A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Everyone who is planning to do an internship next summer should probably soon start sending applications to companies and organization. And anyone who still needs convincing whether to do an internship should read this post 😉
This year I was an intern at a logistics company for two month. Thereafter, I was working at a German State Representation in Brussels for three month. During these (quite different) internships I was offered great opportunities and had many very valuable experiences.
In this post I want to share a List of Top 10 benefits of doing internship:
Doing an internship gives you a valuable chance to network with professionals in your field. It can also be very helpful for collecting references and could potentially even offer future job opportunities. You can connect to people not only through your internship organization, but also on events related to your work and networks of colleagues from the same field.
You finally have the chance to use what you have studied the past years. This is your chance to apply theoretic concepts and learned skills in the real world! You might be astonished; how much you have already learned at university so far…
An internship also gives you the possibility to acquire new skills that prepare you for a Master´s Program or your work-life after your studies. That includes communication skills, knowledge about organizational structures and the soft skills that are necessary for work and business, but almost impossible to study only in theory.
Those new skills will give you confidence to work in a professional environment. Entering an unknown environment and having to perform and proof yourself can be intimidating at first. But soon, you will make progress and that will give you confidence to work more independently. This confidence will make your entry into the professional life much easier.
Gaining confidence also means knowing what your abilities are and how to use them. During an internship you will realize what your strengths and weaknesses are. Knowing about your competences is necessary to pick a Master´s or job that will go well together with your abilities. It will also help to persuasively present yourself in an interview.
Of course this should not be the only reason you are doing an internship, but it is indeed a positive side effect. Doing an internship always shows initiative and that you have already gained some work-related experiences. If you apply for a job after your studies, work-experience is highly valued, however without having done an internship, such relevant experiences are often missing.
You are still not 100% sure what you want to do for your Master´s or in what field you would like to work after your studies? An internship is the best way to find out if a prospective career path is as interesting as you imagined. That is because it gives you a real insight into fields that you potentially want to work in, their workflows, tasks, workload and much more you might want to know before deciding for a job.
Several month of working as an intern will give you a different perspective on your student life, what you want to achieve, maybe even where you want to work and how your future could look like. You will also start valuing things you used to take for granted, such as the freedom to (more or less) divide your time independently.
Often, doing an internship means getting to know a different city or even another country. For all adventurers out there that is a perfect opportunity to combine work and traveling aspects.
During your internship you might also discover new passions, such as the interest in a certain topic that never used to attract you before or that you didn’t even know about.
No matter how good or bad your internship is, you will gain a lot from the time you have spent working in a new environment, in which you first needed to establish yourself. You gain new skills, new friends, new perspectives and ideas.