Internships are great opportunities to experience the workplace and learn from professionals. However, some students, in a bid to get an internship placement, fail to consider some important factors. Just before you accept the offer, consider the following:
- Do I get paid?
Having a paid internship as a student increases your saving capabilities and helps you gain financial freedom earlier. However, if you already have financial freedom and are more focused on gaining experience, whether or not you get paid may not be of much relevance.
- How many of the current staff started off as interns?
This helps you know what value the organization places interns. Some organizations prefer to keep student interns in a “temporary” category and if you envision yourself working there after school, you may need to adjust that dream to match reality.
- What does my position entail?
Knowing your job description is very essential before accepting any job offer. Student internship positions might appear quite vague, but you can seek clarification to help you better put things in perspective.
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- Do I get a supervisor?
Having a supervisor is very important if you want to learn the ropes quickly. You should be introduced to someone who will oversee your performance, guide and train you on meeting deliverables accordingly. Your time there will definitely be maximized if you have a specific supervisor.
- Are there any benefits/incentives for student interns?
Ask if student interns have access to benefits like healthcare/gym privileges, or if you would be invited to progress meetings, conferences, etc.
Unpaid internships can add as much value as paid ones. Wherever you find yourself, make the most of your time, soak up all the knowledge you can and build healthy relationships for the future.