Choosing Your Career Path
You are a student and do not yet know which profession to choose after graduation? You are a student and want to put your knowledge into practice? You are in a phase of professional reorientation or temporarily unemployed? To find out which job and which company suits you best, why not apply for an internship? Not only will you try out your dream job and gain valuable insights into your dream company, but you will also learn a lot about your own strengths and abilities.
Get to know the dream job very practically
An internship can be used for professional orientation as well as to get to know the dream job in a practical way. If you are not quite sure which career path you would like to take, you can get to know possible professions through an internship and find out what you are good at and what you enjoy. If you already know what your dream job is, you can try out an internship to see if it really suits you. You will work in the desired profession and get to know the job in everyday working life. This is the best way to find out whether your everyday job life is what you want it to be and whether it really is the right thing for you. Even if you end up convinced that the job does not suit you, the internship can be a helpful orientation for you. You will then have the opportunity to reorient yourself in good time before you have worked too long towards the supposed dream job. Draw a conclusion from your time at the company and think about what you liked or didn’t like about your job, where your strengths and weaknesses lay and in which profession you can better contribute your skills.
Diverse insights and own projects
Depending on the purpose of your application for an internship, your time in the company can vary. On the one hand, as an intern, you have the opportunity to get to know different departments and activities and to get an overview of the work areas in the company. Particularly during longer internships, you will also have the opportunity to get a deeper insight into a specific area. In this case, you will be very close to the concrete field of work and will very often be offered the opportunity to work on tasks independently or to take on your own projects.
Working in the company of your choice
Through an internship, you will not only get to know your dream job but also your dream company first hand. Pay attention to how your superiors and employees, colleagues and customers deal with each other and whether they feel comfortable with it. Even if the job exactly meets your expectations, at the end of the day it may be the working atmosphere that determines whether you choose a company or not. If you get to know your desired employer in advance through an internship, you can be sure that the corporate culture also meets your expectations.
Show what you can do
After you have learned a lot of theoretical material during your studies, for example, you can show during your internship that you have a practical command of your field. You will now apply your knowledge in practice and prove your skills. You build on your strengths and find out where you might still have some catching up to do. Use the feedback from your supervisor and colleagues to continuously improve yourself. Do you perhaps lack important IT or language skills? No problem, with this knowledge you can quickly fill such a gap.
Mistakes are allowed
As an intern, you should learn something and try yourself out. This also means that mistakes are allowed. In contrast to a later employment relationship, you will be forgiven for minor mishaps and given help with your daily tasks. In this way, you benefit from the many years of experience of the employees in the company. With these tools, you will be able to get off to a good start on the job later without any problems, because you already know exactly what to expect.
Advantages for your application
During your internship, you will gain your first professional experience, which can serve as a springboard for your entry into the dream job. If you already have experience in the desired field, you will have a decisive advantage over your competitors in the application process. As a rule, the company will issue you with an internship confirmation, which you can enclose with your application documents. For longer and more demanding internships, you should ask for a qualified certificate, which contains not only the basic data but also your exact activities and an assessment. This is recommended, for example, for student internships and a real plus point for the application phase. Many bosses and personnel managers like to rely on evaluations from other employers when selecting employees. This way they can be sure that you have already done a good job, know what to expect and whether you really want to work in this job.
Fill gaps in curriculum vitae
An internship also makes a good resume. Especially if you are still at the beginning of your professional career and don’t have much experience, an internship certificate is a welcome extra in your application documents. You can also use an internship to fill gaps in your CV, for example after completing your studies. In this way, you can show that you are taking the initiative and are actively involved in your career advancement. Those who complete such a transition phase with a suitable internship benefit twice during the application phase – through the experience gained and a complete curriculum vitae.
Make valuable contacts
In addition to getting to know your dream job first hand, the contacts that result from your work in the company are one of the most important advantages, which is why you should decide on an internship. During your time in the company, you will not only get to know your boss and colleagues but perhaps also your customers. Use your internship to make as many contacts as possible. Since many vacancies are not advertised but are offered on the hidden job market “under the hand” through personal contacts, a good professional network is enormously important today. Perhaps one of your colleagues will later have the decisive tip about an open position for you. Or the boss will recommend you to other potential employers in an interview. If you cultivate your contacts beyond the internship, you can still be useful much later in your professional life.
The way to permanent employment
It is not unusual for an internship to result in a permanent position in your company. This has the advantage that you are already known. You know the company and the concrete activity so that you already know exactly that everything fits. And the company knows you and knows that you are the right candidate to fill the position. In this way, disappointments in the job can be avoided and both the employer and you as an employee can benefit. Sometimes there is a direct vacancy, which is then filled with the trainee who is already familiar with the job and the company. If you have done your job well during the internship and do not lose contact with the company, you will still be a sought-after candidate for an open position later on. In such cases, employers often approach former interns. Or the trainee applies to his or her own company at a later date. And if no suitable position is available at the moment, depending on the sector, there may also be the possibility of freelance work after the internship, which will continue and intensify the cooperation with the company.
Expand your horizons
For the internship, you will get a taste of a company for a limited time. If you wish, you can apply to an interesting employer in another city or even abroad. In this way, you can show that you are flexible and that you can adapt to new circumstances. You can also gather new impressions, get to know new people and cultures and learn a lot about yourself. The internship will not only advance your career but also your personal development. An internship abroad is also a unique opportunity to deepen your language skills and get to know a different (working) culture. This special experience is welcomed by many employers, often even desired depending on the industry, and can become a decisive factor in your applications.
Remuneration during the internship
Last but not least, there is usually also money for an internship. If you are older than 18 years (under 18 only if you have completed vocational training), if the internship lasts longer than three months and if it is a voluntary internship – i.e. not an obligatory internship during training or studies – the minimum wage applies to interns. But even if these conditions do not apply to you, it is worth talking to your employer about your internship remuneration. Often there is still a little money. Sometimes accommodation and/or meals are also provided or the company pays a subsidy. So you can earn some money through an internship or at least cover your living expenses and at the same time gain experience in your field. In the long run, you will profit more from this than from a part-time job without any professional connection to your field of work.