Shane and Shelavinia are both final year Curtin students who are completing internships this semester. Here’s what they’ve learnt so far…
Think of an internship as an opportunity to briefly step into the world of your future career, working as a professional before you legitimately become one. It’s both nerve-racking and exciting to discover how you’ll perform in the real world after graduating!
Undertaking an internship is a priceless experience, putting the skills and knowledge you have accumulated during your degree to the ultimate test – to make diamonds under pressure.
An internship is the perfect opportunity to develop your soft skills, audit your technical knowledge and expand your network to ensure you enter the workforce as a triple threat.
Master your communication skills
Throughout your internship you’ll need to call on the social skills you’ve developed throughout high school, university and casual work opportunities, and modify them to suit the professional workplace.
As you spend more time in an organisation, you may notice how your colleagues communicate and interact with one another – some may be leaders, conflict mediators or prefer to simply go with the flow… There is something to learn from each of them!
We have seen that the more you engage with your internship supervisors and colleagues, the more comfortable you’ll feel giving suggestions or asking questions and the more knowledge you will receive in return!
Put theory into practise
An internship provides you with the opportunity to evaluate what you’ve learnt throughout your degree and put it into real world practise. Understanding the context of both your organisation and target audience will help you select the right tools for the job. If there’s something you’re particularly good at, stick to your strengths and put it on show!
An internship will also give you a chance to revisit some skills you may have forgotten through the years, and gain insight into different technologies, methods and knowledge which you normally would have to search for yourself. Don’t feel overwhelmed though – there is a plethora of resources at your disposal. Supervisors, colleagues and materials used throughout your degree can be used to tackle even the most difficult of tasks, it’s up to you to access them!
Build your network
It is important to connect with your colleagues – and we’re not just talking about on LinkedIn. The amount of effort you commit and bring with you to your internship will be noticed by those you’re working with – recommendations, references and even a job might be offered to you! The connections made throughout your journey will prove helpful when job searching after graduation.
Finding an internship aligned to your interests and values
Searching for an internship can be overwhelming, and at times frustrating!
Luckily, we both found internships through Studium, a platform which connects candidates to employers in a more meaningful way. In Studium you create a profile where you can decide how to highlight your interests, values, and academic achievements. Employers can search for candidates and connect with you.
You can sign up to Studium through OASIS.