Internships and other work experiences
Internships and other work experiences

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Internships and other work experiences

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.

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Transcript: Video 2

[TEXT ON SCREEN: Why do employers value internships?]

As an employer, if somebody has had an internship, it's really helpful because it gives them examples of how they have worked in a real-life workplace. So when we come to do an interview and talk about how they've maybe managed to take on a project, their time management skills, things like that, they actually have solid examples that they're able to give us from that internship and a good project that they can talk about to us.
End transcript: Video 2
Video 2
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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.


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