Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in your desired field of study? From law to engineering, the career path you choose will eventually lead you to make a significant contribution to your industry. Taking the first steps in achieving your goals can seem overwhelming, but internships and job shadowing provide an excellent opportunity to gain real-world experience. Here, we look at the benefits of interning and job shadowing, and how you can find relevant opportunities in your field.
1. Gaining Insight Through Internships and Job Shadowing
If you’re considering a career in a certain profession, or are wanting to explore a particular field, internships and job shadowing can provide a valuable insight. These weeks, months or days spent with those already in the industry offer unique perspective and a better understanding of the field. Here are some of the key benefits from .
- Learning from experienced personnel: With internships and job shadowing, you have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals first-hand. You can learn how they go about their work on a day-to-day basis, get an insight into the culture of the organization they’re part of, and learn how to approach tasks and challenges.
- Experience working in the industry: One of the key benefits of internships is having the opportunity to work in the industry. You’ll get experience working with the technology, processes and people in that field. It can help you determine if that profession or field is the one you would like to pursue in the future.
- Networking opportunities: During internships or job shadowing, you’ll also get the chance to network with professional contacts. This puts your name on the radar with people who could assist you with your job search in the future.
Besides these benefits, internships and job shadowing will also help build a foundation for the future. You may even get valuable references that’ll help you when applying for jobs in your chosen field.
So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and take up any internships or job shadowing that could give you a better understanding of life in the industry. It’ll give you the knowledge and experience to help you make an informed decision about your future.
2. Understanding the Benefits of Real-World Experience
For many students and recent graduates, the thought of real world experience can seem daunting. However, by learning to operate within the professional environment of a company or organization, you can gain skills and understanding that will enrich your future career.
Building Marketable Knowledge: Real-world experience will allow you to gain in-depth knowledge of certain areas of business or industry. You can gain knowledge of the latest trends, best practices and the common pitfalls employers look out for. This knowledge will give you a competitive edge in the job market, making you more applicable for future roles.
Unique Learning Opportunities: By experiencing the expectations, needs, and considerations of employers, you can hone certain competencies and develop your own understanding of the workplace. Working in a role will challenge you, developing your abilities while also teaching you how to respond to pressure and think quickly.
Improving Self-Reliance: Working in a professional capacity will improve your self-reliance and increase self-discipline. You’ll need to develop strong initiative and problem-solving skills, while keeping track of your professional progress and deliverables.
Real-world experience can provide great value to any student or recent graduate. Here are some valuable benefits to consider:
- Develop interpersonal and communication skills
- Gain experience in a specialized field
- Improve public speaking and presentation skills
- Increase confidence and motivation
Real-world experience can be a great opportunity to build a solid foundation in many areas that will serve you well throughout your career.
3. Making the Most of Your Time in the Field
Whether you are a recent environmental science graduate, a budding conservationist, or an experienced ecologist, there is no denying the importance of spending time in the field. Being amongst the rich ecology that nature has to offer is an experience unlike any other. But how do you make the most of your time in the field? Here are some ways to make the most of your environment:
1. Utilize nature’s cues: Noticed how the birds get quiet at night? Or how the ground becomes damp in the mornings? Bring attention to nature’s cues to figure out the best possible places and times to observe your field as it comes to life.
2. Use maps and GPS: Maps and GPS will be your best friends when it comes to locating yourself and staying up-to-date with any changes in landscapes or areas that may not have been observed the last time you were in the field. Tools like these will come in handy when trying to properly document your findings.
3. Keep track: The process of data gathering can be a labour-intensive mission, especially if you’ve been in the field for extended periods of time. To ensure accuracy and not getting lost in all the information you collected, be sure to keep a field journal or other form of tracking data.
4. Take breaks: Though work is always an important factor, make sure that you don’t exceed a sustainable hour of observation. If possible, try to schedule in some time to break, relax, and enjoy your surroundings, as this can be a great opportunity to take mental notes and ideas that you can come back to later.
5. Catch up after: When your field trip is all said and done, be sure to include some time to properly catch up on your research. Whether it’s conferences, lectures, or publications, take advantage of the time following your field trip to catch up in the world of environmental science.
Drawing attention to your environment and taking proactive steps to ensure accuracy in research is key to not only make the most of your time in the field but also to make the most impactful findings. With the right preparation and mindset, you can be sure to gain valuable knowledge and experiences from your ventures into nature.
4. Setting Yourself Up for Career Success
When it comes to insuring your career success, there are a few key steps you should take to put yourself in a strong position. Here, we highlight some of the best practices to steer you in the right direction.
1. Invest in Your Education
A good place to start is by investing time and money in furthering your education. Whether that’s formal qualifications or studying a specific skill set, having the right knowledge will put you in a stronger position to apply for jobs and deliver on responsibilities efficiently and competently.
Most jobs today are procured through building relationships and networking. It’s important to put yourself out there and meet others in your space who can both give you insights into the industry and opportunities to progress. This can be through attending events, following industry leaders and engaging with relevant articles online.
3. Remain Current
No one wants to recruit someone who is behind the times and not aware of the latest trends. Take measures to stay up to date with the industry, the specific job you want and the company you desire to work for. Research relevant topics, read industry reports and publications, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
4. Stay Committed
The career ladder is rarely climbed overnight — it takes dedication and commitment to getting where you want to be. Remain diligent with your efforts, stay motivated, and demonstrate your capabilities wherever possible. You may not see instant results, but they will come in time.
- Focus on the end goal.
- Generate measurable results.
- Keep track of your achievements.
Ultimately, is down to you and the effort you put in. Show employers what you can do, and you will be rewarded in the long run.
Your internship and job shadowing experiences will help you gain that extra edge when you enter the job market. Don’t be afraid to embrace the real-world experience that comes with internships and job shadowing. You have the power to turn these experiences into a confidant and successful career.