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We all know what an internship is; it’s a kind of work experience, but what does an internship do for you? What do internships teach you? If you can’t answer these, then you haven’t grasped the importance of internships.

So many, when contacting Roots, know internships are important and that they help your academic and professional career. Yet, when asked, ‘Are there particular skills you hope to gain from an internship?’, they have no answer.

Truly, the skills to gain from an internship are what will advance your career and help you most in the future. So, in this blog, we’ll unpack all the skills gained from an internship and the importance of those internship skills, so you can fully appreciate the importance of an internship.

9 Skills to Gain from an Internship

The reason it is so important to know the skills you hope to gain from an internship is that it’ll make finding your internship much easier. If you know the best skills to gain in an internship for your personal career goals, it will help you pick one with the right training and support. That’s how it works with us.

The tricky thing is that there are so many skills gained from an internship. From specialized role-specific knowledge to more transferable soft skills, there are so many answers to the question, ‘What do internships teach you?’

1. Role-Specific Methods and Procedures

During your internship, you’ll dive deep into the nitty-gritty of your chosen field. Whatever job title you’re vying for, an internship can teach you the ins and outs of specific tasks and procedures relevant to your role.

For instance, one of the skills to gain from an internship in marketing will be proficiency with tools like Google Analytics or Semrush. You’ll be guided through the processes, then have a chance to hone your internship skills through practical experience.

To get an idea of what role-specific skills to develop in an internship for your career path, look for jobs you’d like to progress towards and check the required skills section. Then, you can leverage these internship skills in applications for future jobs. This is how internships help you get a job.

2.  Industry Insight

What do internships teach you? They teach you about your chosen industry. This is one of the key aspects of the importance of internships.

Internships are a backstage pass to your industry. From industry events to team meetings, you’ll get to witness how professionals in your field approach their work. Along the way, you’ll gain valuable insights into current trends shaping the landscape of your career path.

This is one of the most beneficial skills to gain from an internship, as it may introduce you to roles you’d like to progress towards and will help you navigate your future professional life.

3. Knowledge of Your Field

Think of your internship as a crash course in your chosen field. You’ll not only learn best practices but also real-world knowledge that textbooks can’t provide.

Just imagine all the possible lessons learned from a wildlife conservation internship about certain species of flora and fauna or their ecosystems. Imagine all you can learn about the intricacies of a country’s legal system during a law internship.

In this way, there aren’t just skills to gain from an internship, but specialized knowledge of your professional niche too.

4. Workplace Confidence

Confidence in the workplace makes a world of difference, especially in the early stages of a career. If, like many, your internship is your first encounter with the world of work, this is probably one of the main skills you hope to gain from an internship.

As you tackle new challenges and navigate unfamiliar situations during your internship, you’ll gradually build confidence, not just in your skills and strengths but also in your ability to face the unknown and overcome challenges.

This self-assurance will empower you to perform at the top of your game wherever your career leads you. Confidence is a key indicator for future professional success, and mastering it during your internship sets the stage for future achievements in your career.

5. Professionalism

What do internships teach you? How to act in the workplace.

Professionalism encompasses a range of attributes, from punctuality and reliability to integrity and accountability, but it can best be understood as appropriate professional conduct.

Employers place a high premium on professionalism and traits around work ethic, so these are valuable skills to develop in an internship.

6. Communication

Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in your career and most other parts of your life too. The practice of prompt, professional communication is one of the best skills gained from internship experiences.

Internships present fantastic opportunities to develop your communication skills, whether through written correspondence or collaborative discussions. So, whether your weak spot is public speaking or keeping on top of emails, an internship is the time to overcome it.

Strong communication skills enable you to articulate your ideas persuasively, collaborate effectively, and build rapport with clients and stakeholders — all of which are essential for career advancement regardless of your chosen field.

7. Time management

Time management is one of the internship skills that most directly impacts productivity and performance in the workplace.

Internships provide a testing ground for you to work on your time management. Part of the importance of internships lies in the strengths you’ll develop as you juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and prioritize responsibilities.

