6 reasons you should (seriously) consider an internship

Posted on Feb 29 2016 - 3:00pm by genny

I started giving proper thought to my career during my second year at University. The buzz towards the end of that period was CRAZY, and getting an internship was all everyone seemed to talk about. The energy was amazing, everybody wanted to get into big firms, especially the investment banks. I would be having lunch, walking along the corridors, working in the computer labs and it was the same – Goldman Sachs this, JP Morgan that, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas…..my head almost exploded at a point because that’s all I would hear about.

I wasn’t particularly bothered about getting an internship because I had gained a considerable amount of part-time work experience up until that time, and I also had a very well-paying summer job coming up at Edexcel (now Pearson Education). I had really enjoyed doing the job the previous summer because of the LARGE number of Nigerian students working there. It was serious fun and there must have been at least 100 of us young Nigerians at some point.

Anyway, a great friend and classmate of mine, Chitra, started asking me if I had applied to any of the investment banks. I said nope, Edexcel pays very well and I enjoy the work. She must have thought I was crazy, because the way she looked at me was like ‘Is this one ok? Can’t you see what your mates are doing?’ LOL!!!

She managed to convince me to put in at least ONE application. I procrastinated for a few days before I decided to check the websites. Lo and behold, I was too late – I had missed all the application deadlines (or so I thought).

I didn’t even feel bad, I was just like ‘it wasn’t meant to be’. It must have been a few days later when she was like ‘did you check the Credit Suisse website?’ I was like ‘errr’…Anyway she told me it was still open and that the deadline was that day. I was like ahh today? How am I supposed to get it done in a few hours? Anyway long story short, I dropped everything else, put in my application and forgot about it – I was convinced they wouldn’t call me because of how I rushed it.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got called for a telephone interview – I couldn’t believe it. I made it through the phone interview, and was invited to attend a 9 hour assessment centre (story for another day). I somehow managed to make it through that, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was an A M A Z I N G experience. I got to meet and learn from soo many brilliant people and was especially fortunate to have a great boss who helped me gain clarity with regards to a decision I had been struggling with for a while (whether or not to do a master’s degree – I ended up not doing it).

Best of all though, was the lunch, LOL. They had ALL sorts in there, Italian, Indian, Chinese – you name it. Even the dessert was nice. I always looked forward to lunch because of the many different options.

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Anyway, let me get down to the real reason I wrote this post – What competitive advantage did my 3 months at Credit Suisse give me? Why should YOU intern?

  1. Get your foot in the door. Internships are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door in terms of getting a full time role. Work hard while you’re there, and there’s a good chance you’ll be asked back. I was made a full time offer for a graduate position immediately after my internship and this meant I didn’t have to worry about applying for jobs in my final year.
  1. Upgrade your CV. Even if you’re not made an offer where you interned, the experience will seriously boost your CV and increase your chances of getting a job elsewhere.
  1. Test drive a career path you’re interested in. I was bent on getting into the telecoms industry while I was in University because I enjoyed all the telecoms modules I took, but my internship experience in an investment bank was a key turning point in terms of helping me discover what I really enjoy doing (I eventually did my NYSC at a telecoms company and I absolutely hated it).
  1. Develop key transferable skills. An internship is a great opportunity to hone your existing skills and develop new ones which employers are always looking out for when recruiting.
  1. Learn the importance of work ethic. The workplace is very different from the school environment and the best way to learn work etiquette is in a real life work environment.
  1. Build your network. You get to meet new people and build relationships you can leverage. ALL the jobs I’ve had since NYSC (and I mean ALL 5 jobs since 2009) have been through the network I’ve built over time.

So what’s holding you back from an internship? Please share in the comments section. I hear a LOT of young people complaining about the lack of opportunities in terms of jobs out there and while this is true, there are ways you can help yourself get a few steps ahead and an internship is one of them.

There’s an absolutely amazing website called Stutern (by Jobberman) that you can use to find out about and apply for internships in Nigeria – I seriously suggest you check it out and apply for any opportunities that interest you at www.stutern.com

Stutern_Website

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6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Abayomi March 1, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Amazing piece! The NYSC part got me LOL.

