10 Benefits Of An Internship (Including A Definition)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An internship is a professional introduction to an industry or role you may want to pursue in the future. Educational counsellors typically arrange internships and try to match you to a company that fits your career goals. Understanding the benefits of doing an internship can help you decide if this is the right course of action for you. In this article, we discuss what an internship is, explore some of the common benefits of an internship and how to pursue it.

Related: How To Apply For An Internship (And What To Do After Applying)

What Is An Internship?

An internship is an introductory position and is often a way into a particular industry or career path. Companies may hire fresh graduates or final-year students for a defined period. An organisation may or may not pay for this opportunity, as the primary purpose is for interns to gain valuable experience. Students typically apply for internship opportunities during their undergraduate or graduate courses and may work in the role for one or more months, either part-time or full-time. They might work as an intern during a semester or quarter, and their classes may or may not continue during this time.

There are many benefits of an internship, including helping you to gain valuable work experience and fulfil college requirements. Some internships also allow students to receive credits for their courses upon completion. Internships can introduce you to the various elements of full-time employment, help you explore your unique interests and determine your career goals. It may even give you relevant experiences that you can add to your resume.

Related: 17 Industries That Offer Internships For College Students

10 Benefits Of An Internship

Here are some benefits of an internship for students:

1. Includes research experience

In scientific fields, for instance, an internship might consist of assisting with research in a laboratory. You can test the research skills you learned in your college courses in a practical setting and meaningfully contribute to the important research the laboratory does. Some permanent research jobs require this kind of post-education training. Internship opportunities can help you decide what kind of laboratory work you might like to do. They can even help you determine if laboratory work is right for you professionally.

2. Provides work experience

This is one of the key benefits of an internship. Job listings usually include minimum requirements, such as a necessary level of education or work experience. When you enter the workforce for the first time after completing your education or training programme, you are probably not going to have much work experience. Internships are the perfect way to fill this gap. You could gain valuable insight into business processes in your chosen field, take part in professional meetings and perform tasks assigned to you in a professional setting.

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3. Offers mentorship opportunities

The most valuable mentor relationships often start with a personal connection that enhances the experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Working as an intern may provide you with opportunities to meet a potential mentor naturally and establish a relationship that helps guide your career path. Working alongside them, you have the chance to reveal your personality and show deference and respect while seeking guidance and input. An internship can create a situation where your relationship develops organically, even if your future full-time position is at a different company.

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4. Provides access to a variety of tasks and departments

Some internships may assign you specific tasks every day. Others might expose you to the duties and responsibilities of different departments. You might help senior management, attend meetings, complete small tasks for projects or observe the daily functions of the office. An internship can be useful if your field of study happens to be general. For example, if you are studying for a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, a placement at a news publishing company where you spend time in each department can help you decide which specific job in the journalism industry you might like to pursue.

Related: How To Write A Resume For Internship (With Template And Example)

5. Creates a professional network

Internships are a practical way to expand your professional network. Meeting others and making friends in your field can be beneficial to your future career, as they could potentially recommend you for open positions. The professionals you meet during your internship could be valuable connections for your future job prospects, so showing enthusiasm, curiosity and commitment can help professional contacts see your potential.

Related: What Are Internships And How Do You Find One?

6. Offers career guidance

During your college or university education, you may study various subjects to find out your interests. Some students may find a college degree is sufficient in helping them to determine exactly what kind of career they want. Others may benefit from an internship to decide on the correct career path. An internship can give you first-hand industry experience. It can introduce you to the daily rigours and tasks associated with a career without requiring a firm commitment to that specific profession. It can also help you decide whether a certain job fits your personality and your talent.

Related: How To Find Student Internships (With Duties And Benefits)

7. Creates a strong resume

This is one of the most important advantages of an internship. You could include details on your resume of all your valuable job experiences during the placement. You could incorporate information about your internship duties and the projects you worked on in the work experience section. Having a strong, detailed resume with authentic information gives you a better chance of getting shortlisted for any job opportunities. Following your internship, you may also be able to clearly describe your expectations for a permanent position.

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8. Builds confidence

When you transition from college or university into full-time employment, you may feel a mix of emotions, including anxiety, excitement, ambition and hope. Internships are a sensible way to make this transition, as you would be learning about the work you aspire to do for the long term. An internship may eliminate the pressure of finding a full-time job quickly and help you to apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to various practical situations.

An internship can also show you how an organisation develops leaders instead of simply learning about it theoretically. You may observe how professionals exhibit excellent time management skills, or you may get the opportunity to learn about collaboration and cooperation in the workplace. It is advisable to think of your internship as an extension of your education. This helps you in developing a wide range of confidence-building attributes that you could use in your future employment.

Related: How To Create An Internship Report

9. Helps you transition to a permanent job

If your internship is a positive experience for you and the organisation you work for, then it may hire you for a permanent position. Hiring managers often use internships as an interview process to determine which interns might be good candidates for open positions. This gives you the opportunity to impress the hiring managers by performing well during your internship.

Internships can act as preliminary employment training, and human resources personnel and managers can observe you in various situations to determine if you might be a valuable addition to the team. It can reduce some of the stress you might otherwise feel if you were looking for a job without internship connections. Even if that particular company does not have any available permanent positions, you can still move on with contacts and mentors in your field.

Related: What Is A Bank Internship? Eligibility Criteria And Duties

10. Creates valuable references and recommendations

The supervisors and mentors you meet during your internship can be valuable references for you as you pursue a full-time job. If you are positive and hardworking, managers may be more inclined to recommend you for open positions. References generated from an internship can be valuable in your job searches because those managers now know you personally and have seen how you contributed to the company. They can be specific when describing your developing skills or how your education has prepared you for employment.

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