Internships: Really worth all the trouble?

Interning is a good tool to gauge your interest and ‘fit’ in a particular field and an organization. Apart from the function specific awareness, you also get to learn about the soft skills that are considered critical at the workplace for instance, professional interaction and communication,time and stress management as well as office norms and how the culture impacts work related behaviours.

 

Corporate exposure also comes in handy when you are ready to begin your career; not only does it add weight to your resume’ but it also minimizes start-up surprises.

 

While most universities in Pakistan have made internship a mandatory degree requirement there is growing awareness amongst students to take up voluntary ones. It is indeed a healthy trend that students are realizing what this short term experience can do for their career. The question that we will attempt to answer is how to find internship opportunities and to make the most of them.

 

 

How to find a relevant internship:

 

Start your search on the digital and print media. A number of organizations prefer to post internship requirements either on their career portals or through leading newspapers. If the organization of your choice has used none of the aforementioned options to promote their internship program reach out to their HR department by calling in or sending an email to express your interest and also to explain how you can add value.

 

In parallel do capitalize on your own network (working professionals in your family and circle of friends, teachers,university career office, etc.) andattend any university based or commercial job fairs where you can meet up with potential employers.

 

Making the most out of Internships:

 

Here are a few tips that would help you maximize your benefit from internships:

 

  • Be on time - If you’re getting late, inform your line manager/supervisor.
  • Respect deadlines – Try to complete projects it within timelines; if there is a chance of an over-run, let your line manager know about it in advance.
  • Keenly observe – How professionals interact and communicate verbally and over emails to understand how corporate communication takes place.
  • Discuss your career aspirations – Talk to your peers and superiors; invite conversations that offer pros and cons of your career choice.
  • Find opportunities to join your team outside of work - Talk about things other than work such as your and their interests – build rapport. This will put the foundation of your professional network in place.
  • Take initiative - Whenever you have idle time, ask for more work.
  • Invite healthy debates – Discuss professional topics, without getting into arguments or losing your temper.
  • Optimize your use of office equipment and supplies - Most companies have clearly documented policies on use of stationery and equipment – read and follow them to the letter.
  • Keep personal use of your cell phone at the minimum - Idle conversation is the worst enemy of productivity.
  • Show unconditional respect – Not only for company policies, but also for it’s decorum. Avoid gossiping in the workplace.
  • Lastly, maintain the contacts that you build during your internship – Meet up with colleagues, occasionally call in or share information of mutual professional and personal interest.

 

If you’ve already had internship experience, we’d be very interested in hearing your internship story in the comments below. If you have any questions or comments about internships or need advice, please feel free to write to us.

 

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About Jawad Ali

Jawad Ali is currently working as Specialist Staffing & Compensation at Mobilink GSM. He has more than five years of progressive HR experience including but not limited to compensation, outsourcing, recruitment & selection and HR Project Management. Jawad also happens to be a teacher of HR courses at top tier universities. He holds a Master’s degree in HR from International Islamic University Islamabad, is a certified recruitment analyst from Cartlon Advance Management Institute USA and a certified assessor from SHL international. Jawad is an avid hiker and a horseback rider.

21 Responses to Internships: Really worth all the trouble?

  1. avatar Hamza Asim says:

    Sir we mostly don’t get any notification of internship opportunities on print or electronic media even on our Mobilink careers profile. further what is the procedure to apply for internship in Mobilink. Is there any paid internship program by Mobilink.?

    • avatar jawad says:

      Hamza, since internships are mostly available according to the need for help, they are not advertised as jobs by most organizations. However, you can apply for an internship by uploading your CV on http://www.facebook.com/mobilinkcareers and stating your desired position. If your CV is short-listed, we will contact you. Thank you!

  2. avatar Rabia says:

    I’d like to share my personal experience with regard to some of the points mentioned in the article.
    This year I started looking for the internships well before time. I have never found a single advertisement for an internee in the newspaper. Secondly, I tried to reach out to the HR departments of many companies but only a few of them bothered to reply. As far as the career portals are concerned, they are also as good as nothing…Only those candidates get internships who have some personal contact in the company..

