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Internships: A Peek From An Interns Point Of View

The words 5 years experience seem mandatory for any attractive job vacancy nowadays. Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to be an intern, an opportunity that taught me the difference between dreaming about a great future and what it takes to make that future a reality.Read more about Phiwe Salukazana's experience as an intern.

The words 5 years experience seem mandatory for any attractive job vacancy nowadays. Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to be an intern, an opportunity that taught me the difference between dreaming about a great future and what it takes to make that future a reality.Read more about Phiwe Salukazana's experience as an intern.

So what is an internship? An internship is short to medium term employment offered by companies to prospective graduates with the prospect of full-time employment.

It is beneficial to companies because it offers employers a cost-effective means for recruiting highly qualified and motivated students. It meets needs without a long-term commitment, is a low-cost option for training potential future employees and provides an opportunity to gain supervisory experience for developing employees. Internships are also a means to gain short term talent, fresh insight and ideas into the business. It also fulfills a very important professional responsibility, which is to help train future generations by providing an opportunity for real work experience.

When I graduated, I would have given my left arm to anyone who could have turned my ambitions of walking into a great first job into reality. But, the potential bright future that I saw through my graduation certificate seemed darkened by the realisation that it takes much more than merely strolling by and picking what you want in life. I learned that you do not simply walk into a top job. You have to work hard for what you want in life.

An internship has been the perfect platform to prepare me for my future career. I am learning the drill, walking the talk and have managed to turn myself into a better investment through experience.

During my internship, I have learnt a few important lessons. First, I learnt that the workplace provides a few reality checks. These have often geared me towards adapting to the harsh realities of the real world. I soon realised that I no longer have the luxury of loafing through work with the hope of catching up when it counts most - during exams. I learnt that what you put in is what you get out, even if it meant getting up at 06h00 in the morning and working until 23h00 at night.

I also learnt that mistakes are counted for and that missing deadlines could bare a heavy price. In reality, a mistake no longer meant losing a mark or two. It holds much greater consequences, like the difference between gaining and losing a contract. This is the new reality there are no easy ways out. I am what I make myself to be through hard work and dedication.

Education taught me what business was, an internship taught me how to survive in it. Education taught me what to expect in work, an internship taught me how to build a career. Books gave me a lot of head knowledge, but an internship helped me learn about the corporate subtleties of how to convince a disappointed client not to jump ship. It also taught me how to lure clients through strategic networking.

Nothing can teach anyone more than the actual experience of work. And so, as a fresh graduate, nothing could prepare me better than an internship.

Phiwe Salukazana, was an intern at Enterprise Development Essentials in 2013

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