Jidaw Systems
(MASTERCOMPUTERS)


The Requirements of Internship (Industrial Attachment)

Q
I am a subscriber to your newsletters. A big thank you for a job well-done as you sensitize and educate us. What is internship and its role? I hold a Bachelor's degree and I'm undergoing training and preparing for certification. I have been advised to seek an internship position in Information technology to put my training into use under professional supervision.

Please, could you advice me as to the best way to go about this, and what should my considerations be as I seek for a place to achieve this aim. What is the relevance of internship for an IT career? Where can I serve as an intern? I really need hands on job experience before getting advanced certification.

A
Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. I commend you on your efforts to develop and create opportunities for yourself. Direction and planning are certainly critical for career management. This is particularly important for developing your career in IT. It's important to have the right attitude towards knowledge and experience. Career progress requires a deep understanding of the importance of work experience. Though you can acquire knowledge and skills from training and other learning resources, in the technology field, work experience is key for relevant career growth. Getting work experience isn't exactly easy street for most newcomers. But it always helps to have a total picture that shows an understanding of the need and opportunities. I will offer some suggestions while on your part you have to be creative in getting benefit.

You will need to understand the benefits and essence of internship as well as the nature of internships. How can you make the most out of your internship experience? And which areas should you consider for such opportunities?

Understand Internship

When analyzing the nature of work an IT person does, it is possible to divide up the IT sphere into two major areas of business support and academics/research. Business support refers IT professionals involved in the use of IT in all aspects of life - commercial, education, social and government. While academics/research refers to individuals involved in the academic and research side of IT. Irrespective of the environment the distinction is in the nature of work carried out the individual. For example an IT professional providing operations, support and programming services in a university for student records is providing business support. The other person (working in a university or the lab of a software firm) that teaches and investigates vulnerabilities and secure programming is carrying out academics/research work.

Though many academic institutions provide qualifications and a solid grasp of the fundamentals in academics and research, business support is a major minus. Many students graduating with certifications or degrees are unprepared to deal with the needs of the environment. Qualifications aren't enough. What all sectors of society need are individuals who are ready to solve problems and create opportunities using IT from day one. The market and society wants thinking contributors not just qualifications.

Educational institutions attempt to address this deficiency by building industrial programs and internships into their degree programs. Most academic programs relating to technology require students to perform internship at specific stages of their academic programs. Such academic programs incorporate work experience as an integral part of a student's core curriculum.
Graduates and certified individuals who wish to develop hands-on work experience can also take the initiative to secure internships. During such periods of internship, students get exposed to working life and experience, where they gain some hands-on skills.

Benefits of internship

One of the most important and obvious goals of an internship is the acquisition of actual real world experience. Industrial attachment gives you a full and realistic view of workplace environment. This is not a storybook, fantasyland, feel-good activity. What is the workplace culture? What are the expectations? It means going through the highs and lows. You need to ask, is work experience for me? Is it an environment in which I can thrive? Internships are a great way to "try-out" career possibilities. Participating lifts the veil by allowing the student to learn more about the specific industry, field, technology, product or company. With a real feel of the nature of work you have more realistic judgment values that aren't coloured by fantasy.

The importance of having a better picture of what is really going on can't be overstressed. Lack of direction and unrealistic expectations, and not lack of intelligence, are some of the major reasons why many careers don't take off. You can and love to code but how much do you know about other things the programmer must perform - like nature of work? Is programming still your first choice? Your internship experience should aid you in analyzing your options and your situation.

But it's not just to gain a sense of the work environment. Internship makes it possible to link the academic environment with workplace and professional realities in terms of opportunities and challenges. Internship is an opportunity to learn first hand about valued requirements that can't be taught or experienced in the classroom.

Furthermore your educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments that expose you to the work of the employer (the internship provider). By participating in an internship, you gain hands-on experience and enhance your knowledge in a career field. The opportunity to develop professional competence is a major plus - learning and contributing in the workplace. You should invest in internship to develop new skills and gain professional experience in the IT profession. Competence is particularly important in today's world, as industry requires competence not just qualifications. Having quality work experience increases your marketability. Qualifications and certifications may open the door but they can't keep the door open. It's beyond passing exams. Qualifications will not provide an umbrella for incompetence.

Seeking an internship is a brilliant way to acquire job search and interviewing skills. You use the internship search to learn how to market yourself for opportunity. You gain experience in job-seeking skills such as resume and cover letter preparation and interviewing. The self-evaluation you go through when developing your resume and other job search helps you better define what you want in your future. Usually students with two to three internship experiences during formal education are often the most productive in securing full time employment quickly upon graduation.

Working in industry is about working with people. "No man is an island" - John Donne. You might be a strong academic performer with the best results or grade in your class but please experience is not about "one-woman-or-one-man-riot-squads". It's important to know how to learn and work with people to get results. People aren't machines or zombies. Internship is therefore useful for learning and improving soft skills such as communication, problem solving, analytical, decision-making, leadership, presentation, teamwork, networking and interpersonal skills (empathy, sensitivity, and friendship).

Internship helps students build professional networks. Your interaction with working IT professionals during your internship can lead to career opportunities. Deepen and expand your network. It is easier to succeed when you build your own personal network of individuals that you can rely on for advice, job leads, technical assistance and other helpful support.
 

Jide Awe

Jide Awe is the Publisher of Jidaw.com

 

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Comments

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April 28, 2008

 

Shuru Mohammed Ashafa of Voice of Nigeria, Abuja says:

 

 

Highly educative and interesting. 

 

 

April 21, 2008

 

Jibrin Babanrabi in Abuja says:

 

 

My goodness, I'm excited. This is so inspiring and motivational. please how will a person possibly get ccna exams materials. i attended ccna 1-4 academic programme,but not yet certified. Thanks. 

 

 

April 4, 2008

 

Onwuchekwa Princess says:

 

 

This is my first time of visiting your site and I must commend you for such opportunity to obtain information provided by you. Please I will like to know how possible it is for me to obtain information on internship opportunities for pharmacy graduates in oil companies. Also I have a problem with facing panels so how can I survive interviews? 

 

 

March 17, 2008

 

Gabriel from Lagos says:

 

 

Thanks! A good job indeed. I'm getting more light by the day on IT stuffs.  

 

 

March 16, 2008

 

Sani Umar from Kaduna says:

 

 

Thanks for this insight. It's gives me a clearer picture.  

 

 


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DISRUPT THE STATUS QUO!

     
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