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Why should you do summer internships?

James Davis

Careers Commentator
If you’re not sold on them yet, here are some clear-cut reasons to get some internships in during the summer period.

After completing a year’s worth of study, chances are you’ll want to relax. Who can blame you? Unfortunately, there’s a lot you can be doing with that time to get that resume all spruced up for employers. Sure, take Christmas off, but consider a few of these two great reasons for how summer internships can make your university experience all the better and help you land that dream graduate job.

Concentrated access to a future potential workplace

The great thing about this time slot is the lack of other obligations, at least in terms of university. You’re able to put in full-time hours should you so desire, which will give you the best insight possible prior to graduation of what working in your industry is like. It’ll give you the best picture regarding whether or not you like your current study field, or if a pivot is on the horizon. Many students use summer internships to gauge whether their field is appropriate for them and backflip into completely different programmes. Much better to find out at an early stage than at the end of a degree, or after completing it. If you are at the end of your degree and find you don’t like the profession in which it’ll lead, it’s quite possible and totally normal to enrol in postgraduate study in a different field.

For those of you who find you enjoy the internship, good! It’ll provide you with renewed motivation to excel in your studies and give you clearer goals and expectations of future workplaces.

The most important benefit of concentrated access to a workplace is, of course, experience. Your part-time job is a great thing to point at, but having some full-time experience under your belt, even in an internship capacity, will make you stand out. Given the timing of summer internships, it also tells employers you aren’t afraid to put in the extra effort to sharpen your skills. It shows you’re committed, both on a personal and professional level.

They provide networking opportunities

Getting into an industry-relevant workplace, or multiple depending on how ambitious you are, is one of the best methods you have for making contacts. Making cold calls, sending out emails or networking with other students is good to an extent, but actually spending time in a workplace and putting some hours in side-by-side with future colleagues is irreplaceable. If you ask plenty of questions, collect business cards and contact information, you’ll get even more out of your summer internship(s) than just time spent at work. In a sense, you’re also saving a lot of time. By doing your networking during an internship, you’re saving time on bespoke networking events, dinners or meetups. By all means do those things anyway, because even if you do them, you’ll maximise your chances of gaining quality contacts. But if you don’t, contacts made during summer internships have a good chance at carrying you through to a graduate job, depending on if you play your cards right!

You should now have a much clearer idea of why summer internships are definitely worth doing. Experience and networking opportunities can come from any internship, but doing one during the summer can give you improved access to your field of choice. They’ll give you the means to make a more informed career decision.

Of course, any internship can be valuable. Why not see if any we have listed on GradNewZealand take your fancy? We have an extensive directory of graduate jobs and internships here.

Unsure how to apply? Catch up on our guide available here.

Good luck!