Internship contracts and scholarships provide university students with the realities of day-to-day life at a company, professional opportunities and knowledge of the labour market. For a set period of time, students can develop their knowledge at a company, applying the theory they’ve acquired during their degrees in a real working environment.
What does an In-company Internship mean?
Internships are always full of training activities, meaning they complement the students’ acquired knowledge in a practical way. This type of training seeks to extend the students’ professional skills.
The internships are also mentored by a senior employee at the company. This mentor is the reference person for the student during their internship. It is their responsibility to guide the student in his/her duties and make the learning experience the central point of the internship.
Who can undertake an internship?
Internships are aimed at students who are finishing their degrees, because there is generally a requirement for students to have completed at least half of their degree’s course load.
Recent graduates, Master’s students or course attendants can also apply for internships if they can sign an internship agreement between the company and the institution.
Types of Professional Internships:
· Credit Internships: These internships are included in the study plan of each degree. The working hours are counted as credits that form part of your course load.
· Non-credit Internships: These internships are voluntary and they are not included in the degree’s study plan as course credits.
Both types of professional internships can be undertaken abroad.
Advantages of doing an internship:
· Closer knowledge of an actual company: When studying, students tend to have an unrealistic idea of the job market. It is often seen idealistically or as being inaccessible, but these visions are far from the reality.
· Improve your employability: When it comes to job searches many young people feel lost and don’t know where to start. Interning for a company before this eases the transition into the job market by helping students feel more confident and prepared.
· Knowledge application: Internships could contribute to clarifying ideas about the market or the kind of companies that students want to work at in the future. Once the internship is over, it’s easier for a student to form his own opinion about the labour market. This will be useful when it comes to making decisions about their professional future.
· Key factors in recruitment processes: Internships ease the transition into the job market. Having experience working at companies and the ability to list these on your resume increases the possibilities of finding a job in the future.
Advice for a successful internship:
· Professional network: During your internship, you should start to create a contact list of the people you are working with, bond with your co-workers and try to stand out. You have to prove your value with hard work and a great attitude.
· Analyse the company: To align with the values of the company that you want to work at, it’s essential to make sure you are choosing correctly and that your internship is going to be worth it. This is your first step as a professional and should reflect what you want to do in the future.
· Know yourself: Ask yourself what duties you do and don’t like, and discover what your most important skills are. You should identify and explore these skills to take your career to the next level.
· Responsibility: While undertaking the internship you must show everyone that your age does not mean immaturity. Always be on time.
· Multitask and be proactive: Many companies are looking for young profiles because they can provide the innovation, creativity and illusion that they need. Everyone is aware of your lack of experience, so it is your desire to learn that must shine.