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Demystifying Internships

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As the clock ticks away and the semester almost comes to an end, many think of ways to spend their long holiday. A flurry of crazy thoughts crawls into our minds. Some think of the parties while others plan retreats and get-togethers. However, it is high time we also give some thought about internships. Internships are a key component of a promising career. Apart from getting you exposed to the work environment, they instill professionalism and open your mind on the many opportunities that could be exploited once you graduate. Apparently, many students don’t warm up to the idea of internships because of a lot of rumors have been spread on internships that leaves them discouraged. Here are some myths about internships:

1. You should know people         

There seems to be an overriding idea going rounds campus that you should be ‘well-connected’ to get an internship. You must know someone inside the company for you to get an opportunity to intern in that company. But this is fallacious. Who wants his company to be full of staff that is incompetent? In as much as you know so and so, most companies take interns on merit. In the current job market, meritocracy supersedes relations.

2. You should start from a Blue-chip company

Big companies come with everything that appeals to us, most notably prestige. However, these companies are scarce and they take few interns, if any. Secondly, there is the likelihood of not being fully exposed. This is because many interns are condemned to a corner with a computer with loads of paper work to enter. At the end of the day, you are just a data entry clerk. Those who instead go to smaller companies have the opportunity to monitor and partake in all activities of the company. As a result, they are more exposed.

3. Wait for the right time

Most students in their early years in campus hardly think of interning. They argue that they will look for internships when they are just about to graduate. This mentality is so wrong. They are missing out big-time. It is advisable that you start getting acclimatized in order to learn how to maneuver so that you have edge over the rest when looking for a job later.

4. Excellent papers pull a rabbit out of a hat

Those with super grades are accustomed to the notion ‘papers will speak for them’. They therefore do not learn how to write good cover letters and curriculum vitae. Instead, they just copy paste an already written CV and use it in every application they send. This is where most of us go wrong. You just not sit and wait for your papers to pull a rabbit out of a hat. We should learn and practice how to write appealing cover letters and CVs. We should customize each and every CV and resume according to the application being made. We should also perfect on our communication skills. It is very painful to miss out on a life-time opportunity simply because you couldn’t express yourself satisfactorily in an interview.

5. No money vs. experience

Many students are discouraged from internships because there is little or no pay. Instead, they prefer to work where they will be paid  even if the skills acquired are not related to their field of expertise. We know that work experience is imperative when applying for a job after graduating. You better sacrifice the money and acquire the skills that would play a part when looking for a job in the future. Besides, most companies give a token of appreciation to interns in form of ‘transport allowance’. This is enough to get you going throughout the internship period.

So let’s hit the ground running. Get up, get out and get in!

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