The real world
You can probably get an idea about what an apple tastes like if someone explains it to you, but tasting it yourself is key to getting a full understanding. The same goes for education. Having a book or professor explaining theory doesn’t really provide you with the whole picture. You can read all the best books in the world on a specific subject, whether it’s history or marketing, but it can never compare with real life experience.
Mixing education with an internship gives you a really strong foundation to build a career on. Education alone will give you the theory about what kind of building material to use, but that has no practical value alone.
One step ahead of the pack
Would you hire a person with only theoretical knowledge, or would you choose the person with both theoretical knowledge and actual experience in their field? For each full-time position tailored for young people, there’s always going to be a huge number interested in grabbing it before everyone else.
An internship will give you an advantage, because you’re literally one step ahead of the people who don’t have real-world experience. It looks good on your CV and while no one is expecting you to “know it all”, they’ll recognize that you know much more than the guys that never looked up from their books.
Your internship can be the advantage you need to get that full-time job you really want!
For me, being given real responsibility has been an amazing experience. That’s one of the things that make you grow, both on a professional and personal level. Just make sure you end up in a company that sees you as an asset, not as a paper pusher.
It’s a huge challenge when the boss hands over the responsibility for a project to you for the first time, and most likely you will feel a lot of pressure. That being said, remember that you’re not in this position because of luck. You get these kind of opportunities because of who you are and what you can do. Your boss didn’t hire you by chance, and when they believe you’re ready for an important task, you probably are. No one claims that it will be easy, but you’ll definitely be able to see it through and come out stronger on the other side.
Whether home or abroad, an internship gives you the chance to learn about a new office culture. In Germany, things are often handled differently to what I’m used to in Finland. Not necessarily better or worse, just differently. This kind of experience really gives you a good understanding of how different companies conduct their business. Take the positive ones and put them to work for you!
Foot in the door
Never be “too good” for an internship. Believing that you should walk straight into a full-time position after school could be a real slap in the face. Most companies offer internships, and you're probably much more likely to get the full-time position if they know who you are and what you stand for, having already proven your value on the ground floor. And if they don’t offer internships, well… as already mentioned: it never hurts to be one step ahead of the pack.
Interested in an internship? Then check out Drop’pin@EURES to learn out more about the youth opportunities on offer and find your perfect internship match!
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- Publication date
- 5 October 2017
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Hints and tipsYouth
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