Aravind, a management student and sports enthusiast, bagged himself a summer internship as a sales intern at Decathlon. Along with having fun working at a sports-centric store, he worked on a variety of tasks including sales, visual merchandising, market research & planning, strategy development, customer service, and competitive analysis. This improved his communication and interpersonal skills and taught him a lot about various aspects of sales. Along the way, he picked up new skills like analytics, research, problem-solving, strategic management, and organisational skills. By the end of his internship, he upskilled himself and was offered a full-time job at the store, which he gladly accepted.
Now, what exactly is upskilling? In simple words, upskilling means improving your skills. This might include improving your existing skills, picking up new skills in your field, or learning skills to try your hands at something new. The immediate question is ‘why would you want to upskill yourself?’. Well, here are a few reasons why:
- To be the preferable choice of recruiters: One of the major concerns of students, especially the ones about to graduate, is of getting placed in a reputed company. Upskilling yourself will give you a competitive edge over the fellow students, and thus make you the preferred candidate for a job.
- To keep up with the rapid advancement of technology and market trends: In today’s competitive world, the technology is advancing at a really fast pace and companies are experimenting with new processes for speedy growth. Upskilling will assist you in taking the first step towards your career, sustaining yourself in the industry, and creating value.
- To grow in your field: After a certain amount of time, a job can become a bit monotonous and there always is a possibility of your career becoming stagnant. To avoid this and to grow in your field, upskilling can come in handy.
- To follow your passion: It could often happen that your spirit is not into the field you are pursuing. To follow your passion and make a career out of it, upskilling can be the first step you take.
Students pursue a variety of paths to upskill themselves ranging from taking trainings, doing certification courses, and trying their hands on internships. But the question is how can internships help with upskilling? Here’s an attempt to answer the said question:
- Hone your soft skills: While interning for an organization, you’ll get a live experience of working in a professional environment and an opportunity to learn professional communication. This will sharpen your communication & interpersonal skills, strengthen your IQ, and improve your people & social skills.
- Hands-on experience on the latest technology: Working in a professional environment, you’ll learn a great deal about the latest technologies and methods that are used in the current market. This will not only give you work experience to show off on your resume but also make you adaptable to the frequent changes in the nature of work and new practices incorporated.
- Improve your problem-solving ability: While interning, you’ll get to work on a lot of real-time projects, you’ll take up new challenges and will need to come up with a better solution on a daily basis, thus improving your problem solving skills.
- Team building and management skills: In most cases, interning for an organization will require you to work with teams, which might include working as a part of the team, building a team, or managing it. This is something you might not be able to learn from any training or course but internships offer you the chance to build these skills by actually deploying them.
Upskilling with internships will not only help you with skill building but will also bring along the value of work experience to your resume. You’ll get to interact with a diverse range of professionals and will be introduced to a gamut of opportunities (both learning and new career paths). And the best thing about taking the internship path to upskill yourself is that you won’t have to pay for the knowledge you gain, skills you develop, and the experience you gain. In fact, you might even get paid for the same.