What is an internship?
An internship is a short-term opportunity offered by organisations to students and graduates to gain work experience. As an intern, for a limited period of time (ranging from a week to 6 months), you’ll go to the office, work on real-time projects, pick up industry-relevant skills, and get paid for your services. In short, an internship is a mechanism to bridge the gap between what is taught in classrooms and what industries look for in recruits.
Wow! Sounds interesting. What are the different types of internships?’
‘Morty, one can look for two types of internships.’
1. Paid internships – In these internships, students are offered a fixed amount of money, known as stipend, for their services. The stipend could be paid weekly or monthly and can range from 1K – 10K.
2. Unpaid internships – These are generally research and government internships offered by non-profit organisations such as NITI Aayog, IISc, etc. and volunteering opportunities offered by non-government organisations such as CRY, WWF, etc. Another type of unpaid internship is apprenticeship wherein a student learns a skill under the guidance of a master like learning music from a renowned musician.
Another categorization of internships is based on the work hours that one has to devote.
1. Full-time (in-office) internships – Full-time internships are offered during summer or winter vacations and typically last for a duration of 4-12 weeks. An intern goes to the office and works for 8-9 hours every day.
2. Part-time internships – Ideal for college-going students, part-time internships require you to work for 10-20 hours a week. They have a flexibility in terms of working from home and going to the office only on a few days of the week. Aamina, for example, goes to the office for 2 days a week in the second half and works from home for the rest of the week.
3. Virtual/Online internships – When you cannot skip classes because 75% attendance is mandatory but want to do an internship, virtual internships present themselves as a bang-on solution! Online internships require you to work for 2-3 hours daily from home and offer you a learning opportunity, work experience, and a stipend, of course.
Objectives of an internship
1. Gain experience – An internship is like a test-drive for your career. Interning in your field of study gives you an experience of how you’d utilize your knowledge and skills in a real-time work environment. It helps you understand how an organisation functions and the roles played by different departments in a company.
2. Explore your career options – Just because you’re getting an engineering or management degree, it doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it. Internships, being short-term opportunities, give you a chance to try your hand in a variety of fields until you discover your true calling.
3. Pick up industry-relevant skills – With rapid advancements in technology happening by the second, it is difficult for academia to keep pace. Internships offer you an opportunity to work on the latest technologies and learn the methods used in the industry. Also, you get a realistic picture of what an industry expects from you, learn to put things in practice, and instill in yourself a number of life skills including working in a team, communication, time management, ownership, and empathy.
4. Land your dream job – Nothing says you’re the most deserving candidate for a job than an internship on your resume. With a work experience to show for and industry-relevant skills, you are the perfect fit in the ‘Company ka Swayamvar’. Some organisations also offer a pre-placement offer to the interns that perform exceptionally well.
And what’s more? You get a handsome stipend for interning with a company – you can even buy an Xbox!