A vocational training placement is an awesome opportunity to get your foot in the door of the industry you want to pursue a career in. They allow you to put your tertiary education to the test and develop practical skill sets that you can take with you into future positions.
They also allow you to network with established industry professionals, giving you a greater edge in finding a permanent position in the future. These professional contacts can also act as great mentors who can pass on valuable insider secrets to help you succeed.
If you’ve studied information technology, then you’d probably be on the lookout for worthwhile IT internships that can help you get a head-start in the industry. However, finding a placement is only one step of the journey; you need to make sure you get the most out of it so it’s actually worth your time.
Vocational placements can often vary in quality, with some being a thinly veiled way to exploit you for free or low-paid labour. Others can simply pair you with an unprofessional company that teaches you ineffective, wasteful or downright unethical business practices.
Therefore it’s essential that you make sure you are vigilant in how you approach your placement so that you get value for your time. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize the effectiveness of any IT internships you pursue.
Figure out what you want to achieve and set goals accordingly
Going into your IT internship without a clear idea of what you want to learn from it is a recipe for disaster. While it’s obvious that you want industry experience and a chance at employment, these goals are rather vague and don’t specify any skill sets you want to develop while there.
Taking full advantage of your placement will ultimately come down to you and your personal investment. While your supervisors will normally have a plan for how they will train and utilize you, you should express to them any things that you want to work on or learn about.
This will allow you to learn practical skills as well as give your supervisors a good impression of you. Showing eagerness to not only do what you’re told but to also take on extra activity will tell them that you’re sincerely passionate about the industry.
Be honest about your mistakes
The worst thing you can do during any of the IT internships you undertake is lie about the work you’re doing just to save face. Your supervisors have seen and done a lot more than you and can see through obvious lies about your progress.
Remember; you’re there to learn and nobody expects you to ace every task on the first attempt. Be honest about your mistakes so you can actually learn from them.
The last thing you want is to gain a reputation as someone who is too cowardly to admit their own faults. This won’t lead to good recommendations as most firms wouldn’t want to employ someone they can’t totally trust.
Network and try to find a mentor
Other than learning on the job, the secondary role of your IT internship is to engage with industry professionals so that you can establish a network to assist you in the future. This will give you a chance to get valuable recommendations from trusted and influential practitioners as well as potentially find a mentor to assist you throughout your career.
Most importantly; don’t force anything. If you work hard and show charisma, people will like you and want to see you succeed. Reputable professionals are always eager to help the next generation in their industry and impart them with valuable wisdom.
Hopefully you can utilise the above information to help you get the most out of your IT internships.