Punctuality and promptness are valuable skills to gain from an internship, not only because they boost your efficiency and effectiveness. More than this, they demonstrate your ability to handle pressure and deliver results — internship skills that are highly valued by employers.

8. Networking skills

What does an internship do for you? It puts you in the room with industry professionals and gives you a reason to introduce yourself. This is one of the best networking opportunities you can have; be sure to seize it.

It’s important to know that the benefit of these opportunities extends beyond the actual contacts made during your internship. These opportunities are a chance to practice and develop your networking skills, which are some of the most valuable skills to develop from an internship.

One of the most common key internship takeaways from our interns is how the networking skills gained from an internship are a huge part of the importance of an internship.

9. Social Consciousness

Why do nonprofit internships? Social consciousness is becoming increasingly important in the business world, with companies placing greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

Nonprofit internships offer opportunities to make an impact on meaningful causes. Demonstrating a commitment to social consciousness during your internship not only aligns you with socially responsible organizations but also showcases your values, ethics, and drive to make a difference in the world.

The Importance of an Internship?

Now that you can answer, ‘What do internships teach you?’, you’re better equipped to pick the skills you hope to gain from an internship. Truthfully, the importance of an internship extends well beyond the internship skills gained. There’s so much more than skills to gain from an internship.

  • Practical Experience: Hands-on experience in a work environment is your chance to apply your education and knowledge to real-world situations. This not only enhances your understanding of your field but also builds your confidence to tackle new challenges.
  • Career Exploration and Networking: Internships offer a unique opportunity to explore different industries and roles. Additionally, they let you connect with professionals in your field and expand your professional network, which can lead to future job opportunities.
  • Resume Building: An internship is a fantastic addition to your resume. It showcases practical experience, work ethic, and commitment to career path. So, be sure you know how to add an internship to your resume.

Where to Intern with Roots?

Once you’ve picked the skills you hope to gain from an internship, you’re going to need to pick where to intern. This can be a challenge in itself. With Roots, you can explore internship opportunities across the globe.

1. Peru

Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, learning about indigenous cultures, or contributing to sustainable development projects, interning in Peru promises a lot more than just internship skills.

This Latin American gem is a dream destination for many travelers, and a nonprofit internship is the best way to see all this country has to offer. With our programs in Peru, you can gain medical experience in rural villages, support vulnerable youth facing disabilities, or conduct biology research in the rainforest.

2. Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the places where. From volunteering with local communities to exploring ancient temples and lush landscapes, the importance of an internship serves not only the intern but also the community they serve. Cambodia’s striking and important history and welcoming culture make it an ideal destination for an impactful meaningful internship.

Here, you could teach children computer literacy while offering nonprofit technical support or use your marketing skills to raise awareness for impoverished children in Siem Reap.

3. Portugal

Immerse yourself in rich history, culture, and innovative sustainability projects in Portugal while picking up all the usual skills to gain from an internship. This country of unique natural beauty is also home to a number of innovative, exciting conservation projects and wildlife care internship opportunities.

With veterinary internships, fundraising internship for animal welfare, and reforestation internships, if you’re an animal lover or nature enthusiast, consider interning in Portugal.

4. South Africa

What do internships teach you? In South Africa, they can teach you so many things. The Rainbow Nation is your gateway to an important social history, diverse cultures, and an abundance of skills gained from internships.

South Africa is our base of operations, so our network here is extensive. We have internship programs ranging from marine science research to refugee research to female empowerment to law. Take your pick from an abundance of opportunities with nonprofit internships in South Africa.

How to Put Your New Internship Skills into Action?

What do internships teach you? There are many technical, specialized skills, as well as transferable soft skills, to gain from an internship. The truth is, the importance of internships can’t be quantified by the number of internship skills gained.

When you consider the possibilities of nonprofit internships abroad, you stand to gain global awareness, social consciousness, personal growth, and so much more. If you’d like to learn more about all you stand to gain from nonprofit internships, get in touch with us.

With Roots, you’ll have one-to-one consultation and guidance to define your career goals, the skills you hope to gain from an internship, and find the best internship to serve those goals.

Browse nonprofit internships available with Roots