Why internships really matter, and how to get one!

Internship experience will put you ahead of the pack when it comes to the job search at graduation. Read on to find out how to lock in your internship now!

Intern? ME?

What is an internship? Why do one, what are the benefits, and what’s involved? At CDES, we support students in navigating the world of work. A big part of that is helping students connect with a range of organisations that offer internships, and step through the internship process together. 

Why intern? Get recruitment ready now!

Internships are defined as a period of work offered by an organisation to give students or graduates exposure to a work environment within their field of study or industry, usually for a set period of time.

Thinking about an internship now may seem like something to press pause on as you focus on your studies. But, now is the perfect time to investigate how to gain valuable internship experience, and build your skills. Get recruitment-ready now!

Benefits to interning

An internship can act like a bridge between university study and your future career, helping you gain beneficial professional experience, network with those working in your field, and even meet potential employers!

A great internship is a learning experience that extends well beyond lectures and tutorials, giving you the chance to apply your knowledge in the workplace. An internship will benefit you long beyond graduation, as it will build transferable skills to equip you as you navigate the world of work.

When I started my first ever internship I thought it would be really professional, formal, and perhaps impersonal. However I was really pleasantly surprised that hey, everyone is just human too! You joke, laugh, help, encourage, and support each other. Despite the differences between me and the other employees whether it's gender, age, experience, or stage in their careers, I got along with everyone really well!” 

Lan Chen, Plant & Food Research internship recipient 2019/2020.

South Aucklander Luisa Samisoni just completed a summer internship with a construction company, and values the meaningful experience added to her double major in Employment Relations and Sociology.

For more insights into other students’ stories who have undertaken internships recently, head to the Student Stories section on the CDES website.

Internships mean skills gained

Internships are not just relevant at the time you’re undertaking one: you’ll reap the rewards in the experience and solid skills gained long afterwards, particularly when you’re job searching.

Internships put you ahead of the pack on the job hunting trail, including:

  • New skills to strengthen your CV
  • New networks and contacts
  • Insight into the industry
  • The ability to try out some of the ideas you’ve learned in your studies, in a professional context
  • Stand out from the crowd with your internship experience, which indicates a proactive approach to your career
  • The experience you gain during an internship could lead to further opportunities in the field, or at the same organisation after graduation.

I probably know a lot more about myself than I did in the beginning,
particularly that I am a lot more capable and resilient than I give myself
credit for. This internship has given me so many unique opportunities.

Emily Cooper, Plant & Food Research internship recipient 2019/2020.

What's involved: Getting an internship

Here at CDES we support students with the capabilities and skills they need to create and navigate their own career futures in the world of work, including gaining internships. We’re here to make sure you have the confidence, skills, direction and CV that will impress so that you stand out from the rest.

Come in and speak with us about different internship opportunities on offer. We’ve helped thousands of students just like you, and have strong relationships with a wide range of employers!

  • Chat to a CDES career consultant at one of our quick-fire drop in sessions.
  • If you’d like a bit more time with us, book a 25 minute “one-on-one” appointment to chat with us on MyCDES.
  • CDES also offers free workshops to help you in your internship quest, including writing CVs, interviews, LinkedIn and networking skills. Login to MyCDES to book your place, and gain tips for putting your best foot forward.
  • We have much more up-to-date information and top tips about internships on our website.

I would recommend that when applying for an internship, apply for a project that is of interest to you, even if it's something you have never done before or is in a completely different city to where you are now. Follow the project that is interesting, and I can guarantee it will open up a whole heap of new opportunities and experiences for you!

Emily Cooper, Plant & Food Research internship recipient 2019/2020.

Explore how you can find an internship today with support from CDES, and how it will benefit you in creating a future you love!