    • avatar jawad says:

      Rabia, most organizations do not advertise internships because such positions are filled on a need-basis. However, if you upload your CV on our jobs portal at http://www.facebook.com/mobilinkcareers, we will contact you if you are shortlisted. Keep in mind that we receive many applications for a number of positions, and it is not possible to entertain all of them. Lastly, we hope you realize that references and personal contacts do little for an applicant in the long run. Thank you.

    • avatar Afaf says:

      You should try searching at the website’s careers option of your prefered organization, I’m sure u’ll find something. I’m currently doing an internship at Telenor Pakistan and I found that advertisment on their website, I applied online and got selected n doin an internship already. Not only this, many other internship ads can still be found at different organizations’ websites.

  3. avatar jawad says:

    Umair, please upload your CV on the jobs portal at http://www.facebook.com/mobilinkcareers. If an internship opportunity opens up, you may be contacted. Thank you!

  4. avatar Faizan says:

    Well sometimes the phone works; you call the company and ask to talk to someone in the HR, if they have internships available they will guide to the procedure. Yes, reference works big time, not necessarily the person should be your relative or friend. I use Linkedin and I made contacts with the professionals which helped me to get two internships this Summer. What I did was, I keep asking relevant questions about my field (marketing), sharing my opinion and asking about their, without annoying them. Also, I wrote advertisements, strategies, activations for brands by myself, without any reason, and shared it with the professionals. This helped me to ask for internship without any hesitation and helped them too, because they knew my expertise and my level , where I stand.
    Hope this works for you people too :)

  5. avatar Faizan says:

    Where did my comment go? :s

  6. avatar Tanveer Akram says:

    I am completely agree with the technique of reaching the HR Manager yourself. I am a Telecom Engineer and was looking for an internship by applying on line for one and a half month but didn’t get any reply then I found the contact addresses of different companies and reached there and luckily I got internship offers leading to job from two companies of which I have selected one now I am part of NASCOM.

  7. avatar Rafaqat ali says:

    Sir,
    Where I can upload my c.v for internship at Mobilink.
    Where I can find link for uploading?
    Regards

    Rafaqat Ali

  8. avatar bilal says:

    Dear Jawad thanks for your article.
    Please let me know what is the pay of trainee engineer on permanent seats and on contract as well . and what other benefits are given to them.

    regards
    Bilal.

  9. avatar Rameeza says:

    i wanna do internship in mobilink, please i need your help and favor
    thank you!!!!

  10. avatar Arsalan Rafiq says:

    Yes, internship are really worth all the trouble. I have learnt that before going to any organization for a job. being hired as an intern is not a bad idea. You get to learn how things work around. You get aware of the basics of the work being done. You can excel as an intern and get polished in the areas you need support or guidance because when your on job the company will want you to do your work then asking someone to guide you or help you. You’re on your own once you’re on job. Intern helps your build the confidence, ability and skills required to do the job. I don’t think organizations will hire you on job and teach you for a few months then let you do the work yourself.
    So, what i think is that internships are good places for the fresh graduates and rookies to take what they have learnt and use that knowledge. internships are there for you to make mistakes and the company employees will be there to fix it and correct your work. I would say yes to internships and yes they are really worth all the trouble.

  11. avatar M Sabeel says:

    This article indeed has some useful tips. I just uploaded my CV on the career’s portal. Although I applied for an internship at another operator’s online career portal about a year ago, and still I haven’t heard from them, yet I hope Mobilink makes some difference.

  12. avatar Sohail Ajmal says:

    usually you can get the internship through refernces. i have applied through various channels for internships but didn’t get the response.

    • avatar Hamza Amjad says:

      Sohail, a great number of people apply to Mobilink for internships; only some of them make it through the strenuous application procedure. Please keep trying. Thank you!

  13. avatar Hamza Amjad says:

    Zakirullah, we do have internships with a stipend at Mobilink. You may apply by uploading your CV at http://www.facebook.com/mobilinkcareers. Thank you.

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