How to choose an internship? 6 things to consider

Katrina Kurg

HR Specialist

Students at a cafe

All students face the difficult moment when it comes to choosing an internship, especially if it’s the first ever internship. Many turn to applying to any and every internship that is being offered just to secure a place, which is understandable on certain professions as there are many students competing against one another.
But if you do have the chance to choose calmly from different options while staying mindful about the outcomes of the internship, take some time to question and analyse certain points.

Which field suits best your career plans?
Of course, the most obvious way to start planning your internship is to choose the field you would like to specialise in. You can definitely try out many different fields to find the right one for you. Even if the essence of your job may be similar across various fields, there may still be nuances in company operations, work environment, further career opportunities etc, which all depend on the specific field.
Choose mindfully, but don’t dwell on this step for too long since just an internship does not have to determine your foreseeable career.

Know your tasks and responsibilities
Once you have chosen a field and even a specific internship, it’s time to dig deeper into your day-to-day view. Unless it’s already specifically stated in the application process, make sure to show initiative and find out what your tasks are going to be and what are you going to be responsible for. This will give you an idea of how much of a challenge the internship is going to be for you according to your current skillset.

Which skills will you be developing?
Surely one of the reasons to even go through the internship is to develop skills necessary for the actual work you will be doing someday. Once you have found out the tasks and responsibilities appointed to you, think about the specific skills they require.
Perhaps you might need to learn to use some new tools or if you are given some independent work, you can really put to use all the things you have learned. Even teamwork develops certain social skills. In addition to all that, you can definitely develop some general workplace skills like staying organised and being good at time management.
During this process you may find out some skills and knowledge that you are currently lacking and will know when and how to ask for help.

What would you like to learn?
Once you have assessed your skillset for your chosen internship, take some time to think what is the outcome you’re aiming for. Perhaps there might be some skills you want to develop that you know come in handy at your dream job or other challenging things with a bigger learning curve. Maybe there are even some skills that you would like to develop but that are not directly required at your chosen internship. Communicate your plans and wants to your mentor and see if they can provide some extra tasks for you that may not be necessary for the internship itself, but that act as a practise.

Career opportunities
The biggest flattery at an internship is when you get offered a job afterwards. So, when you are in the midst of finding out your tasks, make sure to ask if there are any career opportunities after the internship and if the internship is paid.
Here at Cybernetica, we always strive to offer motivated and knowledgeable young people an opportunity to develop and grow together with us. We believe that all of our interns are motivated and hungry for new skills and knowledge and we make sure to choose the right people wisely. Since our interns get to work hands on and not just sit around, it’s just as honest work as that of an employee and due to that our internship is paid. Moreover, about 70% of interns become full-time employees afterwards.

Work environment
Finally, find out about the work environment as it, obviously, plays a huge role in how your internship will go. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How many people are on your team?
  • How much of your work is independent and how much requires teamwork?
  • Are there any routine meetings or other similar activities where you will be included and where your incentive is needed?
  • Will there be a mentor appointed to you?
  • How often will you be having 1:1 meetings with your mentor?

We hope our guide helps you to make mindful decisions about your career that allow you to truly dive deep into your chosen profession and develop the skills you want.
PS – application process for our internship programme begins on February 20th. Make sure to check it out and apply! We are looking forward to all new interns to complement our teams.