From ‘Campus to Career’: Why Internships Are Key to Your Success and How to Secure Them

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Team YUGMA, Published on Mar 3rd, 2023

From ‘Campus to Career’: Why Internships Are Key to Your Success and How to Secure Them

“An internship is not just a checkbox on your resume; It is the key to unlocking your success in ‘Campus to Career’ Journey. So, grab every opportunity and make it count!”

Internships are a crucial component of a successful transition in the ‘Campus to Career’ journey for students and recent graduates. They offer invaluable opportunities for students to gain practical experience, exposure to the real-world scenario in a field of their interest, make valuable professional connections, and develop important skills that will be essential for success in the workplace. All these acquisitions make immense contribution in their career launch and growth.

With employers increasingly seeking candidates with relevant work experience, internships have become essential for B-school students looking to differentiate themselves in a extremely competitive job market. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), over 90% of employers prefer to hire candidates with internship experience. This clearly marks the importance of internships for students looking to jumpstart their career.

Moreover, internships also allow students to gain insights into the inner workings of their chosen industry, understand industry practices and standards, assess the organizational culture and ethics. This hands-on experience bagged by working on the real-world projects largely contributes their portfolio and adds weightage to their profile during interviews. This experience is not only helpful in making students stand out to potential employers but also provides them with a better understanding of their career goals and aspirations. By adopting right approach and making certain preparations, students can secure valuable internships that can jumpstart their career and set them on the path to success.

Why are internships important?

Internships provide students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-world situations, giving them a chance to learn and develop new skills, understand industry practices and standards, and get hands-on experience working on real projects. By working in a professional environment, students also learn how to interact with colleagues, communicate effectively, manage their time, and solve problems.

Internships also provide an opportunity for students to network with professionals in their field. During their internships, students can make valuable connections with supervisors, mentors, and colleagues who can provide guidance, advice, and support as they navigate their career path.

Finally, internships offer a way for students to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive job market. Employers are more likely to hire candidates with relevant work experience, and internships offer a way for students to showcase their skills and demonstrate their commitment to their field of interest.

13 Tips for Securing Internships

Start Early. Begin your search for internships at least six months before you plan to start working. This will give you enough time to research and identify potential companies, apply to positions and go through the interview process.

Leverage Your Network. Reach out to alumni, professors, family and friends, even social media, to inquire and explore if they are aware about any internship opportunities. Networking is a powerful tool that can help you land your dream internship. 

Research Potential Employers. Look up for companies that interest you and check for open internships with them. You can check their websites and social media pages to get an idea of their company culture and values. This information will help you customize your application and stand out from the crowd of applications.

Attend Career Fairs. Career fairs and networking events are an excellent opportunity to meet with potential employers and professionals in your field. At such places, companies share about their future and also invite applications for internships. Prepare your resume and a list of questions to ask recruiters while attending such career fairs.

Use Online Job Boards. Online job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor can help you find internship opportunities. Keep your profile up-to-date, and don't forget to follow up with potential employers.

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter. Tailor your application materials to each internship you apply for, highlighting relevant skills and experience. This will help you stand out and demonstrate your interest in the position.

Prepare for Interviews. Research the company and position you are applying for to have a better understanding of their industry and culture. Knowing the company boosts your confidence during the interview. Practice answering common interview questions so that you can present yourself with confidence.  Dress professionally and arrive on time for a good first impression. Also, be prepared to ask questions about the internship and the company.

Follow Up. After your interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer expressing your interest in the position. This keeps your interview experience fresh in their mind and shows your networking skills. Follow up with the company to inquire about the status of your application.

Seek Support through Placement Prep Services. Many universities and institutes are offering Placement Prep and Career Guidance services that can help you with your job search, including resume reviews, mock interviews and job search strategies. Explore and utilize these resources to gain competitive advantage.

Customized Applications. Every organization is unique and their talent search criteria also can vary. Also you might have so many diverse skills but you can neither put all of them on your CV nor you can foresee what your potential employer is looking for. Hence, tailor-made resume and cover letter for each internship you apply to is a great way to highlighting relevant skills and experience. Ensure that you follow the application instructions carefully and are authentic.

Be Professional. Maintain a professional demeanour throughout the application process. Respond to emails and phone calls promptly, and be courteous to everyone you meet.

Be Flexible. Be willing to work in different locations or industries to gain valuable experience. Being open-minded can lead to unexpected opportunities.

Be Persistent. Don't give up if you don't secure an internship on the first try. Keep searching and applying until you find the right opportunity.

A Concluding Note

Internships are an integral part of your ‘Campus to Career’ journey. These internships provide an opportunity for students for their holistic development with respect to experience, exposure, skill development, professional networking etc. This helps them in differentiating themselves in a competitive job market. The outlined tips can help increase your chances of securing a valuable internship and jumpstarting the career.

Securing an internship can be challenging, but it is critical to approach the process with a strategic mindset. Proactive effort in networking, researching companies, and preparing a strong resume and cover letter are crucial steps to securing an internship. Additionally, taking advantage of campus career resources and attending career fairs can be valuable in connecting with potential employers. Remember, an internship is not just a stepping stone to your dream career, it's a chance to shine and show the world what you're made of!

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