Readiness Skills

How Internships Provide Career Readiness Skills

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Career readiness describes a student’s preparedness for entering the working world after graduation. It requires a core set of skills and competencies, from soft skills like organisation and critical thinking to job-relevant skills like technical knowledge or scientific expertise. 

The best way to build career readiness skills in students is through real-world experience. And how can students obtain this experience without a job? Through internships, of course! 

Why experience matters 

Many employers call for experienced applications in their job advertisements—but many fresh graduates leaving university haven’t had the chance to dip their toes into the real world of work. These applicants often find themselves struggling to land a position after graduation.

However, when students undertake internships, they’ll have real-world experience under their belt before they graduate. Among other benefits, they’ll have a deeper understanding of work culture, stronger hard and soft skills, and connections to help them get a leg-up in their chosen industry.

Internship experience also benefits students personally. During placement, students will learn more about the internal workings of their chosen industry, which can help them decide if they want to continue along their current path or take a different road.

Internships are also a fantastic way to build self-confidence and motivation, which are essential for career progression and ongoing success. 

How internships build career readiness skills 

Internships provide students with on-the-job experience. Depending on the placement, the experience can be wholly hands-on, or more observational—but either way, students gain a deeper understanding of their chosen career.

During an internship, learners will develop career readiness skills such as:

  • Communication (effectively exchanging ideas, facts, and perspectives with bosses, fellow staff, and clients)
  • Critical thinking (using logic to understand and analyse situations)
  • Leadership (using team and personal strengths to meet set goals)
  • Professionalism (demonstrating effective work habits, respect, and acting in the interests of the broader organisation)
  • Teamwork (working well with others and maintaining positive workplace relationships)
  • Technical skills (understanding how to use and leverage essential technologies)
  • Interpersonal skills (connecting with other people and respecting diverse points of view)

For example, an event management student interning at a local company may work with experienced staff to plan an upcoming event. Through this experience, the student will develop job-applicable skills like organisation, communication, decision-making, and leadership. 

Internships in the remote workforce 

Over the last three years, many companies have moved towards fully remote or hybrid workforces. Internship opportunities have shifted in much the same way.

Virtual internships are now available, improving accessibility for students who live in remote areas or are otherwise unable to attend in-person placements. Students still enjoy many of the same benefits as traditional internships, such as building connections with industry leaders, building soft skills, and understanding work culture.

 The power of experience

Internships are one of the most powerful ways for students to gain firsthand experience and improve their chances of securing employment after graduation. If you’re looking to stand out among other applicants and build a competitive resume, we highly recommend enrolling in a placement or two during your studies.

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