Internship – An integral part of learning
In this article, we present why internship should be made an integral part of learning and how this can benefit both students and businesses in Pakistan.
Internship is a temporary employment for students to learn practical aspects of their field of study. It can be during their course of studies or after completing the same. It not only provides students with valuable practical experience and support them in developing professional skills but also gives businesses the opportunity to identify potential employees and develop relationships with students. In this article, we present why internship should be made an integral part of learning and how this can benefit both students and businesses in Pakistan.
To become a good driver in addition to reading books, watching videos, and driving on a simulator, one also needs instructor led driving lessons in an actual vehicle and on real roads.” Similarly, there is always a gap, not necessarily negative, between what is in the books and what happens in the businesses/industry. Internships helps bridging that gap and make the study to work transition easier and smoother.
Some key benefits of internship both for students as well as for businesses are:
Internships offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. This experience is invaluable to students, as it helps them understand the practical application of what they have learned in their coursework. It also helps them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, organizational, and other soft skills that are a must in practical life, both personal and business.
In addition, interns can learn from experienced professionals in the industry, honing their skills and gaining practical knowledge they may not have learned in school. This experience will help them become more effective as they enter the workforce.
- Cross cultural exposure
Internships expose students to different work cultures and help them develop cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication skills. In a country as diverse as Pakistan, these skills are essential to success in any field.
- Network Capabilities
Internships provide students with valuable networking opportunities. By collaborating with professionals in their field, students can make connections that could lead to future employment. Networking is a crucial part of building a successful career, and internships offer students an excellent opportunity to develop these skills.
- Possible employment
Internships can lead to potential employment. Many companies use internships to identify good potential employees. By gaining valuable work experience and demonstrating their skills, interns can be offered permanent employment after graduation.
- Competitive advantage
Internships can give students a competitive edge when it comes to securing future jobs. Employers often seek candidates with relevant work experience, and internships provide students with that experience. By completing an internship, students can show potential employers that they are committed to their careers and have the skills necessary to succeed in their field.
- Making Mentors
Internships provide opportunity to the student to find future mentors. By seeking practical advice, guidance and feedback, students can develop future mentors needed to succeed in their field. This mentoring can be a valuable resource for students as it can give them the guidance, they need to achieve their career goals.
- Learning information about career opportunities
Internships provide students with the opportunity to explore a variety of career options. Working in a real-life environment allows students to gain insight into the day-to-day running of a specific industry. This can help them make more informed decisions about their future career path.
- Future employees
Through internship companies/businesses can identify and evaluate serious, hardworking, and intelligent students who are aligned with business ideology and have the potential to become valuable future employees. Though resumes and interviews provide good information on strengths and resources of a job candidate, internship provides an opportunity to see student’s ability and to apply his/her knowledge to actual job situation and his/her interpersonal and other important soft skills such as discipline, teamwork, and overall presentation.
- Recruitment cost reduction:
Internships can reduce recruitment costs for businesses. By offering internships, businesses can identify potential employees early in their career development. This saves time and money in the recruitment process, as they do not have to go through the lengthy and expensive process of job posting, recruiting, and on boarding new employees.
- Access to fresh perspectives:
Internships give companies access to new perspectives. Students bring new ideas, innovative thinking, and a fresh and energetic culture to the workplace, which can help companies improve their operations and stay ahead of the competition. This is particularly important in Pakistan, where companies face increasing competition both domestically and internationally.
- Corporate Social Responsibility:
Internships are an essential part of corporate social responsibility. By offering internships, companies can demonstrate their commitment to nurturing the next generation of professionals. This can help build positive relationships with students and the wider community, which may lead to future opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
- Tax benefits
Federal board of revenue offers various tax benefits to businesses who support educational institutions by providing practical learning and internship opportunities to students.
Pakistan is a country with a young and energetic population, growing economy and a significant number of companies. Many companies in Pakistan now welcome interns as part of their workforce as it offers students valuable professional experience and increase their chances of finding a job after graduation. Similarly, it is an excellent way for companies to give back to society by providing training opportunities for young people.
It is suggested that internship should be made an integral and mandatory part of studies by the educational institutes in every field and those Pakistani companies who are yet to embrace this culture should embrace this trend and invest in training programs that will help develop young talent in the country.
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March 19, 2023
The writer is a professional marketer and engineer with good work exposure to governments, and businesses and industries in the private sector in several countries. Idea is to take the first step in adding value to anything that one gets exposed to instead of just complaining about the same.