Throughout my college life, I have had so many experiences that have helped me grow and become the person I am today. Nor just in classrooms, or my text-books, these experiences became a part of my life from the time I spent outside of the college campus as well. One such experience has been that of interning, which in a way has initiated me into the work-culture that awaits me, once I finish my studies.
An internship is an integral part of learning, which goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. It teaches you to deal with real-life situations. Having done several internships with various organisations, I have not only gained experience, but I have been exposed to a myriad of possibilities and situations that I may encounter later in my life and I feel ready now, to take them head-on.
It is not necessary that a student who is good with memorising concepts and the theoretical aspect of the curriculum will be good at applying it in real life. That comes with experience.
As a college student, it is essential to keep your grades up as it would help to get placements later and to apply for masters. However, getting work experience during your college years puts you at an advantage. This not only changes your outlook towards life but allows you to work with professionals in the industry.
I have always tried to maintain a balance between the two. First, by engaging in various internships and second by studying to keep my grades high. It is something to strive for during college. The bonus is that it will reflect in your resume and count as work experience even though you may be a fresher right out of college. Plus the ability to multi-task and handle multiple jobs at one point always gives a good impression.
Theory versus Praxis
It is not necessary that a student who is good with memorising concepts and the theoretical aspect of the curriculum will be good at applying it in real life. As a media student, I have realised knowing your theory will make you a good student, but unless and until you cannot practice it, it is of no use as a skill to you.
Many students forget that and concentrate only on rote learning, studying day in and day out, without gaining first-hand experience. Also, the practical application also helps you grasp the concepts that you have learned theoretically better.
Exposure and experience
During your internship, you will not only learn about the workings of an organisation and how to grow in a particular field but also meet new people. Learning from them, you can excel in your given field and get motivated by their personal stories.
You might also get to interact with other students like you who are in college. And will get accustomed to working as a part of a team. No organisation exists because of an individual. In college, we are given a choice to form our groups for projects and we usually choose to work with friends or people that we get along with well. But in an internship, you do not get to choose the people you want to work with, as a result of which you get an experience of dealing with people with contrasting personalities.
You can also earn a little extra pocket money to sustain your college expenses and it can help you feel independent and manage your monthly expenses without having to take monetary help from your parents.
Internships through college
Students usually use the time during holidays to either volunteer or intern. But what matters more is when you intern while you're in college and have classes and studies to deal with as well. Utilising the free time you get by doing work-from-home internships is fruitful.
During your internship, you will not only learn about the workings of an organisation and how to grow in a particular field but also meet new people.
It keeps you occupied, and your brain juices flowing. At the same time, it gives you an edge over those people who are only studying. However, one should not burn out themselves and learn how to maintain a healthy balance between work, studies and recreation.
How to find the right internship?
It is often tough to know if an internship is right for you and whether it will help you at all. As someone who has had a bad experience, where the organisation was disorganised, laid back and treated interns poorly, demanding that they work at 10 in the night, I can tell you that you may not find an internship that suits you in the first go.
However, if you keep a few pointers in mind like looking for recommendations, actively seeking internships at reputable organisations and updating your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis, you can easily find an opportunity which will not only help you hone your skills but also make you a confident and experienced person.
Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author's own.