Five common internship myths dispelled

BY Natasha Lyubic |
29/04/19

We speak with hundreds of interns each month and are often asked the same questions over and over again. Below we’re busting some of the biggest misconceptions we hear about from interns on a daily basis.

Myth 1: It’s only worth it if it’s at a big company 

This is one of the biggest misconceptions spurred on by the perception that a recognisable name will look better on your resume. Do you know what will look better on your resume than a big name? Examples of deliverables, projects and experience that demonstrate your skill and passion. The way to ensure that happens is to undertake an internship not at the biggest, shiniest company but at the one that matches your skills and career aspirations and offers you the opportunity to grow. Smaller companies often give you direct access to the CEO and the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that you would not have been exposed to in a large company until much further in your career. Don’t go for the biggest, go for the best fit. 

Myth 2: Interns only do administrative work 

If you end up in an internship where you are stapling documents, fetching coffee or undertaking menial data entry which has very little to do with your area of study – that likely means your host company has breached their contract. Internship programs are a training, learning and mentorship opportunity designed to bridge the gap between the theory you learned at university and the practical application skills desired by employers. The program should challenge you and push you to new levels. You are not there to fill an employment gap.

Myth 3: Anyone can be an intern 

Internship programs are extremely competitive. Companies approach their intern recruitment like they would approach their graduate recruitment. They will assess you against other interns on your technical knowledge, cultural fit and your attitude.  They will expect you to know how to use core software programs, will expect that you have a good level of coding or mathematics ability if you’re in IT or Accounting and importantly they will want to see an eagerness and enthusiasm to learn. Does that sound like “anyone” or does that sound like a committed, focussed future leader? 

Myth 4: The best programs are those that pay interns 

This is one of the biggest myths. The reason? An internship is not a job. It is a training program designed to upskill you technically, introduce you to workplace culture and offer you a mentorship opportunity by someone more experienced so that when you do apply for a job you are already miles ahead of the next graduate. You are not doing the internship to make a couple of thousand dollars, you are doing it for a reason much more important than that – to put yourself in the best possible position to score your dream job. 

Myth 5: You have to work full-time as an intern

Most employers understand that you need to make a living while interning and will not expect you to work 5 days. At Readygrad you have the option of undertaking a 3, 4 or 5 day a week internship. We do not recommend or allow for less than 3 days because it won’t be of benefit to you, your learning experience or your host company. Your internship will be tailored to help you get the most out of it, regardless of the duration. 

Remember...

An internship will set you apart from the competition, help you develop your technical skills, your professional networks and your confidence – in fact 99% of Readygrad interns saw their confidence grow. This is the first step towards creating the career of your dreams. Are you ready to take it?  
 

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