Schools, students, and employers see the benefits of internships.
Interns can gain exposure while identifying potential career options in the industry of their choice.
On the other hand, employers can get additional help for projects and tap into new ideas and innovations. Companies can also consider offering them full-time positions when these interns excel, knowing these new employees can do the job well.
More local institutes of higher learning, such as ITEs, polytechnics, and some universities, have also made it compulsory for students to partake in internships before graduation.
Furthermore, ITEs and polytechnics also have enhanced internships to improve the learning experience. Some of the enhancements include clear learning outcomes and better mentorship.
Despite the efforts to prepare students for the workforce, more students are also getting stressed, thinking of job prospects.
According to a recent survey by the Inter-University Network, almost 90 per cent of undergraduates in Singapore said that work and study commitments were their most significant source of stress. Meanwhile, more than 60 per cent attributed the stress to career prospects after university.
While enhanced internships are a good start, there are other ways employers can provide quality internships for students and fresh graduates.
- Communicate Goals and Expectations
Identify specific goals and objectives for the intern to accomplish by the end of the internship. Besides outlining clear learning outcomes, employers could also provide structure for an intern with a balance between big projects and daily tasks.
- Provide Interns with Real Work Assignments
Providing interns with real work is one of the best ways to ensure that the intern and employer get the most out of the internship. Interns should be doing work related to their course of study and skillset. The work should also be challenging for the intern but also recognised by the organisation as valuable.
- Provide Access for Interns to Interact with Company’s Executives
One of the most significant advantages for students or fresh graduates in having internships is their access to accomplished professionals in their field. Having a company’s executives interact or speak with interns can provide interns with good career development and role-modelling experience.
- Showcase Interns’ Work
Interns work very hard at completing their work and are also generally proud of their accomplishments during the internship. Setting up an avenue for them to present their work allows them to demonstrate their achievements. It also showcases the internship programme to all employees. Just look at what our former intern thought about internships.
- Provide Mentorships
As an internship is defined as a learning experience, providing proper supervision of the intern is essential, especially if the intern has limited work experience. The supervisor serves as a teacher, mentor, critic, and boss. Acknowledging and identifying the different workplace expectations and school expectations can help interns successfully transition into the working world.