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Internships – Are they really worthwhile?

The importance of internships is discussed frequently at university by lecturers but is it really that important to undertake one?

I believe it is. I have just started an internship at Ignite and already I can see the advantages. 

There are so many benefits to be gained from internships but the most important is the real world experience you garner.  Everything I am learning will help me with my studies and when I enter the workforce I will be more prepared than other graduates. 

Taking on an internship allows you to decide if a job is suited to you and if it is the career path you really want to follow, which is especially important to decide before you finish your degree and obtain a job that you might not enjoy. 

Internships allow you to finally apply all the knowledge and practical skills you’ve had drilled into you during lectures in a real work setting. 

Nothing can beat the experience and reference you gain during an internship and as a bonus it looks excellent on a resume.  In addition, employers are more likely to employ a graduate that has practical experience over another who simply has a degree. 

Internships are also a great confidence booster.  After gaining real world experience in the industry and the skills and knowledge that follow, you’re immediately going to be more confident when you graduate and go through the process of finding a job.  Just knowing you have some relevant experience behind you gives you an edge.  Internships also become great networking opportunities. 

I’ve only been at my internship for a couple for weeks, but I’ve already had the chance to undertake activities which if I was working in the industry I would be responsible for on a regular basis.  For example I have written media releases, business appointments and undertaken pitching and following up.  I have gained real word experience on public relations activities and I have observed how a standard day would operate for a practitioner. 

My experience is strictly from a public relations field but I believe that internships are valuable in any industry. No university degree can give you the same experience an internship can. 

If you have the time and get the opportunity while at university to undertake an internship I highly recommend it, I promise you that you will see the benefits.