2013-05-03

Internship journal: on-the-job training for professional careers

Corne van Niekerk

My name is Corne van Niekerk and I am the Communications / Public Relations Intern at Drake New Zealand. I am currently completing my Bachelor in Communication, majoring in Public Relations. My project over the next few weeks is to interview the interns at Drake New Zealand, on what they love most about interning at Drake and what they have learned. This internship journal will give you insight into the benefits of, for a student, partaking in an internship programme.


Internship benefits for a student


As part of most degree courses, students are required to partake in an internship programme, also known as an Industry Based Learning programme. The internship programme allows students to put the theory they have studied into practice in a work situation, while further developing their relevant industry skills, knowledge, confidence and self-discipline. Internship programmes benefit both the intern and the company; the intern gain hands on work experience and the company benefits by having an additional resource and fresh perspective onboard.


Participating in an internship programme will benefit students vastly as they are able to get hands-on ‘real world’ business experience and knowledge, which will assist them in clarifying their career interests. Interns are able to work on a wide range of tasks, in their specific field, which gives them an overview of what to expect when entering the workforce.

 

“I have worked on a range of different HR Admin and HR Solutions projects which has been a huge help in the transition from studying to working.” says Amy Walden, HR Solutions Intern. “The variety of tasks I have been able to work on has allowed me to get a broad understanding of the importance of the HR function in an organisation.” Amy adds.


Interns are able to develop skills they are often not able to develop whilst at University, such as organisational communication skills, motivation of others, marketing skills, and related business skills. University courses often focus too strongly on the theoretical perspectives of business operations, therefore, it is important for students to partake in an internship programme to get practical business experience.


Taking on an internship programme is beneficial for both the organisation as well as the intern. Organisations benefit as a greater amount of work will get done in a shorter timeframe, interns are able to contribute fresh perspectives and organisations are able to familiarise themselves with the next generation business leaders. Interns benefit greatly as they get hands-on ‘real world’ business experience and an opportunity to gain insight into business practices.

This is the second post in a series outlining the benefits of taking on an internship programme.

Please read the first post, 'Benefits of hiring an intern', to gain a better understanding as to how organisations benefit when taking on an internship programme.

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