Gaining work experience during studies can be an excellent way to increase students' employability and can make a student more appealing to graduate employers. Regardless of the nature or industry of the work, all experience is valuable. When looking to improve employability, students should consider all nature of work, including part time and casual work, internships, and volunteering.
What are Internships?
Internships are short term positions available to students within a professional environment. Typically, internships are undertaken in areas related to a student’s long term career goals. Internship opportunities may differ in terms of hours worked, wages, course credit and duration, however all should be guided and supervised by professionals within the workplace or within both the workplace and University.
Benefits of Internships and Work Experience
Internships give students the opportunity to:
- Gain valuable work experience relevant to future career goals
- Develop and refine Employability Skills valuable to employers
- Apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations
- Build professional networks, establishing contacts and references for future job opportunities
- Experience professional work environments and decide if certain fields, areas or types of work suit
- Earn money
Finding Available opportunities
After deciding to participate in an internship, students must decide whether they are interested in a for credit or not for credit opportunity. Although similar in some ways, each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.
For Credit Internships
For credit internship opportunities allow a student to obtain academic credit for their placement. They typically involve some sort of academic assessment in addition to workplace outputs, and involve an academic as well as a workplace supervisor. There are a range of for credit internship opportunities available to students at the ANU. For further information, please visit our For Credit Internship resource.
Not for credit internships
If a student’s course or degree plan does not accommodate for credit internships, a student may consider participating in a not for credit internship. As the title suggests, not for credit internships are not undertaken for academic credit, however, they do represent a valuable opportunity for students to engage in the workplace and gain workplace skills and knowledge. To learn more, visit our Not for Credit Internship resource.
As both for credit and not for credit internships are considered by employers as having great value, students should carefully weigh both options when deciding to undertake an internship. When searching, students should be aware that opportunities similar to traditional internships may be labeled by the following terms:
- work experience
- research Scholarships
- industry/ field placement
- overseas opportunities
- vacation employment/ placement
- workplace Learning
- work shadowing.
Applying for available positions
The application process for each internship opportunity will vary depending on the position and organisation. The Careers Centre can assist students in putting together strong applications and resumes for a range of available positions.
Students interested in receiving feedback on applications, or further information on internships in general, should consider attending one of the Career Centre's Drop in Sessions or Workshops.
For further information and supporting materials relating to internships, please visit our Supporting Materials resource.