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Internships Offer Two-Way Benefits

Each year more than 6,000 new students enter the job market. A slow-moving economy is usually unable to absorb this volume of labour injection. Economists point to any number of strategic interventions that assist in the smooth transition from school and college to work, with one being an internship programme.

Internships are programmes offered by employers to potential hires or student apprentices so they can learn a craft or skill. Some internships involve part-time or full-time engagement, where a novice is hired for a specific period of time. Sometimes interns are paid, but quite often they are not.

Today, we explore the benefits of internship for both the intern and the company.

For the intern…

  1. Internship affords them valuable work experience. The hands-on work experience gained on the job is invaluable, and cannot be obtained in the classroom.

  2. Internships allow persons to explore a specific career path. Many students leave high school, and sometimes college, clueless. Internships assist in helping them determine the direction their careers should take.

  3. Internships give the student an edge in the job market. The few months of working as an apprentice not only look good on a resume, but also provide tangible skills that will give the student a corporate lift.

  4. Internships helps students develop and refine skills. Some of the interpersonal, communication and problem solving skills learnt on the job are powerfully delivered to interns during their brief moments in the workplace.

  5. Internships provide a beautiful platform for networking. Interns get the opportunity to meet professionals and leaders in industry. Some of these contacts help them throughout their careers and become mentors in their lives.

  6. Internships help to build corporate confidence and leadership in young interns. As interns take the opportunity to test drive the concepts they learned in college, it builds their competency.

  7. Sometimes internships reap financial rewards, with interns paid for their time with the company. The extra funds for the young professional sometimes go a long way in their learning how to become financially responsible.

For the Company…

The three core benefits of internship for a company are:

  1. They infuse an enthusiasm and fresh perspective into the workplace

  2. It opens a channel for strategic and sensible recruitment

  3. Provides a cost-effective strategy for executing projects and work assignments that can range from highly technical to menial and laborious.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at iferguson@bahamas.com.

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