An internship is a perfect bridge between studying and the world of work which can relate to your career goals. The experience helps to enhance your personal development and career prospects, giving you the opportunity to learn on the job and see whether the career in question is right for you.
Jake Cohen, our former Service Design Graduate Intern, reflects on his time working with the Centre for Work-based Learning and gives five ways his internship has prepared him for the working world:
Work-based learning allows you to develop, refine and build on your skillset
Taking on an internship allows you to learn a lot about yourself, such as your strengths and weaknesses. Being a work-based learner means that you have countless opportunities to build on areas you’d like to develop, and by working in an environment surrounded with professionals, each day provides the opportunity to learn from those who have more experience than yourself.
Work-based learning helps you build confidence in the workplace
For those unfamiliar with the dynamics of the working world, an internship offers the opportunity to transition and adapt to the workplace. It also allows you to put your hard-learned skills to the test and to demonstrate how your talent can help the business thrive.
Work-based learning helps align theoretical knowledge with practical experience
Whilst university is great at instilling a depth of knowledge and skills, it’s important to see how these fit into the workplace, and an internship provides the opportunity to bridge that gap. Not only is being able to apply what you’ve learnt from all that time in those lecture halls rewarding, but the hands-on experience it provides is invaluable for your career progression.
Work-based learning gives you a network of professional contacts
One of the key benefits of being a work-based learner is that you’re working amongst many professionals in the industry who will likely become part of your lifelong network of contacts. Not only can you learn from professionals in the industry, but you can build a name and a positive reputation for yourself. If you’re looking for the next career step, your colleagues will most likely be able to support you.
Work-based learning helps you continue your professional development
Being a work-based learner means you have ample opportunities to continuously learn and develop your skills through methods such as on-the-job training, skills sharing and shadowing colleagues. In addition, an internship sets you up with the mindset for continuous development throughout your working life, preparing you for a future of lifelong learning.