Students often do not realize the importance of internships, nor how completing internships can shape their future career. Great academic results and a well presented resume used to be enough to land you a great job in the mining industry, but times have changed, and with the economy the way it is now, companies want students who have had real hands on practical on the job training.
Because of this there is no better way to get this experience than through internships. Internships give you the hands on experience that companies look for. Even if you are offered an internship where you are not going to be remunerated, don’t turn your nose up at it too quickly. It may be providing you with the stepping stones needed to get your career going and land your first real job. Also remember that this gives you the opportunity to prove your worth, and you would be surprised to see how many interns end up being employed full time by the company they are doing the internship for, when they perform and have proved their worth. Even if the company you are doing the internship for is not in the position to offer you a permanent position, if you have worked hard and gone the extra mile, they will certainly be able to provide you not only with the necessary skills you need for your resume, but also great a reference letter that you can keep on file for future reference.
It is important however to ensure that the internship offered to you, is going to provide you with the necessary training and skills that you need. So before rushing into accepting any internship, paying or not paying, meet with the prospective company first, and ask for an in-depth overview as to what training would be provided, and what you duties and responsibilities would involve. Ensure that the job is the right fit for you, and that you are going to get out of it what you need. There needs to be a common goal for both you and the company, and there is no point in wasting either of your time and effort, if it is not going to be a match.
With so many graduates across the board, not just in mining, battling to find jobs after graduating, companies tend to take advantage of the situation and more and more often one is finding that they are offering internships that do not pay, not ideal, but when you look at the bigger picture, they are still providing you with the skills and training necessary to fast forward your career. One should however apply for as many internships as possible, and hopefully will then be in a position where you are able to choose an internship that will provide you with the knowledge, training and experience that you are looking for.
During their studies students can find themselves feeling overwhelmed with coursework, sports and extracurricular activities. This can at times discourage them from applying for internships as they feel they do not have the time. Another factor that students are faced with is that many students do not feel they can afford to accept unpaid internships. Many internships also coincide with summer holidays, where students could rather be taking a paying job. The reality is that there are a number of students who are not able to afford to be able to work for nothing, so end up being forced into doing menial jobs because they are paying jobs and they need the money. Although all of these factors are real, and time and money often is a real concern and issue for students, if you are able to make the time and a plan with money, do do an internship even if it not a paying one, it will be worth your while in the long term. Some students decide to take on a summer internship a couple of days a week, whilst taking on a part time job at the same time, in order earn money and alleviate the financial strain that working in an unpaid internship can produce.
Regardless of whether an internship is paying or not paying, it is up to you as the student to decide it the internship will ultimately be in your best interest to accept and whether it will provide you with the requirements that you will need when applying for your first full time job.