During college, you’re normally required to undergo an internship program. Some countries call this on-the-job training. It allows you to get first-hand experience at work, helping you decide whether the career path you’re considering is right for you.
Companies in Singapore are known for offering excellent internship opportunities. As such, traineeship programs in Singapore are also among the best in Asia. What’s more, under the Employment Act, interns are encouraged to be paid monthly stipends, even though it’s not required. In addition, employers applying for government grants to offset the costs of hiring interns may be required to pay their interns a minimum allowance.
Money-wise, interns may not have the best perks. But experience-wise — which is more important — they can reap lots of benefits. Although you’re still a student, you can be an asset to a company. If they train you well, you can get a stable job right after you graduate, or become qualified for bigger companies, including multinational ones.
What Happens During an Internship?
To get into an internship program, you can use your campus’ resources. It might include career fairs or on-campus recruiting events. There might also be job boards around your campus. It means employers are looking for applicants from your school, so don’t miss out on the chance to apply. You can use your university to your advantage while applying.
You can also search through job postings online. However, the choices you’ll see can be overwhelming. To narrow down your search, focus on what you specialize in or your major. For example, if you’re finishing a degree in healthcare, then look for available internships in healthcare facilities.
Check out a specific company of your choice as well. College students usually have a dream company. Look them up online and see if they offer internships. If you find yourself a good fit for them, don’t hesitate to send in your application.
Once you’ve been hired as an intern, your experiences will depend on what the company exposes you to. Some interns get the chance to go abroad, while others remain office-based, working as an assistant to a manager or senior manager. Basically, you should be treated like an employee. If you are paid, you must receive your allowance ‘before the expiry of the 7th day after the last day of the allowance period’. You are also entitled to overtime pay. Your employer must provide it ‘within 14 days after the last day of the allowance period’.
If you have to terminate your contract for any reason, your employer has to pay your total allowance due on the day you terminated your contract. If you resigned without prior notice, you’ll only receive your payment before the expiry of the 7th day after the day of your contract termination.
How Internship Impacts Your Future Career
During your internship, everything you learned in the classroom becomes a real tool of the trade. You learn from a professional setting and become treated as an adult rather than a student. As such, you get exposed to workplace collaborations and business etiquette. You acquire business communication skills and other soft skills learned on the job.
You’ll also undergo significant character growth. This is crucial, as some employers in fact value personal qualities more than professional knowledge. After all, it’s your personal qualities that determine how willing you are to learn, and how you handle challenges.
But of course, professional knowledge isn’t any less important. It will be a helpful tool to get accepted in actual jobs after you graduate. Since many fresh graduates face the disadvantage of lack of experience, your internship allows you to avoid that disadvantage, letting you enter the real world with professional skills and knowledge.
In addition, being an intern exposes you to a professional network, which will be useful after you graduate. The people you meet in your industry can act as your reference for your future applications. If you decide to start a business instead of working, your network can help you with promotion and word-of-mouth advertising.
Behind these amazing opportunities and perks though, are challenges. Internships aren’t easy. Since you’ll be treated like an employee, you’re also expected to act like one. It means you have to be mature and level-headed at all times. You should follow company policies, adapt to the culture, and make friends. When things get hard, you shouldn’t give up, but find strength from your colleagues.
Internship is tough, but rewarding and fun. The experiences and lessons you’ll obtain will benefit you in the long run. So maximize all opportunities and work hard. You’ll only have one chance to prove yourself as an intern.