As a graduate, we have our whole professional lives ahead of us, and our earlier years are there to be able to gain as much experience as possible. This will then help us refine our skillsets and let us know if we're in an industry we like. That second part, about liking your industry, is typically overlooked, yet if you want to build a career, you should always consider doing it in a field you like.
Why an internship?
An internship is a solid learning experience without having to commit to the company, career or industry. It also helps to add to your CV and level of experience, even if the internship is for the Summer months or just half a year. There are no misconceptions about the level you're at, and you know; eventually, it will come to an end.
There are many internships these days that can also pay quite handsomely, but there are also some that are completely unpaid. Doing an unpaid internship helps you to get experience in an industry you're looking to go into. So while it may be frustrating to work for no salary, it could also end up being the boost you need for your first dream position.
How to get an internship
Another key item to note is that many major global corporations openly advertise their internship programs, from tech to finance to legal industries. This makes it possible for you to have, as a fresh graduate, experience and insight into some of the major players within your specified industry while learning how they operate and, most importantly, if it's the right field for you to begin with.
There are open applications periodically, and they tend to do them at set times throughout the year or may simply have ad hoc open positions. The best part is? They are specifically catered to fresh graduates looking to extend their CVs, so your competition is similar in skills and background to you in most cases.
Going beyond the internship
Once an internship is over, and you end up loving where you are at, you already have a foot in the door, so to speak, so you can see if there's a way to extend the internship program into a full-time position and to explore what your future options are. Keep in mind that this isn't a guarantee of any type and that most internships will simply end, and it's time to move on.
Should you get another internship after your first one? It won't hurt to do a few internships, especially during your studies. You can use it as an exploration method, but do keep in mind that, as with everything, to do it in moderation, and eventually, if you want to see your career grow in the right direction, you will want to seek full-time employment.
So when you feel that it's time to start sending out those applications for positions, don't let those internships be ignored. It could be very handy indeed.