As a fresh graduate there are few jobs and a smart way to fight your way into a job may be through an internship. Internships are sometimes low risk ways for employers to bring ine potential new employees so a smart graduate jobseeker will recognise internships as an in-road to landing a full time gig.
What An Internship Can Mean in Nigeria
Internship positions are not easy to come by in the country and depending on the hiring organisation can mean various things for the jobseeker ranging from the positive to the negative. You should be aware that while some organisations use their internship opportunities as a spring board to determining which graduate jobseeekers to bring in for the long term some unscrupulous employers have devised perpetual internship programmes as a way to find cheap labour and avoid having permanent full time staff for some wrok descriptions.
Thus part of your work as a graduate seeking internships that will lead to permanent jobs is to separate the real from the fake. This isn’t easy on its own however you will need to check through the descriptions for an internship opportunity and if possible during interviews ask for the organisation’s plans for interns that end up demonstrating superb grasp of their work and ability to provide value for the organisation.
How to Find Valuable Internship Positions?
As stated earlier internship vacancies aren’t that easy to find as many employers would rather get experienced staff for most positions than go the tortious route of hiring and training green eyed graduates under an internship programme.
On Ngcareers we list available internship jobs in Nigeria from various companies and recruiting organisations so checking that out or even subscribing to alerts on graduate opportunities in Nigeria is a good way to start your search for internship opportunities.
Searching and Applying for Internship Positions: Tips
Create a Compelling CV and Cover Letter
First you need to develop a sound CV or Resume detailing your strengths and skills for the type of intern job you are seeking. What you lack in experience you need to make up for in skills and passion. See articles on CV writing advice to help you get the hang of creating a decent CV.
Pick up Relevant Career Knowledge
If you have got some money to spare get to industry conference, workshops and read extensively on emerging issues in your industry. Use th eopportunities for online networking to start connecting with influencers and players in your industry (be sure not to start spamming or begging them for jobs). Start with contributing politely and meaningfully to the discussions around your industry of interest. The key is to start indirectly projecting yourself as a knowledgeable and passionate fellow.
Begin Your Search in Advance
Start your internship search early and don’t wait until you absolutely need to get a job before you start. Apart from searching for internship jobs online here are a few ways to widen your search for fruitful internship opportunities;
– Talk with your lecturers and professors to see if they have any contacts that might need interns
– Ask friends and family for introductions to relevant companies you are interested in (if you think hard enough you could come up with a list of friends or senior family members who could help)
– Social media (follow the people who have the information on your industry on major social platforms and politely ask them to refer you to any internship opportunity they might come across. You never know what you might get by just asking)
– Company pages: Check out the career pages of specific companies you might have in mind
Note: Don’t make the mistake of searching for internships only at companies and organisations that are well known. Most times getting an internship in those companies (eg Telecom, Oil & Gas, Banking companies etc) means struggling with tens of thousands of other graduates. carefully look for medium companies that operate under the radar and you could get a very rewarding internship in those kind of companies.
When You Finally Land an Internship Position: Making the Most of the Opportunity
When you get offered an internship the last thing on your mind should be money. Granted that you definitely need money and will be paid something but don’t make it your focus. Your major concern should be the opportunities for interns in that company; do they take interns that do well into good paying permanent positions; how long the internship goes and the potentials for your knowledge and skills growth during the internship.
Diligent, Smart Work
It is important that you make a good impression on your managers during your internship period. It’s a time you should abhor idleness and actively seek to learn all you can about the workplace and field you are in. Study the organisation and get a good grasp of their culture, products and services to give yourself a good chance at fitting in and producing stellar results.
Get to Know the Right People
One of the benefits of securing internships in companies where you’ll like to work is the opportunity it offers you to network with the right people. It gives you and inside peep at what the industry looks like and you ought to use that internship period to cultivate the right relationships and meet people who can help you further your career especially when they see you have the right attitudes and knowledge to be useful medium and long term.
Enquire About Prospective Openings
Halfway into your internship you should start making quiet enquiries about prospective openings and new opportunities in the organisation. If you have done your internship seriously and build a good reputation with your direct supervisors or managers you would be sure to get informed on any upcoming opening that you can take advantage of.
Make Formal Application Even if There Are no Openings
Many interns round off their internships without being offered a permanent position because officially there was no new opening for them to fill. Making a formal application for a position you desire and think is needed in the company (even when the position does not exist) will not hurt you. Instead (if you have really did a great job and got on well with your co-workers and supervisors) you might be considered for a position in the company.
Never give up placing a formal application because there was no advertised vacancy.
Express your interest in working for the company and applying the skills and knowledge you acquired towards contributing to its growth. And if you end up not hired, if you have done the above, you stand a chance of being considered when eventually an opening comes up that you could fill.
Join thousands of other career individuals in Nigeria and learn of new opportunities in your area of interest. Click here to create a profile and joinHow to Get Hired Through Internship; Ideas on Finding and Getting a Permanent Job through an Internship by Paul