The dream for many employers is to hire experienced employees that require very little, if any training. This conflicts with reality, because many job seekers face the challenge of not having the necessary skills to find employment.
It is a nasty catch! How do employers meet the market needs of today and prepare employees for tomorrows needs? How do job seekers gain the necessary experience to get employed? One solution is an internship program.
What is an Internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in the professional fields they are considering for career paths and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
Characteristics of an Internship
• Duration is 12 weeks or more.
• Generally one time experience.
• May be part-time or full-time.
• May be paid.
• Part of educational program that is carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit.
• Can be part of individual learning plan.
• An intentional learning agenda is structured into the experience.
• Learning activities include learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation and assessment.
• Establishment of reasonable balance between the interns’ learning goals and the specific work an organisation needs done.
• Promote academic, career and personal development.