By Sarvesh Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Internshala, the career- tech platform
An internship is an opportunity to get job experience in a certain industry and put theories and abilities learned in school to the test. The talents of the past, such as possessing only hard skills, domain expertise, etc., are insufficient in the present job market. Employers now look for particular qualities and competences when recruiting interns, in addition to the candidates’ degrees and skill sets, such as technical proficiency, digital skills, time management, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, etc.
Candidates get the chance to hone their current skill sets and acquire new job-specific abilities through hands-on training while working on actual projects in a professional setting during internships. The scope of getting an internship and enhancing skills is also vast, as there are opportunities offered by large corporations, startups, SMEs, and non-profit organisations. Students gain the vital real-world experience necessary to improve professional abilities and stand out while looking for employment through internships.
Organisations requiring interns
An internship program gives organisations a chance to develop the necessary skill sets in potential employees at a very early stage of their careers and train them as future employees. Interns have a strong drive to be productive and create excellent work. They are bubbling with energy and fresh ideas, and they desire to contribute meaningfully and keep improving their professional abilities that allow organisations to be more efficient and innovative. Furthermore, internships are cost-effective for any business and could be fruitful for short term projects.
The approach to getting the internship
Do your research: When it comes to securing an internship, research can be a crucial component of your application strategy. Whether you’re researching potential companies, industry trends, or the specific requirements of a particular internship, thorough research can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of securing a valuable opportunity.
Before applying for an internship, it’s important to research about the company and its culture. This includes looking at the company’s website, social media accounts, and recent news or press releases. By understanding the company’s mission, values, and culture, you can tailor your application to showcase how you can contribute to its goals and fit in with its existing team. Prior research can help identify opportunities that align with your skills and interests. You can focus your application efforts on the most promising leads and increase your chances of success.
Build a network: When it comes to securing an internship, building a network can be an essential part of your strategy. Whether you’re connecting with alumni, attending career fairs and networking events, or reaching out to contacts in your industry, networking can help you learn about potential opportunities, make valuable connections, and increase your chances of securing a valuable internship.
One of the biggest advantages of networking is the access it can provide to hidden or unadvertised internship opportunities. Many internships are never posted on job boards or advertised in traditional ways and can only be accessed through personal connections or referrals. By building a strong network, you can tap into these hidden opportunities and increase your chances of finding a valuable internship.
Impactful cover letter: When applying for an internship, a strong and impactful cover letter can be just as important as a polished resume as it allows students to showcase their personality, passion, and interest in the company and its mission. A well-written cover letter makes your case as to why you should be fired for the said internship and puts an emphasis on your keen interest in the opportunity and the organisation. By highlighting your unique qualities and interests, you can demonstrate your potential value to the company and set yourself apart from other candidates.
A strong cover letter demonstrates your research and understanding of the company and its mission. This can include discussing the company’s products or services, recent accomplishments, and the skills or experiences you have that align with the company’s values and goals. By showing that you’ve done your homework, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the company and prove that you’re a good fit for the organisation.
Setting the right tone at the interview: The interview for the internship is both easy and difficult. On the one hand, being polite and dressing nicely is the best advice someone can provide. However, since interviews are all about chemistry and interpersonal communication, it is important to remember to thoroughly research the company and understand the job requirements and responsibilities to ace the interview. Also, to put an emphasis on your enthusiasm towards the internship, make sure to ask relevant questions at the end of the interview.
Also, after the interview, it’s essential to follow up with a thank-you note or email. This gesture will show your interest in the position and your appreciation for the interviewer’s time. Keep in touch with your contacts at the company and maintain a professional and courteous demeanour.
The organisations looking for interns have moved past the singularised skills as it is not beneficial to them. Along with hard skills, companies prefer candidates competent in digital and soft skills, which is the demand of the future. Students going for internships get relevant exposure to gain industry experience and learn the skills to face problems when they begin their careers. To aid further in the quest to get internships, there are plenty of organisations that help candidates to acquire internship opportunities across various profiles based on their qualifications and skills