiors.
If you have zero working experience, internships offer invaluable working experience that you can add to your CV and resume. You are most likely going to be appointed under several supervisors who have years of experience their belt. To equip you with the right skillsets to perform well, they will give you feedback on your performance. Learning to upskill yourself from these comments may prove to be beneficial in the long run. Plus, you are likely to get paid a small allowance to learn. How’s that?
Whether it is talking to clients, communicating with co-workers, or even giving a presentation, you get to work on soft skills on the job. While schools and colleges have offered plenty of opportunities to work on them, the exposure you get from the real working world is different. You will be surprised that some of the strategies you learnt in school may not necessarily be applicable in the real world. Some of these soft skills include time management, emotional intelligence, leadership, and communication.
Working experience is important for many reasons. For one, the right experience can help you clinch a job. Although more importantly, you can also get a clearer perspective of what you want in your career. Suppose you are interested in the fashion industry, a fashion internship may expose you to opportunities to becoming a fashion editor, a jewellery designer, a stylist, or even a fashion photographer. Or if you are interested in marketing, an internship may help you realise which industry offers the best scalability.
As you meet different stakeholders and people during your internship journey, you are offered different opportunities to expand your professional network. The connections you make during your internship may be helpful and can lead to future job opportunities too.
By Sng Ler Jun