One of my favourite quotes of all time is “Greatness is not achieved on a silver platter”. Society can readily identify an educated person by the number of schools and qualifications they have attained but usually, fails to acknowledge the skills and abilities a person has. To me, attaining greatness is solely not on book-knowledge alone but the skills, abilities, and experiences a person acquires from a number of different jobs over time.
“Internship” is certainly not a new word or an unfamiliar word to students in the university. To most university students, vacation means relaxation from all kinds of examination stress, a halt to the lecture halls, a break from all kinds of social gatherings. Late night parties and social activities begin; the strong urge to get “quick money” comes to mind while others spend their time searching for organizations, companies and institutions to be employed at, as interns. But then, one could ask the following questions:
- Are internship programs necessary?
- Is there a need for internship programs?
- Do internship programs serve as a positive value when searching for jobs in the future?
During my first year in the university, my first experience as an intern was with a media firm. The strong urge to work alongside going for lectures came to mind. Combining lectures with work was very difficult but I am of the view that acquiring classroom knowledge alone will not fetch me a good career. So I worked as an intern in a media firm on campus aside lectures. The thought of getting huge sums of money never came to mind. Instead, I took it as an opportunity to learn.
One good thing about being an intern is, it shapes and prepares you for the future. During my stay with the media firm, I was able to discover my skills and abilities. Even though I was not paid, the passion to wake up from bed to discover something new at the radio station was strong. Working at the radio station gave me the chance to communicate with people of varied cultures. I was able to hone whatever I had learnt in school and build on it. An internship is not a must or a requirement but rather a step to give you work experience which may prove useful in the future.
My ambitions are to be a Lecturer and an Entrepreneur. I practically had no idea as to how I could achieve these ultimate goals. I could visualize my dreams coming to futility when I started teaching in a preparatory school as a part-time pupil teacher outside campus. That experience was actually my first time teaching. I got to know that the work of an intern is not a trivial job. It comes with a lot of responsibilities and commitments.
Personally, I learnt three things on my own during every internship.
- Meeting Deadlines – This is the toughest part of being an intern but also, arguably the most rewarding. Meeting deadlines and punctuality gives people hope and assurance that they can count on you at any time to get the work done. As an intern, your consistency and reliability should be your topmost priority.
- Interaction with co-workers – Currently, I am an intern in an institution and I have made it a goal to be able to remember names of coworkers and get to know them within a short period. People have lots of experiences and they are ready to share it with others. You may never know whose experience can shape you or probably fetch you great ideas. I would have been much more efficient and happier if I had built a good relationship with my coworkers in the past during one of my internship programs. Many times, people are too afraid to get into trouble with an employer or employee so they isolate themselves and remain in their closet without learning something new.
- Be passionate- No matter where I have worked as an intern, the zeal to leave a footprint has always been strong. Working hard is one of the obvious tips but one needs to do it with passion and with the mindset of achieving something valuable in the end. Being an intern can be fulfilling and interesting if you have the passion for the job.
An internship is a very rewarding experience. Many internships have the added benefit of possibly leading to full-time employment. So I would urge young people to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity.
WRITER: Linda Amoni