Internships – why bother?
Competition in the job market is fierce and it may now be increasingly difficult for new graduates to gain a foothold in the industry. As a result, internships and placements are becoming widely recognised as an alternative route into the sports sector, supplying candidates with the invaluable skills and experience needed to kick-start their career. We outline some reasons below as to why an internship may be the best choice in your career…
Develop your experience
You’re not likely to just be making the tea and coffee – employers will want to use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout your university course. Internships are a great opportunity to develop your skills in a particular sector and/or job role. Although often unpaid, the experience gained will be much more valuable than what you would learn in a minimum wage job.
Increase your employability
Employers are no longer just looking for a degree but the additional experience that sets you apart from other candidates. As well as the skills learnt from the placement, having an internship on your CV shows initiative, enthusiasm and good time management – all the core personal traits employers are looking for in an employee.
Remember – it’s never too early to start. Candidates should consider their employability long before graduating and university breaks may be the perfect time to pursue an internship or work experience placement.
Consider a particular career path
Unsure of the exact career path you want to take after university? Internships offer you a great insight into what it might be like to work in a particular job role or sector of the industry. You may uncover aspects of a job you particularly dislike or it may open doors to a career you’ve never considered before. If you complete a placement and decide it’s not the direction you wish to take, you’ve still gained experience to put on your CV and saved yourself the mistake of pursuing a full-time permanent position in that area later on.
Internships and work experience placements should be treated with the same professionalism as any permanent role. Make a good impression within the company and there may be a permanent position for you at the end of it. But regardless of whether they’re able to hire you afterwards, you’re still building a network of contacts who may be able to help out in your career later on. And you never know when an opportunity at the organisation may come up in the future.
Internships require dedication and commitment and therefore should be approached in the same way as any permanent position. Also take into account the key considerations – How long is the placement? Is it paid? If not, how are you going to support yourself over the period?
You’ll be investing a lot of your time in this opportunity and as many are unpaid or a low salary, you need to be confident that the internship you’re pursuing is relevant to your future ambitions and will help progress your career. Although, internships are widely regarded as a great way into the industry, you still need to be wise in your choices and determine whether it’s the right path for you.