Make the most of an in­tern­ship

Sunday Times - - Careers - — Mar­garet Har­ris

● An in­tern­ship can be a great way to get started in a ca­reer, espe­cially in South Africa, where un­em­ploy­ment is so high.

“An in­tern­ship is a chance to get to grips with the de­mands of work, and if you ap­proach it cor­rectly, you will add valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence to your CV and could make an im­pres­sion and be con­sid­ered for a full­time po­si­tion,” says El­bie Lieben­berg, the prin­ci­pal of Oxbridge Academy. She has the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

● Pro­fes­sion­al­ism is a must. “This means you need to dress neatly and ap­pro­pri­ately, al­ways be punc­tual and be will­ing to learn, even if those tasks seem bor­ing or mun­dane,” she says;

● Pre­pare your­self be­fore you be­gin so you know the kinds of things that need to be done, then vol­un­teer for things rather than wait for some­one to give you or­ders;

● Find a men­tor and ex­tend your net­work. “An in­tern­ship al­lows you to build pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple in your field and your con­tacts could alert you to op­por­tu­ni­ties,” says Lieben­berg;

● Not be­ing able to do some­thing is not a sign of fail­ure, but not ask­ing for help is; and

● Take com­pre­hen­sive notes out­lin­ing what you have learnt and the skills you have mas­tered.

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