What Is an Internship? Meaning, Definitions & How To Get One

Written by the WikiJob Team

As competition for graduate jobs increases, students need to think of new ways to set themselves apart from all of the other equally qualified and skilled candidates. Graduates who have relevant workplace experience tend to be more valued by employers, and this makes internships an attractive prospect. When you look at the stats, the reason why internships are good for students looking for their first role becomes clear.

According to Monster.com, 85% of companies use internships to recruit for full-time roles, with former interns projected to fill 37% of graduate vacancies, rising to an incredible 75% for investment banking. But what exactly are internships, how can they help you and what will you be expected to do? We’ll explore these areas in this guide, which should help you to decide whether an internship is the right choice for you.

This guide covers the following:

  • What Is an Internship?
  • Why Do I Need to Do an Internship?
  • How Is an Internship Different to an Apprenticeship?
  • Why Do Companies Offer Internships?
  • Short-Term
  • Long-Term
  • What Do Interns Typically Do?
  • What Experience Will You Need?
  • What Are the Key Benefits of an Internship?
  • 1. Develop Critical Work Skills
  • 2. Get the Edge Over the Competition
  • 3. Achieve Higher Grades
  • 4. Network, Network, Network
  • 5. Secure Future Employment
  • 6. Try Before You Buy
  • 7. Explore Unexpected Avenues
  • 8. Gain Experience Beyond the Textbooks
  • 9. Avoid the Uni-To-Work Culture Shock
  • 10. Earn as You Learn
  • What Will I Be Paid?
  • How to Find the Right Internship for You
  • Where Can I Find out About Internships?
  • Websites
  • University or College Careers Services
  • Jobs Fairs
  • Professional Organisations
  • How Do I Apply for Internships?
  • When Should I Start Applying?
  • What Are the Requirements?
  • Ways to Apply
  • Getting Your CV In Shape
  • Following Up On Your Initial Application
  • Tackling the Interview
  • Accepting the Offer (Or Choosing Between Offers)
  • Getting the Most From Your Internship
  • Do:
  • Don’t:
  • Converting an Internship to a Permanent Position
  • Final Thoughts