What is an Internship?

“Internship” may be a relatively new word for middle aged parents but for their student children it has been part of their vocabulary for a while now.

An internship is work experience for a student at either under-graduate or post-graduate level.  The idea is that it allows students the opportunity to gain experience in a working environment, sometimes whilst studying alonside of their degree or sometimes after they have graduated.  Employers may offer internships which last just for a week or two, or for one day a week over a short period of time or they could last as long as six months or a year.  Sometimes a student may be paid while working on an internship, though quite often internships are unpaid, though some employers may give reasonable travel and other work related expenses.

Internships are often available in advertising, sales, marketing, human resources, creative design, management and engineering. Working on an internship should enable a student to develop a number of soft skills which will be applicable to any job, including good communication and presentaion skills and effective problem solving.  An internship gives students a taster of the world of work and gives insight into what a particular job may involve.

Before starting an internship, it is important that a student establishes terms and conditions, especially whether the post is paid or unpaid.