Internship journal: the benefits of an internship
This article was written by Ben Gottlieb. Ben is studying Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, and has been pre-accepted to the Richard Ivey School of Business for the 2012 academic year. This summer, Ben is an intern in the marketing department at Drake International.
Reflecting on my first two weeks interning in the marketing department at Drake International, the benefits of doing an internship are abundantly clear. For a student looking to gain real, valuable work experience and knowledge, I don’t think anything can rival my experience thus far. By working underneath experienced professionals and contributing towards the organization, I have seen huge personal benefits.
Gaining a sense of professionalism
A large benefit of having the opportunity to complete an internship is picking up habits of organization and professionalism. Basic things like email etiquette may seem obvious to many people, but small mistakes can become all too apparent if you don’t correct them early. Having the chance to develop professional conventions and make mistakes when you are still young and inexperienced is a huge value towards providing even better work to future employers and an advantage over other young workers that will not be overlooked. Even further, establishing strong habits of organization and diligence in completing tasks will always be important, regardless of what position you may hold.
Part of the value of an internship is the ability to work and learn amid content that is directly applicable to a future job. As opposed to taking a course in university where the conceptual aspects of a topic are taught, an internship allows one to supplement this knowledge with its real world application. Internships provide the opportunity to see how an organization operates and how to contribute to its success. An experience such as this simply cannot be matched in the classroom; the resources and the direct attention required is something unique to an internship. By developing marketable skills and being able to set and achieve legitimate goals, students can see significant advantages. Students and recent graduates may find themselves frustrated with the limitations of their education in the employment market and in the workplace. Why not explore an internship? One can have a great learning opportunity, gain valuable skill development, and enjoy a work experience that is distinguishable from your average summer job.