Each phase of life brings something new with it, be it your school days, years spent at college, your first job, or even your internship experiences.
Apart from bringing in academic credits and expanding your qualifications, they bring along lessons that benefit you throughout life.
College internships don’t take years to complete and usually last for a tenure of 45 days. But these 45 days can give you some important life lessons for the upkeep.
In fact, if you absorb them early in life, settling within your career becomes much easier.
So, here’re the 8 life lessons that your internship experiences can teach you in 45 days:
- Skills dominate grades
During school and college years, we are always running after grades. To be on the top means getting that extra one point which bagged you the second position last time. But when you enter the professional scene as an intern, you realize all that racing had been wrongly-diverted.
When it comes to doing actual tasks, skills dominate grades. If you can do a given task properly, your employer won’t care if you got a ‘B’ instead of an ‘A+’.
You are learning to put the knowledge into practical work and that’s the real skill, not cramming all the theory without knowing when and where to use it.
- Networking is important
Students often go by the misinterpreted theory that once you complete your course, you apply for jobs, get one and life is settled. But that’s not it. You need to be active and use your communication skills to build an extended network.
The benefits of networking show up gradually. It helps you know people across the industry, bring in better future prospects, etc. If you are able to grasp this during your first internship and start working on it right away, it will help you immensely throughout your career.
- Time Management
Your college internships bring in your first work experience. And, this is during your internship only that you realize managing your time between classes and canteen was barely a task as compared to how you are supposed to manage your days once working full-time.
Reaching late for the first lecture because of a bus-strike doesn’t count as an excuse in your office. Pleading for extra time to finish up a project isn’t the way to do things.
All such crunch internship expereinces make you learn how to balance everything with efficient time-management.
- Life’s not about all praises
You might have been the centre of attraction for all your unique projects and assignments during your school and college years. But it is only during your internship that you realize it isn’t the way things always go.
No matter how good you do, your mistakes will be pointed out as now the work actually contributes to the industry, to the company you work for.
Now, there are two ways to go about this criticism. Either take it to your heart and feel bad about yourself or take it as constructive feedback to improve your capabilities at work. Of course, the latter one is the smarter thing to do.
- There’s no readymade solution to everything
Till now, there was almost nothing that you couldn’t find in one of the books in the library or on Google, isn’t it? Asking your teacher directly was one of the options too.
But your internships teach you for life that it isn’t going to work anymore once you are out of your college.
At work, there will be substantial and unanticipated industry-related problems for which there won’t be any discovered solution yet but you will need to find one, based on your knowledge, intelligence, and contemporary trends.
And it would be this problem-solving attitude that will help you step-up higher on the ladder of success.
Read more to know How to be a Problem Solver.
- Money isn’t everything
Your pay-scale is one of the important factors or in fact the only factor to be considered while accepting or rejecting any job. At least you believed so before you took up your first internship.
But after you have had several internship experiences, you realize that money isn’t everything.
The work environment of your workplace, the space to grow as an individual, the incentives that come along, etc. count as well.
If your employer is paying you a bit more than the other but the workspace is toxic with no respect for individuals, that’s not a bargain to go for!
- Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed
Your work might go un-noticed once or twice but the secret to success is consistency. If you are determined, your work will show it eventually.
It does take time to make a mark but it is equally true that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
If you think it is so, you haven’t tried hard enough. The first impression is important, as they all say, but in a work environment, it is your everyday performance that counts. Keep up the good work and see how your hard work earns you accolades.
- Every experience counts
Do you know why recruiters prefer candidates with work experience even if that’s only through internships? If you have already worked as an intern, you will know the answer to this question.
Even if you aren’t working as a full-time employee and may not get major projects/assignments to work on, at the end of the internship, you can judge how much you have learned.
So, the lesson is that it doesn’t always need to be a very high-profile internship or job to learn something. If you are willing to learn, every experience counts. This makes internship experiences highly important and useful.
Internship experiences are sought after to help us deck-up our job resumes. But in the process, we learn all these lessons, the importance of which we realize eventually.
So, next time you are working as an intern, don’t do it mechanically and don’t do it just for the sake of it. Look out for experiences that will help you throughout your life and career. For the earlier you learn, the easier it would get for your later in life.