While an internship can be a great way to bolster your resume, you should have other reasons for taking on this type of position. This involves taking the time to think about how this internship will affect your future and promote career growth. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started in determining your goals for taking on any internship.
Will it Provide You With Specialized Training?
Sometimes, the best reason to take on an internship is to learn a skill that will help you advance further along your career path. If your goal is to become adept in a specific skill and you know you’ll need that knowledge later, be sure the internship will teach you what you need to learn. If the vacancy announcement doesn’t specifically mention that skill, be sure to ask about it during your interview for the position. If the position won’t provide the training you need, there’s no reason to take on the internship.
Are You Prepared to Make a Good Impression?
Even an internship with a top rated company won’t do much for your reputation unless you’re prepared to do your part. This means being on time every day and doing all of the work that’s expected of you. If you’re not prepared to go above and beyond, you may be better off in declining the opportunity. Otherwise, the gold star you expected to earn may turn out to be a blemish that you won’t be able to hide on your resume. You don’t want to earn a bad reputation with your first professional experience.
How Will it Advance Your Career?
Finally, you should consider what the internship will do for your career. If you commit to the position, put in the time, and work hard for the company, it’s not unreasonable to expect something in return. The best way to ensure this is a rewarding experience is to reach out to your co-workers and others in your work environment. Networking with others is vital to career growth, because it will provide you with contacts and open doors that can lead to new positions. You may find room for advancement, or you may learn of openings with other companies.
An internship should never leave you feeling like you just committed to a dead end path. If you can’t see some way of using the opportunity to advance your career, there’s no reason to take on the position. Every internship should be viewed as an opportunity to take another step up the ladder.