What Is an Internship?

An internship is a temporary work experience that enables a person to acquire professional skills and validate their interest in a profession before starting their career.

What Are the Different Types of Internships?

Examples of different types of internships include:

  • Academic internship: compulsory internship leading to a certification or diploma
  • Paid internship: interns receive a salary in exchange for their work
  • Unpaid internship: interns are not paid for their time at work
  • Hands-on internship: a period of development in a company where interns have specific responsibilities in order to develop their knowledge
  • Observation internship: gives interns a better idea of what a workplace is like

Examples of internships include:

  • A teaching internship to qualify for a teacher’s diploma
  • A construction internship to practice theoretical concepts learned in the classroom
  • An internship in the health indsutry
  • An internship in a hotel kitchen

How Long Does an Internship Last?

The length of an internship depends on its objectives. For example, observation internships tend to be shorter than hands-on internships.

A person can do a one-day internship to discover a new profession, or a multi-month internship to fulfill the requirements for a diploma.

How to Recruit for an Internship?

Companies wishing to recruit for an internship in their organization must:

  • Post their internship offers on specialized sites
  • Affiliate with educational establishments, as required
  • Write an interesting and original internship offer
  • Hold job interviews
  • Sign an internship contract or agreement, as necessary
  • Welcome and integrate the intern into the work team

What Are the Goals of an Internship?

The objectives of an internship can vary from one situation to another. The most common objectives include:

  • Gaining hands-on professional experience
  • Developing one’s knowledge
  • Meeting the requirements needed to obtain a certification or diploma
  • Expanding a professional network
  • Becoming more autonomous
  • Testing out academic learnings

What Are the Advantages of Hiring an Intern?

The advantages of hiring an intern include:

  • Discovering new talent
  • Benefiting from new ideas
  • Building a talent bank
  • Reducing the workload of regular employees
  • Completing additional projects
  • Strengthening employees’ leadership skills

What Are the Drawbacks of Offering an Internship?

The disadvantages of offering an internship include:

  • Having to invest time in training interns
  • Increasing the number of errors due to lack of experience
  • Risking hiring unmotivated trainees

What Are the Advantages of Internships?

The benefits of doing an internship include:

  • Developing one’s professional skills
  • Discovering a field of employment
  • Developing technical skills
  • Expanding one’s professional network

What Are the Disadvantages of Internships?

The disadvantages of doing an internship include:

  • Lack of or poor remuneration
  • Lack of support from mentor or company
  • Lack of relevant, concrete tasks
  • The time commitment required

Do Internships Have to Be Paid?

Payment for internships is not systematically mandatory. For example, in Canada, companies or organizations offering internships are under no legal obligation to pay their interns.

Companies that offer remuneration to their interns generally recruit more qualified and motivated people.

What Skills Can Be Developed During an Internship?

The skills a person can develop during an internship include soft skills and hard skills, including:

  • Autonomy
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Field-specific technical skills
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Organizational skills
  • Work ethic

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