Getting a college internship has always been difficult for students, but when the pandemic struck and firms discontinued internships or established virtual internship programs, it became considerably more difficult. The transition from student to professional is not always straightforward. When students join the workforce, they confront several hurdles. They must adapt to the professional environment by using their theoretical understanding in the rapidly evolving field. Internships provide students with hands-on experience. Internships provide useful workers and qualified job seekers to firms since employers prefer graduates with the necessary abilities and practical expertise. Internships are critical for students since they are one of the key methods for us to develop contacts that will help us obtain our first job after graduation. As a result, the epidemic left students rushing, seeking to save an internship or find another way through their first job.
For those candidates who were fortunate enough to acquire virtual internships, there was a new challenge: connecting with peers and networking while trapped at home. When I have an internship, I look forward to being in the office the most. Being in-person with colleagues allows you to obtain a true sense of the workplace culture. Also with pandemic, that was no longer an option. Because students don’t get the same amount of feedback, online interviews tend to make individuals more uncomfortable, which is why mock interviews and preparation may make a huge impact. Despite all of the obstacles posed by the epidemic, it also provided fresh possibilities for certain students. Other peers stated it helped them better adjust to change and upheaval. If anything, the epidemic and working online has made me more flexible to difficult situations. This, I believe, was especially useful when seeking for work. Everything was so unpredictable, and while it was difficult at first, I just thought, ‘This is how the world is right now, and all I can do is my best.’ There are several things you can do, to improve your chances of securing an internship in this competitive environment.
It is critical to create a resume, CV, LinkedIn page, personal website, GitHub account, or other career material. Many networking acquaintances will request to examine your resume. A few revisions will help you become more adept at writing resumes and concentrate your communication throughout the process. Of course, you should update your résumé. But don’t forget to keep your Linkedin page up to date. LinkedIn is used for a lot of recruiting. Almost everyone who talks to you will look up your LinkedIn profile. Make certain that your profile appropriately reflects the image you wish to project. I propose highlighting related projects, courses, and certifications, at the very least, what you have on your resume. Have a decent profile photo of yourself dressed in the manner in which you would wear in your target profession. If your personal website has a portfolio, writing samples, or other relevant information to the position you’re applying for, include a link to it.
Spend more time networking and looking for a mentor. Creating links with working adults who can provide career guidance or introduce students to others in their firm can help students uncover professional options. Staying in touch with classmates and other interns is also a good idea – they may be students now, but many of them will soon get jobs and become professional connections at firms – possibly companies where you’d like to work. The sharing of information between persons in order to create acquaintances and relationships in order to advance one’s professional career is known as networking. An internship is a hands-on learning experience that gives students the opportunity to network and make important professional connections before they graduate.
For some students, it serves as a springboard to more options within the same organisation, such as a full-time employment. The more people you meet in the professional world who share your interests, the more opportunities you’ll have to advance professionally. You’ll learn how these people function, what tactics they employ to deal with a challenging circumstance, and how they complete their tasks. People have a wide range of abilities. Meeting them and observing them work can help you understand how to collaborate with a variety of people in a variety of situations. You can use their ideas and adapt them to your own situation. You can ask about internship opportunities and openings by networking with TUM Alumni students on Linkedin or through your course coordinator. You can also learn from past experiences of others.
- Learn New Skills
While you’re looking for your next internship, this is something you can simply do. You might wish to brush up on your marketing abilities, learn to code, or develop a better understanding of financial markets, depending on your professional aspirations. Coursera, General Assembly, and Udemy are just a few of the online learning sites that provide free online courses for any topics you want to master. Learning new languages or skills through sites like DuoLingo or GitHub, entering competitions, contacting local NGOs and businesses to see if you can help, or looking to start your own business are all options. Every month, TUM hosts fascinating German language starter challenges that award students with exciting prizes.
Working as a professional for an organisation involves more than just organisational and functional knowledge. You’ll need people skills as well, because no matter how talented you are, you won’t be able to excel in any job unless you learn to collaborate and work as part of a team. You also need to know how to work under pressure and why deadlines are important. An internship exposes you to the hardships of working life, and having this experience will help you discuss about these scenarios in potential employment and demonstrate to employers that you will be a good match for their organisation.
- Do Your Homework Before An Interview
Study the firm and the position. Use the job description as a guide; be prepared to explain how you fulfill the standards and possess the requisite abilities for the position using illustrations and detail. Prepare questions for the interviewer ahead of time to demonstrate your preparedness. Thank them for their time. Also, even if you’re on a Video conference, dress professionally from head to toe for the interviews. For starters, it demonstrates that you value the organization. Second, you’ll be more organised and self-assured.
To summarise, internships are critical in determining one’s career track. It also allows students and graduates to obtain real-world experience in the workplace, but it also allows them to build the necessary competence to stand out in a cluttered employment market. Keep in touch with your course coordinator because TUM has a variety of ties and relationships with organisations. Wishing you the best of luck in realising the advantages of an internship.
By Adithi Raghuraman (MSc Student-ICD )