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The benefits of internships

‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’ Milton Berle

Great way to build up your skills

Arranging an internship opportunity is a brilliant way of not only ‘building’ a door, but also ‘getting your foot in the door’ of a particular workplace or sector. From within – whilst you supply a service to the business – you will build up your skill set and perhaps make a network of contacts within the organisation. 

This ‘exchange’ of services for experience ensures that internship arrangements are mutually beneficial to employers and interns alike.  The experience of being an intern may further convince you that you are perfectly suited to a career in your chosen field; conversely, the knowledge and understanding gained during your internship may lead you to the decision not to pursue a career in this area. Either way, a valuable lesson will have been learnt. 

Research has suggested that those who undertake an internship experience whilst at university are significantly more likely to gain employment after graduation than those who have not. Internships are viewed as CV-enhancing experiences, and are a great way of demonstrating to potential employers that you have gained ‘real life’ skills which can be transferred to a variety of different roles. A candidate who can demonstrate work experience may be attractive to employers if they require reduced levels of on-the job training as a result of knowledge gained during their internship position.  

Start like Steve Jobs

As an intern, you may feel that you are standing on the bottom rung of a very long ladder. Try not to get demotivated by this position: many of the world’s most high profile and successful business people started out as an intern, and have worked their way up in the business world from this level. You may be surprised to learn that Stephen Spielberg commenced his career in the film industry working as a full-time intern at Universal Studio, or perhaps that Steve Jobs first realised his passion for electronics whilst working as an intern at Hewlett Packard. See the following article for more inspiring examples:  12 Successful People Who Started As Interns

So now you understand the benefits of an internship programme, where do you begin to look for one?

An internship in Edinburgh

You may be interested to discover Business in the Arts: one of a range of courses offered by the Summer School which takes advantage of the University’s proximity to the world famous Edinburgh Festival. The programme’s internship component provides students with the enviable opportunity of gaining work experience within an Edinburgh Festival company; performing tasks and developing skills, knowledge and experience relevant to arts sector employment from within an organisation functioning at the heart of festival life. 

Students who undertake this unique 4 week internship experience will build upon knowledge gained during the classroom-based first half of the course, in areas such as Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Enterprise, Business Policy and Strategy.

For more information regarding Business in the Arts, please see the course’s programme page.