With the uncertain nature of the graduate job market, the building of relationships with potential future employers is of utmost importance for students. Any opportunity to increase your network and make an impression upon people who may one day become your employer are akin to a golden ticket. Internships provide such an opportunity, and are taking on more and more importance in the race to get ahead in the jobs queue.
Internships place the student right in the heart of an organisation. You will be performing meaningful work important to that organisation, and will be putting yourself in pole position in the shop window for that particular organisation. You will have the chance to shine – to show the company what you are made of, what you can offer that particular organisation and how you can contribute to their team.
As an intern, you should be looking at how you can add value to that organisation. What can you do as an employee to move that organisation forward. You may feel that your skills are limited at this early stage in your career, and that you are unable to contribute in any meaningful way. This is the wrong mentality as you are brimming with potential.
Contribute with your energy, work ethic and desire to learn. Enthusiasm and work ethic are contagious traits. The 21st century work place is all about being able to work effectively as part of a team. If you provide energy, a willingness to learn and a great work ethic, you will energise those around you to perform better. Constantly look at the other people you will be working with and ask how you can be of assistance to them. What can you do over and above your current remit to make their life a little easier? If that is making a brew, fire the kettle up and make the best cups of tea you ever did make!
Being an effective employee is all about adding value. You get paid a salary in exchange for your time and efforts. Your salary can probably be multiplied by two to see what your actual cost is to that company. This takes into account the support staff, infrastructure, equipment, insurance etc that it costs the company to employ you. You need to be aware of this figure and see whether the value you are adding to your organisation far outweighs this figure. Some aspects of your work may be tough to quantify in terms of value, but give it your best estimate! Merely thinking in terms of value addition will propel your work over and above that of your colleagues and make you stand out from the crowd.
Yesterday Kloodle travelled up to the North East of the country to meet with the internship team at the University of Sunderland. The team at Sunderland are doing an amazing job at providing students with the opportunity to participate in an internship. These can take place as early as first year and some final year undergraduates work at their company one day a week throughout the duration of their degree. This opportunity for building relationships with the graduate jobs market is invaluable.
The number and quality of opportunities provided by the team at Sunderland is fantastic. The assistance offered to students in terms of help with application, interview and integration into the work place is high quality and all pervading: if a student needs help the team are on hand to do so.
The administration of such a scheme is no mean feat. Managing budgets from government organisations has a number of associated hoops to jump through. Managing the students logistically as they infiltrate their employer’s organisations requires juggling many balls and having foresight to envisage potential problems and providing proactive solutions. The team at Sunderland have it covered.
As mentioned earlier on in the article, being an effective member of an organisation is all about adding significantly more value than you cost the organisation. It seems that the team at Sunderland achieve this and then some.