This week our writers battle it out over Summer Internships. Are they worth while, or just a waste of your precious summer months?
Against: Carpe Diem
[William Ahmed | Web Manager]
I myself have just completed a year long placement, and can personally guarantee the knowledge I gained over the year – so what’s different about summer placements?
In year long placements, students are given 12 weeks of ‘on the job’ training, after which they are considered ready to undertake their duties. 12 weeks – the maximum amount of time that is available for an entire summer placement. In my mind, this means students are spending 12 weeks in a training mode without any time to put their newly learned skills into action.
I have another major issue with summer placements, and the clue is in the name – summer. Whilst I understand that students should keep working over summer to earn a bit of extra money for term time, I think it’s important to take some time to sit back and enjoy the warmer months.
We are in a unique position, in that we are free from May to September, something that is unlikely to occur in the future – so I say take the time to gain some experience that no job can replicate, life experience.
Why sit in an office all day working when you can travel the world, meet people from different cultures and see things that will stay with you until the day you die? After all, who’s more interesting in an interview, someone who can accurately draw a flowchart, or the person who; climbed kilimanjaro, skydived over the great barrier reef, met a tribe in the depths of the rainforest and danced on the great wall of china. I know who I’d choose.
I get that we, as students, are looking to build success in our individual fields, and I understand the variety of reasons why people may choose to do a summer placement. I also know the value that a job title and a company name can bring to a CV, but remember that there is more to life than titles and companies. So my advice – live a little. You have the next 45+ years to get work experience, why not take the two long summers at university to do something amazing.
For: Make the most of it!
[Kealie Mardell | Print Editor]
I for one have never enjoyed the summer break, and as I progressed further in education and it got longer and longer I found it even more difficult. I’m not an idle person. I can’t stand having nothing to do and feeling like I’m wasting time just watching as the world goes by.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that I’m definitely a big advocate of doing something useful with all that extra time on your hands over the summer. A summer internship, or any kind of work experience, is one of the most valuable things you can do.
We all love a bit of extra money, and while your summer placement might not be the gold rush you were hoping for, if you’re working hard and gaining industry experience then that’s time well spent. Nobody is expecting you to absorb every piece of information on offer and emerge from your 12 weeks as a beautiful butterfly ready to embark into the world of work, but employers will be expecting you to have done something.
During interviews I often find myself wondering what lazy people have to say. I’m quietly confident that I have enough experience and different opportunities to draw on in order to answer potential interview questions, and a lot of that comes from the extra things I cram in over the summer.
So whether you’re taking a high paid internship, cheap and cheerful work experience, or just volunteering your time to a good cause – make the most of the summer. Looking back on those 12 weeks when you return to uni should fill you with a sense of pride and achievement, not a sense of sheer shock at how many hours you spent binge-watching your favourite TV series.
What do you think of summer internships? Let us know @TridentMediaUK