Internships are great opportunities to get experience, explore something new or just to make your CV look nice. Experiencing a real work environment can give a realistic perspective on a field of interest or help explore areas one is not that knowledgeable about. Either way, internships are a fun experience that let you take on the responsibility of a working person, to some extent. One question interns-to-be tend to ask themselves is whether they are good enough to apply for an internship.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t lose anything by applying, on the contrary, you get valuable experience whether you get the internship or not. This means that the next time you apply you may have a higher chance of getting the internship, from already knowing information about the process and from receiving feedback as to what you could have done better. Asking for feedback as to your presentation or approach in the application process is very important to improving your skills and your chances for success in the future; and the best source of feedback is feedback by people who chose to give or not give you the internship. Feedback will give you insights as to what you did well, your strengths as well as areas of improvement, your weaknesses. So applying for an internship is already valuable regardless of the result thanks to the experience and knowledge you can get from applying. And being “not good enough” is out of the question since for trying and subsequently improving there is no prerequisite other than being able to apply.
Next, consider the specific skills some internships require. Generally, the company publishes them to narrow down the kind of people they are looking for. In this case being “good enough” in a skill set or knowledge way is simply a matter of checking their expectations and making sure you fulfill them. There are some internships that do require some specific skills you may not have, but should the requirements be unclear, it is very wise to call or email the company to make sure what they mean and to what extent they expect you to skilled in certain areas. In this case, being “good enough” means meeting the internships’ skill requirements, whether that be a language or expertise in other skills or knowledge.
But explicit requirements aside, whether you are “good enough” will be decided by the company itself in the selection process. The company knows best who it is looking for and you should put all preliminary judgments on yourself aside, since if you get the internship it means the company, from your performance and interviews and other sources, deemed you to be “good enough” for the internship. And while this gives you responsibility concerning your performance and execution of tasks assigned, there is no reason to doubt yourself since being selected means you are “good enough.” And even if you did not get the internship, through the feedback mentioned above, by applying you are increasing your chances of getting the next one you try for. Applying is a learning opportunity regardless of the result and should serve to help you get better rather than demoralize you. Not each internship is for everyone.
To conclude, applying for an internship holds a lot of growth potential regardless of the outcome. Either you get the internship and experience a real-life work environment with countless learning opportunities, experience, and insights as to what you might want to be doing in your future career; or you are rejected, but you gain experience with the application process and, through feedback and reflection, increase your chances of getting your next internship. So regardless of your fears or doubts as to whether you are “good enough”, I urge everyone to consider partaking in this learning opportunity, which in each case, accepted or rejected, benefits you in your future life.
Written by Samuel Malina, Year 3 student
During a school experiential weeks, Samuel has experienced an internship with one of the Slovak political parties. He has learned more about marketing and management of a political party.