Ever considered getting a work experience placement or internship, but never actually committed to the decision? Are you unsure what you want to do for a career and would like some hands-on insight? Unsure of whether you want to put all that hard work in and not be paid for it?
Having just completed my third of four weeks interning for a local business, I am writing this post to encourage you to do the same. Although I was initially unsure about what I’d be given to work on and what would be expected of me, I have really grown in my experience and had such a great time. I will talk a bit more about my experience later, but first here’s just a few reasons that finding an internship may be a great idea for you…
Give your CV a boost
This is perhaps the most obvious reason, although is by no means the most important.
I’m sure we all have heard on the news, the radio, or people we know, that the number of people going to uni, earning degrees and other such qualifications has been increasing in recent years. You will consequently have heard that competition for getting a job upon graduating is becoming increasingly difficult. Because more people are qualified to the same level, businesses and employers are now looking for things which set people apart: experience being one of these key things.
Finding a work experience placement (as well as boasting about classic extra-curricular activities) can therefore be a great way of setting yourself apart from other candidates and showing that you have initiative and are committed to working hard. And if your experience happens to be in the same industry as the job, that’s an added bonus. If you’ve impressed your temporary boss, this may even be a way of gaining an additional reference too.
Gain insight into an industry, and a possible career path
You’re very lucky if you’re someone who knows what they want to do “in the future”. I say “in the future” because, at a year away from graduation, I feel like that big unknown is really charging towards me.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my post-uni life a couple of months ago. But I had an inkling, and being able to get an internship in the area I thought would be for me has really helped to solidify in my mind that this is, in fact, the industry for me.
Besides, what have you got to lose – even if where you go turns out not to be the one for you, the experience itself will have helped you realise what you definitely don’t want to be doing!
Make the most of your current position
For me this was the most logical time to get a placement. Let’s be honest here; when you graduate and are swept into a world of paying for rent, bills, food etc without the help of student finance, you are probably not going to be willing to work anywhere for free. So make the most of that loan and get a couple of weeks of experience before the worry of not being paid becomes far too stressful to even consider!
This is a big one for me. I’ve found that going into a completely new place with all new people, working on lots of different things, some of which I hadn’t loads of experience in, has really tested my confidence both in myself and the work I produce. Receiving such positive feedback (and feeling like I’ve impressed the people I’m working alongside) has made the experience even more enjoyable than it already was and has made it really rewarding.
Unlock opportunities for yourself
Working in new areas and on new projects whilst developing new skills at the same time are experiences which will always be invaluable. Learning on any level will always open doors either directly or further down the line, in the years to come. Who knows what they may lead to?
I would greatly encourage anybody to find an internship, even if it’s just for a week. I hope if you do, that you have as eye-opening and wonderful experience as I have. To find out more about what I’ve been doing, read on…
I have been working with TJ INK, a publishing business based in Padstow, who provide advice and services to authors who are looking to self-publish their work. TJ INK is a sister-company to TJ International, a book Manufacturers. I have been able to work on a number of projects, alongside the team, all of which I have really enjoyed.
I have largely been working on an online advertising campaign for an upcoming series of events. This in particular has allowed me to develop both research skills and graphic design(!!!) skills and has enabled me to get some of my written work published across a number of online mediums (I still find this very exciting!). I have also worked hard copy-editing, proof-reading and completing text alterations for authors. Not only this, but I was able to meet a local author to discuss their next project, as well as chat about their previous publications and career as an author (that was really cool!).
I have learnt a lot about just how many detailed decisions go into the process of publishing a book and my interest in this massive, complicated process was further intensified by been given a tour around the factory floor and seeing hundreds (probably thousands) of books being created at various stages in the production process.
This has been such an amazing experience, and it’s really made it clear for me that this is the industry and area that I want to go into once I graduate next year. I am so thankful to the TJ INK team for making this experience so brilliant for me, I know I will really miss it!