What makes an excellent intern

Why do an internship?

At school, during studies or as a start in the company - hundreds of thousands do an internship every year. It is now common practice to have been an intern at least once in your life and you keep hearing about the “Internship Generation”.

Many degree programs now require an internship for successful completion. For a long time it is no longer just doctors or educationalists who get a taste of the later day-to-day work. Technical, economic and humanities subjects are also increasingly relying on experience outside of the university. Those who study such a subject usually cannot avoid the time as an intern. But why is the internship almost a must for my career these days and what do I get from it, apart from an entry on my résumé?

theory and practice

“Try is better than study” - everyone has probably heard this saying before. What makes the difference between theoretical specialist knowledge and practical day-to-day business at work can usually only be recognized once you have experienced everyday working life yourself. An internship gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts and work techniques you have learned. This not only gives new ideas for further studies, but also sharpens the focus on the essentials. Those who can do excellent scientific research at home may initially be overwhelmed by the hectic pace and time pressure at work. The internship is therefore intended as a kind of training for the later job, in which you can try out yourself.

What do I want and what can I do?

The internship search already helps to get a more precise picture of your future job. General statements such as “something with the media” do not work when looking for a job. Even when applying for an internship, companies expect you to know where your own interests lie. Of course, nothing is set in stone with an internship - anyone who notices that the chosen field of activity is completely different than expected has just as much learned something for their later career choice as the enthusiastic.

The question about one's own strengths and weaknesses is probably the most common one in job interviews. Actually, you can only answer them for yourself after a good internship. During practical work, it quickly becomes apparent which tasks are easy to handle, whether you can quickly fit into a team and where gaps in knowledge still need to be filled. When looking for a permanent position later, it is much easier to say “I've done something like this before”.

Contacts, contacts, contacts

If the right person is being sought for a vacancy, then it is good if the responsible HR manager remembers you positively. As a former intern, you usually have a very good chance of being employed in the company later, as you are already familiar with the basic work processes.

An internship does not only offer entry opportunities directly in the company. Contacts to various groups of people and customers that one made as an intern often help. This is how you can find new job offers over a few corners.

To broaden the horizon

Anyone who opts for an internship lasting several months can gain more than just work experience. Internships abroad offer, for example, insights into other cultures and a change of scenery is also possible within one's own country through internships in other cities. Why not get a taste of an internship in Berlin, Hamburg or Munich? New insights, new outlooks, new people - with motivation and openness, you can take a lot with you from an internship. Among other things, an exciting topic for the thesis.

ECTS - earn credits with an internship

The ECTS is the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, it ensures that the performance of students at European universities are comparable and can therefore be transferred when changing universities. In order to make this possible, examinations are assessed according to the requirements of the ECTS with credits. The system is mainly used in Bachelor and Master courses.

The achievements that are assessed with credits include not only exams and performance records - students can also collect important credit points with internships prescribed in the study regulations!

... and in the end just make coffee?

The right prerequisites for an internship are varied tasks, good support and integration into the company's work processes. Interns who only make coffee or make copies often only gain frustration instead of experience.

MeinPraktikum.de is there so that you can avoid such internships and recognize the really exciting positions.