Types of Internships

Types of Internships

An internship is a great way to learn a profession or trade. Interns are usually students or fresh graduates who work in order to gain experience in their chosen field. For college students, an internship could be a requirement of their course load. In the case of recent graduates, it could be the last step towards certification and recognition in their field of study and a first step in boosting their career. For instance, medical students work in hospitals as a final part of medical training. Graduates in some other fields may need an internship too as an entry-level position, an opportunity to gain valuable work that will equip them with the skills needed to boost their career. The duration of an internship varies according to the type and the company or organization offering it. It could last as long as a month, a quarter (3 months), or even 3 years. It could also be part-time or full-time. With the rise of technology, not all internships are in-person. Internships can also be remote, which is virtual. Some internships are paid, others are not although you may receive stipends, certifications, job offers, and other compensations, benefits, and remuneration.

While it is important to choose a work environment that provides all the support and help you need as an intern, it is equally important to know the types of internships available so you can choose the one that works best for you. Or maybe you are an employer carrying out research on the best types of internship opportunities to incorporate into your company or organization. This article has collated an informative list of twelve types of internships.


Types of Internships

Paid Internship: This is the most popular type of internship and every prospective intern’s choice for obvious reasons. Companies and organizations that offer remunerations to interns are mostly private conglomerates that can afford it. Paid interns may also be assessed based on their performance because some companies use the internship avenue to aid their recruitment process. Paid internships can be referred to as a job for the duration it lasts if the compensation is adequate. Most companies that offer paid internships place their paid interns on monthly salaries.

Apprenticeship: This type of internship is common in the business and handicraft sectors. It is even safe to say that it is solely business and craft related. In the apprenticeship system, an apprentice or intern learns a craft or trade through instructions from a master for a set time under set conditions. After an apprentice’s training, he is free to start up his or her own trade.

Course Credit Internship: As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, some college and university students seek internships because their course load requires it. In this case, the internship is a crucial part of the entire coursework of a department or specifically related to a topic. Course credit internships are closely monitored by the school and to earn the credit, students may need to get signed logbooks from their place of internship to account for attendance. They may also need to do a presentation after the internship to show the skills and knowledge they garnered. For-credit internships can last as long as a semester.

Short/Summer Internships: This is a type of internship usually undertaken by students during long school breaks. A student may decide to intern during the free period, not for course credits but to get valuable skills and familiarize themselves with the workings of their field of study or a field of interest. Summer internships can also be used for college credit and to lessen a student’s workload when academic activities resume.

Non-profit Internships: Non-profit organizations exist for reasons other than to make a profit. They include charitable, educational, or service organizations and development-aimed groups. Because of their aim, the internship opportunities they offer are more voluntary activities. They may also offer free certification courses that will help an intern learn valuable in-demand skills that will help him or her secure a good job. While a non-profit because of its nature may not be able to place an intern on a monthly salary, it can give stipends and other forms of benefits and remuneration to an intern. When you intern at a non-profit, your goals should align with it – that is, wholly participating in providing the services they offer. Interning at a non-profit is a great way to learn soft skills and the work experience will definitely look good on your CV too.

Cooperative Education: A cooperative education greatly benefits students. It is an easy way to work in your field of study and gain the needed experience whilst in school. Mostly with cooperative education, colleges and universities partner with employers who provide work opportunities for their students. Coop internship is merged with regular classroom learning. That way, students can practice what they are learning, earn course credits and even earn stipends.

Externship: An externship is an experiential learning opportunity, usually offered by a school, similar to an internship, but generally shorter in duration. Externships can last just as long as a day or a few weeks. It is commonly called job shadowing. This is because it involves showing students around and showing them a day in the life of a job. An externship gives students the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of a career in order to determine if their skills and interest match the requirements and responsibilities of the field.

Service Learning: Service learning is a little distinct from other forms of the internship because it requires that the intern, usually a student, perform a service or activity for the benefit of the community at large, such as cleaning, fundraising, pro bono professional services, etc. Through their service, they meet already set out learning goals. Service learning is organized in phases. First, the students outline key objectives which involve choosing a service to provide. Next, they perform it, and finally, they give a presentation of their observation and analysis.

Fellowship: A fellowship internship is a temporary position at an academic institution with limited teaching duties and ample time for research. A fellowship could also be referred to as a postdoc. In the United States and Canada, it is a  period of supervised, sub-specialty medical training that a physician may undertake after completing a specialty training program or residency.

High School Internship: Just like its name, a high school internship is specifically related to or taken by a high school or secondary school senior or graduate. It prepares and helps them understand the labor market. A high school internship can also influence the choice of study or career for an intern.

Internship Abroad: This type of internship requires that an intern travels out of his home country to a foreign one.

Start-up Internship: This is an internship with a new company, organization, or business venture designed for rapid growth. Tech is currently the new oil and a huge percentage of startups are tech-based. There is therefore a high demand for internship opportunities with tech startups. Since they have a high possibility of growth, interning with a startup is a great way to learn valuable digital and IT skills and also give your career the push it needs.


Final Thoughts

There are many things to bear in mind before deciding on a type of internship to take. They include the specific skills you want to learn, your course of study or field of interest, time, finance, and what you are doing at the moment – schooling, job hunting, or looking to get trained and certified. Choose an internship type that works best for you.

Saying that interning has a lot of benefits is an understatement. The skills and work experience you get will attract recruiters and you could even be absorbed into the company or organization’s system as a permanent staff based on your performance. If you are interning to learn a skill or to get required training in your field, give it your best shot and learn all you can. Be open-minded and use all the resources available to you. This will ensure that you get the best out of your internship and are ready to jumpstart your career. We wish you the very best!


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