Most good engineering colleges provide for placement opportunities to students during their fourth year but there are still colleges where placement is not the norm. In such colleges many unplaced students find it hard to overcome significant hurdles during the search for their first real job.
Students should realize that chances of jobs are being offered to them are high, when they can exhibit some practical experience. Although student projects are possible at colleges, it is not uncommon to hear about large group projects of team sizes of 4-6 where a few students still get good grades on projects with hardly any contribution or learning.
While student projects allow for certain amount of practical learning, most of the students seem to neglect or under-estimate the value of internships in gaining real practical experience in preparing them for a smoother transition from college to workplace. Some of the students from engineering colleges seem to possess a distorted view of internships. They do not fully understand why internships exist and the value that they can potentially bring.
Some colleges have made internships mandatory and some of the students seem to do view them as yet another administrative thing to complete for the sake of getting the degree. They do not realize that the work done during an internship can be mentioned on their CV and the skills acquired marketed during their first job quest. We have compiled a small set of guidelines with do’s and don’ts as how to approach internships:
- Many students seem to judge the company by the number of employees in the organization. Do use more meaningful criteria to judge the company for the internship. Example criteria could be the time and training that they are willing to devote to you, type of products and services offered by the company in relation to what you want to learn, technologies employed by the company with respect what you want to master etc
- Do view an internship as a bridge between college and workplace. Do use it to your full advantage while you are at it
- An internship is always more valuable compared to a college project. It is possible to understand how companies work, build new contacts, develop a network and most importantly work on real-life projects executed within the company. Do try to obtain an internship during your third or final year
- An internship is a great opportunity to learn in a company environment without being an employee of the company. Do set yourself goals prior to starting your internship and focus on completing them during the internship
- If you join a very large organization to do an internship do use the opportunity to learn about the activities performed in the various departments by doing short stints in each of them. This experience will help provide you the big-picture in better understanding the career prospects in relation to your ambition
- Attitude and mindset play a great role in the learning process. Do tackle all tasks given to you with enthusiasm and positive attitude
- Avoid negativity and never shun a chance offered to you to learn more about a concept, technology, industry or company
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions to try and get as much exposure as possible
- Do identify a good mentor within the company and take initiative to execute new projects where you can make a difference to the company
- Do enjoy yourself during the internship and leave with tangible accomplishments
Mohideen Noordeen MS PhD MoT
CEO Inforill Technologies Pvt Ltd