6 benefits of doing an internship while you're at university

Amy O'Neill

If you're looking to build valuable work experience and dive into your desired industry, work experience could be the way to go.


An internship is an official program that is offered by an employer to potential employees. They're often taken by students and graduates that are looking to build work experience, develop relevant skills for their industry, and build up their professional network. If you're thinking of taking on an internship this year, but aren't sure what you'll get out of it, then take a look at some of the benefits below:


1. Build work experience

Undertaking an internship will give you first-hand experience of the job world that's difficult to find in a classroom. It'll give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you've built up at uni to a professional role, and overall, just let you get a better feel for the kind of roles you'll be looking for after you graduate. You'll get to witness the day-to-day operations of your host organisation firsthand and experience what life will be like once you enter the employment sector. 


2. Explore different career paths

If you're not completely sure what kind of career you'd like to pursue after uni, then an internship can also be a great way to find this out. Think of an internship as a "try before you buy" type of employment - you can use it as an opportunity to get a peek into multiple sectors that interest you and see which one you enjoy the most. Remember, most internships only last a few months, so there's no pressure for you to find the perfect match right away, it's all about learning where you can apply your skills. 


3. Improve your CV

If your CV is looking a little bland, then taking on an internship or two can be a great way to fill it up. Graduates who already have some work experience in the form of an internship stand out to potential employers since it shows that you've been proactive about building experience. Typically, interns also require less training and can take on more responsibilities, and you might even find yourself on a higher starting salary than your internship-less peers.


4.  Develop your employability skills 

An internship can give you keen insight into your strengths and weaknesses. They allow for feedback from supervisors and work colleagues and give you a unique learning opportunity that you may not have had as a student. You'll be able to build up key employability skills such as time management, interpersonal communication, working with specific apps and systems, analytics and analysis, and so much more - which will give you a massive leg-up in your job hunt.


5. Network with industry professionals

In the working world, it’s all about who you know. As an intern, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and be able to build your professional network outside of your university sphere. Take it as a cue to learn from those around you and maintain this connection even after your internship is finished, especially if you're looking to return to the field after you graduate.


6. Transition into a job

You might think of an internship as a "one and done" type of work experience, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, around 56% of internships result in a full-time job offer. This is because many companies use internships as a way to enhance their recruitment efforts, and while you might not receive a job offer right away - interns that leave a favourable impression on their host could snag a role later down the line, after graduating. 


To help you find the right internship for you, GradTouch works with top UK employers to bring you the best opportunities. Browse our available internships here.