Internship placements can offer a win-win situation for both employers and individuals. The availability of opportunities within the Profit and Non-Profit sectors offers students, displaced workers, career changers or those who have been out of the work force for an extended period of time, an opportunity through internship jobs, to gain work experience, try a new position, or ease back into the work force gradually.
Internship opportunities are available within many sectors including the music industry, journalism, medical, agricultural, legal, hi-tech, as well as within educational, not-for-profit, governmental and small business areas. While a number of intern placements are offered as unpaid or volunteer positions ranging in duration from a few weeks to a few months, still others provide the opportunity to gain real world experience while receiving a small salary. Some internships offer the opportunity to travel or live in another country for several months to a year.
Internships are available year round in many sectors with many opportunities accepting applications on an ongoing basis. Educational requirements can range from high school through to Post-graduate, while some volunteer opportunities are even available for students between the age of fourteen and sixteen years.
The internship application process can be very competitive in nature, particularly for those positions considered “in demand” or where paid opportunities exist within sought after, high profile organizations. The application process, particularly in the case of more competitive positions, can often be less daunting when assistance from Student Services, Guidance offices or through staff directly involved in the process through a business offering the internship, are used. Depending upon the internship, the application process can range from informal to complex but almost all applications require a current Resume with personal references and a minimum of one face to face interview.
Mundane and unfulfilling internship jobs do exist but to a larger degree, many internships result in the accumulation of a greater range of skills and a positive and valuable experience obtained by both intern and employer.
Internships offer employers an economical way to extend the interview process for qualified candidates. Individuals who have experienced successful internships can gain valuable skills and experience that will serve them well in future career, educational and self-employment pursuits. The key to successful internships continues to lie in recognizing opportunities, pursuing them with a clear realistic goal toward future directions and making the most of the internship process.