    Getting an Internship in Nigeria is almost as difficult as getting a job. I’m a postgraduate student of Industrial and Labour Relations and I’ve sent out COUNTLESS APPLICATIONS for a an internship position or a trainee role but I’m yet to get any.

    Anyways, what I did was that I offered to work with the HR Personnel in the small organisation where I work and trust me, the experience has been nothing short of wonderful (Although there is more to HR than just sorting CVs and preparing payroll. LOL). Providing support to the HR Personnel has helped me apply my theoretical knowledge of Human Resource to real life situatuons.

  2. Gerrard59 March 14, 2016 at 5:11 am - Reply

    Coming at a time when I am thinking of where to undergo my internship program. Thanks for the website(stutern).

    I love your website(I love anything career related)

    With greetings from Nairaland….

  3. Omo March 14, 2016 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Thanks people, I’m really glad you found it useful 😀

    Special greetings to Gerrard 59 and my NL family….

  4. IgenozaNic July 18, 2016 at 11:51 am - Reply

    This is great. I’ve been an ardent follower of your posts. I find them most helpful

  5. ceryshogarth286 May 7, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    The convoy carrying the wife of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan, was stopped from taking her to the foot of the aircraft on the tarmac of the Port Harcourt International Airport, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has said.

    The former First Lady was reportedly stopped from using the VIP lounge of the airport. But the FAAN said it was not so. It was learnt that Dame Jonathan had gone to Port Harcourt on a private visit.

    Sources at the airport also alleged that the former First Lady was denied bet9ja access to the lounge by security operatives of FAAN, who reportedly said they were working based on orders from “above.”

    But reacting to the report, FAAN, in a statement on Tuesday, described it as misleading and mischievous, stressing that the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan was not denied access to “the VIP lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport on July 27, 2015.”

    However, the authority was quick to state that what its security officials did bet9ja was to stop the former First Lady’s convoy from gaining access to the tarmac where her aircraft was parked.

    The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Dati, said the security officials explained to Dame Jonathan’s team why her convoy was stopped, adding that the officials were only abiding by international safety standards.

    FAAN said, “The former First Lady’s convoy was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities at the airport in line with international aviation best practices, strictly for safety reasons, as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Our security officials explained this fact to details of the former First Lady.

  6. wandaeberhart46 May 8, 2018 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Friday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, said he agreed with some Nigerians clamouring for the restructuring of the country.
    Osinbajo who spoke with journalists shortly after he attended the Great Nigeria Pastors conference held at University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, also disclosed that states deserved greater freedom to control their resources, increase their income and internal security.
    He said, “Restructuring is very important to us as a people and and as a nation. But we also have to be careful with what we mean by restructuring.
    “One of the issued raised which I agree with is that States should be able to control their resources, control their own security, they should be able to generate bet9ja more income and exercise greater freedom.
    “We discussed about security and we believe we should do more. We agreed that people feel more secured when they can control their security which bring to fore the issue of state police. It will give them confidence”.

    Osinbajo, who expressed optimism about the future of Nigeria, said the forces of darkness is being fought for light to shine.
    Speaking on the theme “Nigeria of our Dream” Chairman of Oyo State chapter of Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Taiwo Adelakun told the Vice President that Nigerians deserve to know the truth about how government was handling some issues which have been of concerns to them.
    He said Nigerians would want to know what, the government that put bet9ja the fight against corruption as its cardinal programme, is doing to fight graft within its government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
    Adelakun said, “We Pastors want to know what the government that put fighting against corruption in the front burner is doing about “Mainagate” and other government officials alleged of corruption.

    “Many Nigerians believe that the anti corruption war is selective and that is why it is not effective”.
    He said the recent upsurge in killings and kidnappings by the terrorist Boko Haram group in the North East and government seeming lukewarm attitude to checkmating the nefarious activities of killer herdsmen were of grave concerns to Christians.
    According to him, “We have been told that Boko Haram had been technically defeated but they have killed many and kidnapped over 120 people this year alone”.
    He also asked the Vice President to speak on the incessant clash among security agencies, citing the instance of the public scuffle between operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and men of Department of State Security (DSS).

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