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Internships: A student’s perspective

Why it’s good for us and why it’s good for you

Like most students who aren’t in a vocational degree, I’m constantly thinking about my career and what direction it will take. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the employment model ‘good grades = good job’ isn’t as stable as it perhaps once was, and internships are a crucial way for all students to make the most of their time at university. Not only do internships act as an intermediate between the skills acquired as part of your degree and the skills you’ll need for the job, they give you an opportunity to get a feel for the kind of company you’d like to work for when you graduate, without the commitment of starting a career.
That said, an internship is beneficial to both intern and employer. By hiring an intern you’re taking an initiative step towards acquiring the next generation of employees, which, after all, the future of any business depends on. Not only that but it’s a great way to increase productivity by delegating a range of tasks, from compiling data to social media strategy, at a price lower taking on a new employee. This works great for us too, because it allows us to gain a more holistic view of the entire company, and work out which areas are of greater interest to us. Below I’ve detailed some other reasons why you should be hiring an intern in 2017:

A Fresh Perspective

Often, if a particular business strategy has been working successfully for some time then people are reluctant to try an alternative. However, if the mantra ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ were to be taken literally, then all innovation would stop overnight. Give your intern some creative license and encourage them to suggest ideas, it may help to try a different approach. Whilst this could be an argument for taking on new employees generally, by offering the role to an intern you’re taking on-board someone who isn’t necessarily immersed in the same world of corporate jargon. As much as you have to teach them, there is always something to be gained from a different perspective – it can even help to revisit why things are done the way they are in the first place.

Insider Information

This isn’t as conspiratorial as it sounds. Students are a hugely diverse group of people, so much so that terms like “the student market” can often sound absurd. Nevertheless, university does present us with the same kind of challenges, and many of us have grown up familiar with the technology and social media that have changed the corporate landscape so dramatically. There are definitely ways companies can respond to this, and having a student intern is the best way to work out what kinds of things interest us without being condescending and treating all students as a single brand.

Long Term Benefits

Anyone who has the foresight to apply for an internship with your company is clearly someone who takes the initiative and makes long term plans. Whilst it is possible to wander into a job after graduating, the student who applies for an internship is one step ahead and even more likely to make a committed, fulltime employee. Also, if your company has a lot to offer interns, word will spread like gossip around campus, as will your reputation. By hiring an intern, you’re saving money in the short term and still making an investment.

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