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Feature: The Importance of Internships

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Feature: The Importance of Internships

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Today’s professional job market is a highly competitive place and with more applications per position than ever before, it’s important to stand out. The Careers Service at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham explains the relevance of internships in the current climate and the benefits they can offer in terms of career development. Internships are an excellent learning experience. They are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections. You will have the opportunity to find out if working in an organisation is something you could see yourself doing as a full-time job. Ensure you‘re learning about the job sector, always take advantage of this opportunity. Asking questions is the key to learning in an internship and keeping yourself flexible throughout the internship can open many doors. Internships increase the chances of securing a job. They will certainly help make valuable networking connections that could prove useful when looking for a job. Remember to always make the most of your time in an internship placement. Companies recruit people who do the job well and who are pleasant to be around. Internships boost CVs. An internship will increase the credibility of a CV, identify key skills that you acquired during the internship, so always remember to add these to your CV. By doing a great job and accomplishing more than what is required in an internship, you can create a great impression that could at least provide a reference letter and may even potentially lead to a job offer. When you leave the organization at the end of the internship, ask if you can use their contact details as a reference on your CV. Research and prepare for an internship. Before accepting a placement, always make sure you understand the hours involved and get a feel for the work you will be asked to do. Search online for reviews by previous interns to learn how the company manages placements. Research the organisation carefully. What sort of reputation does it have among staff and customers or service-users? Look at the company website and annual report and search for news about its directors. If you know who you will be working with, look at their social footprint, particularly their LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, find out what groups they belong to and where have they worked in the past. Remember. Internships can guide you towards the stepping stones essential for building a fulfilling career path. For further advice and guidance regarding internship opportunities visit the Careers Service section of the website or contact careers@stmarys.ac.uk.
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