Internships: The benefits of practical experience

The Importance of Internships: 7 Key Benefits

For students looking to commence their studies, choosing a course that offers an internship is vital to their future endeavours. 

Internships bridge the gap between theory and practice, offering students invaluable opportunities for growth and preparation for the professional world. 

What are internships?

Internships are a valuable opportunity for students to gain work experience whilst still completing their courses. Typically organised by their educational provider. Internships allow a student to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to the workplace with the guidance and supervision of a mentor. 

This exposure offers a glimpse into the professional world they are about to enter post-graduation. 

Beyond their educational benefits, internships are also especially valuable for graduates entering the job market. 

Especially with today’s competitive job market, companies often prioritise candidates based on their level of industry experience. Making having completed an internship a crucial factor in an applicant’s resume. Therefore, when deciding which course to study, selecting a course that offers an internship is strategic, providing students with a competitive edge in the job market and a solid foundation for their future careers. 

The 7 key benefits of Internships with course/industry examples:

1. Practical Application of Knowledge

Internships serve as a test run where you can apply the knowledge you learned in the classroom to the workplace. They provide a bridge between classroom learning and real-world scenarios. For instance, in programs like Commercial Cookery and Patisserie, students gain hands-on experience applying culinary techniques learned in the classroom to actual kitchen environments.

2. Skill Development and Enhancement

Internships play a pivotal role in skill development. In fields like Childcare and Aged Care, students can enhance their technical skills as well as crucial soft skills such as communication and empathy. These skills are vital in providing quality care and building meaningful relationships in these sectors.

3. Industry Exposure and Networking

Internships offer unparalleled industry exposure and networking opportunities. No matter the industry, interns get a firsthand look at the intricacies of their chosen field. The connections made during internships can open doors to mentorship, and future job opportunities, and they offer a deeper understanding of industry dynamics.

4. Resume Building and Career Advancement

Internships are influential additions to any resume. No matter the industry, an applicant with experience is highly preferred over one without. Furthermore, In programs such as Commercial Cookery and Patisserie, having internship experience demonstrates to potential employers that the applicant is aware of the complexities of working in a professional kitchen. Employers are more likely to hire a graduate with experience rather than one without.

5. Confidence Boost and Self-Discovery

Internships contribute significantly to personal growth. Engaging in real-world challenges builds interns’ confidence in their abilities. The opportunity to experience a workplace from the position of an intern presents a whole new perspective to the student. It allows them to test their skills with guidance from a mentor. With this exposure, Interns can discover their strengths and gain insights into how to apply themselves in the future.

 6. Transition from Student to Professional

Internships help students transition from the classroom to working in their specific industry. Using Aged Care as an example, interns experience the day-to-day responsibilities of caregiving, preparing them for the demands of their future professions.

 7. Exploration of Career Paths

Internships provide a unique opportunity for students to explore various career paths within their chosen fields. Especially if they are unsure of the particular type of job they want to have. 

Some courses allow students to gain experience in different roles in the same industry. For example, at Academia, the Hospitality Management program offers an internship that gives interns the opportunity to rotate through different departments, gaining insights into diverse roles and helping them make informed decisions about their future careers.

In conclusion, internships are not just an optional addition to the educational journey; they are transformative experiences that prepare students for the complexities of the professional world. By combining practical application, skill development, and industry exposure, internships become a crucial component in education, shaping students into well-rounded, confident professionals ready to make meaningful contributions in their chosen fields.