Doing an internship? Here’s what you need to know
Interning at a company, whether large or small, can be a life changing experience. Not only can it lead to employment, but it can also uncover hidden talents, open doors to new jobs and present opportunities you had not even considered.
Around 60 percent of ESEI students who intern at companies in Barcelona are asked to stay on for full-time employment once their internship is over. And with our connections to companies with offices in Barcelona and all around Europe, there is a lot of scope for students who want to expand their horizons.
Our internship programme helps you find a suitable position in a field that interests you, provides support throughout the experience and gives you valuable work experience in a competitive job market So what should you know about internships?
First, consider which internship is right for you
Ultimately, you’ll choose an internship by field or industry – but there are lots of things to think about before applying for a position. Do you want to work in a large multinational with a complex organisation? Or would you prefer to make more of an impact, as part of a startup team?
You should also look at company culture and makeup. You might feel you’ll fit in with a younger more diverse group with flexible work schedules, or maybe you’d prefer the regimen and order of a well-established organization.
However, there are some types of companies to avoid. Be wary of businesses that employ lots of interns, or those that require interns to do very specific jobs – as they may not give you the variety, support and challenge you need.
Wherever you decide to work, you need to choose one that challenges you, gives you responsibility and offers you training.
Keep on top of your progress
At the beginning of your internship – even during your initial interview – it’s a good idea to outline your goals. It’s important that the company knows what you want from the experience, as much as it’s important that you know what’s expected of you.
We also recommend tracking your progress as you work, making sure that you are meeting your manager’s expectations. It’s a good idea to have regular check-ins with your supervisor or tutor and keep a journal recording your experience.
Make the most of real-world experience
Taking an internship gives you an excellent chance to test yourself, learn new skills and discover the positives (and challenges) of working in a team. If this is your first work experience – internships offer a new, exciting challenge outside the classroom environment.
For those who have already had a job, they can involve learning new skills and working in an area you are genuinely interested in learning more about.
Integrate with the team
Look at your internship as a chance to increase your own confidence in the workplace, build real working relationships with people who want to help you progress, and – most importantly – show your future employers what you are good at.
Students who become part of the project, integrate with the team and make the most of both social and work opportunities do well even after they have finished the internship.
Take the challenge
The most successful interns work outside their comfort zones, under the guidance of their mentors. Don’t worry about making mistakes, your manager is there to guide you and give you the chance learn.
By working on projects that stretch your skills, you’ll go back to university after the summer break with more knowledge and confidence than ever before.
Barcelona is a very small big city, with a very influential network. It’s key that you keep in touch with your colleagues once your internship is over. Connect with them on LinkedIn, use your contacts when searching for jobs in the future, and follow up with your manager and coworkers to thank them for their support and to get feedback on your contribution. It will help you stand out and will likely pay dividends in the future.
Read more about the benefits of taking an an internship and speak to us about how you can find your ideal work placement.