There is a negative impression that internships are slave labor, coffee-makers or note-takers. It is, unfortunately, a statement based on reality, as many companies seem unsure of what to do with their interns. Letting your opportunities go to waste is a mistake however, as internships
can also lead to a better working life.
Fitting Into the Office Environment
It is a sad fact that a majority of fresh graduates are unfamiliar with the working life by being unused to the emerging challenges and discipline required. However, even if you only carry coffee or tea throughout your internship, you can still find out more about the office culture simply by observing or asking around. Many workers do not mind sharing their experiences and advice. In the end, you will be more familiar with the office environment, and thus will have a heads-up in the job search compared to unprepared candidates.
Learning Office Equipment
Do you know how to use any of the following equipment: office binder, fax, photostat machine, hard cover folder, or water dispenser? If you said no to any of the above, well, you can start learning during your internship! The first time I used a hard cover folder, I broke the mechanism, and my boss was not happy. Don't be that person.
While not necessary for getting into interviews, references can help get you into the position itself. A good way to get that reference is from your superior at your internship, for that is the one person who knows your work ability best. More importantly, his reference will only be as good as your performance, so if you fail to do your job properly in your internship, you'll miss out on a valuable reference for your career.
Ascending Into a Full-Time Job
There are companies who prefer to hire from their interns, rather than hiring a new unknown. Thus, if you manage to find an internship at a company you like, do ask them about the opportunities available and how you can get a full-time job. It might just pay off.
Nothing is truly a waste, unless you learn nothing from it. Even the most underworked intern can learn and benefit from his job. Thus, do your best to seek an internship, and benefit from it.
This article was taken from CareerBuilder Malaysia with their permission.