Why Do a Summer Internship – A Real World Experience

Many companies offer work experience programs for university students and graduates, but it’s not just an opportunity to earn extra cash. If you are an undergraduate, make sure you are ready before you sign up for these opportunities!
As an intern working through your summer, you’ll have real responsibility, real work, and real opportunities to jump-start your career. (You will usually be paid, too.) For an internship to be valuable for young specialists, it needs to give a kind of experience that is never found in a classroom. This means giving manageable assignments that can be completed in the length of the working period. It is a challenge to isolate those project opportunities, but it’s vital to do so and to make sure key that performance accountabilities are given. Otherwise, it’s not reflecting what the real world is like; real job experience will be like this — you will be held accountable. Projects could include helping to create a Web application, formulating a marketing plan, participating in telemarketing and promotional activity — the possibilities are endless. However, the student should be given responsibility, real projects, and a chance to leave their mark.
We have experienced success when a student on the intern program has shared the same job responsibilities as full-time employees in the company, and yes, sometimes it does lead to an offer of employment after graduation.
How can you get the most out a summer internship? Set goals for yourself, and lock in regular weekly touch points with your allocated supervisor manager or mentor at the company. Seek feedback on how you are performing regularly, not just at the end of the project, to get the most learning you can from the company. Most of all, make sure you contribute your ideas. The employer has asked you to join them to get your fresh perspective on the project and you are being paid to give this. If you do not understand something, ask.
Maintain a journal to record what you do, what skills you use and what you learn. This helps to reinforce what you are learning and it also helps build your CV for the future.
 And finally, remember that what you get out of your work experience depends on what you put in. The company is investing their time and resources to give you a real life work opportunity — so respect it. Inject yourself with passion for the tasks given; sure, every job has its mundane tasks, but act enthusiastically and you will be most likely to impress and to succeed.