Q. I am in the mid of my post-graduation, with two more semesters to go. I got a break of two months to apply for an internship of my choice. I am not sure if I should spend the next two months doing an internship or concentrate on my grades and assignments. Can you guide me through this?
Shivin Mehndiratta, Jammu
A. Internship is a stepping stone that contributes to the growth and development of yourself and your future endeavours. If you are putting your feet back and forth, hesitating over whether to apply for an internship, you should take a hard look at your projection of your career graph in the future. Job market requirements are constantly changing with the demands put forward by different companies. Chances are your theoretical knowledge of a course would not offer you the positive direction to the path of sustainable goals required in a workplace.
Not just in job market, if you intend to do extensive research after post-graduation, you should find yourself a Research Internship providing you opportunities to assist independent researchers and professors in their research work. It gives you a transparent image of how you need to manage the outline of your own research.
If you are still hesitating, here are some of the reasons why you should intern at all:
1. Leaning long equations and formulas on the surface of a blackboard can become monotonous at some point. You need a more practical outlet to test your textbook-oriented knowledge. Internships give you ample scope to manoeuvre in the pragmatic aspect of your learning curve.
2. Soft skills are non-technical, hence importance of soft skills in building a successful career has been more on the non-existent side in a classroom-setting. The current system doesn’t provide any scope for indulging in a student’s communication skills, listening skills, adaptability, time management or critical thinking, which truly makes an employee more vigilant and suitable for job market. Internships give you the space to cultivate your soft skills as it offers more life skill opportunities.
3. If you have some amount of practical experience, however meagre that may be, that works as a charm even for a position in an entry-level job. Your academic scores may not matter, yet your previous internship experience would add a plus factor to your chances of getting hired.
4. Through internships, you build a professional forum for networking. You get to meet academics, professionals, people sharing the same interests in your work, so networking can be beneficial for both you and your fellow interns.
Moreover, you should opt for an internship if you see yourself working confidently in a workplace or a research area. Do not hesitate, get some practical experience and thrive in the future.
Sanjay Arora is Chief Mentor and CEO Maven Career Coaching