1.4 The employer perspective
Employers don’t offer internships or work experience opportunities purely to help you learn skills and gain experience that will help you in the future. There’s a lot more in it for them, including:
- the development of existing employees through mentoring or line management of the intern
- the opportunity to give something back to society and support the future of an individual who might find it harder to progress without it
- gaining a new/different perspective within the team
- the chance to ‘try before you buy’ – an internship or other form of work experience can act as a much longer interview process.
The ISE Annual Recruitment Survey 2018 found that employers rehired an average of 52% of their interns and 43% of their summer placement students (Smith, 2019).
Internship experience also gives you something concrete to talk about in an interview, making it easier for an employer to assess your potential for their role, as Carol Fitzsimons from Young Enterprise Northern Ireland explains in this short video.
Transcript: Video 2
[TEXT ON SCREEN: Why do employers value internships?]
As mentioned before, internships are not the only type of work experience available to you and sometimes other options might work better for you and your career. In the next section you’ll look at some of the other work experience options that could be available to you.