Inside Internships, Chapter 1: What Do Students Expect from Internships?
Published: Mar 23, 2023
Internships are a reality that every student in their later years of school are faced with. While universities try their best to place students in their dream jobs, the question of what one’s dream job is continues to plague the minds of every student!
Is my dream job what I think it is, or is it something I am meant for but have never had the opportunity to experience? Well, maybe one of the best ways to find out would be to try out—and what better way to try out a “dream” job than having a small test run or, to put it differently, getting an internship in a field one aspires to be in.
As much as the reality of students’ job woes remain the same at the core, what has changed is the times. As we strive to thrive and survive in a post-pandemic world, finding a job with a purpose has become more important than ever! It is now an employee’s market, and this generation of students are acutely aware of their needs and wants. So at Infosys, we did a small experiment in which we asked some students the burning question: “What do you expect from an internship?” And what they said, while perhaps not surprising, was extremely insightful.
The first observation that stood out was the expectation to learn—learn about a company and its culture; about an industry and how to make an impact there; about new technologies, new tools, and new businesses that prepare them for the next phase of their lives.
The second-most important point was to be able to build a strong network of peers and leaders—to learn about how people around the world think and to embrace different cultures; to learn from leaders and absorb their wisdom.
The third, and the most important, was to be able to interact with human beings at work. Students at all stages of life are yearning for human connection—to understand how people work, how employers interact with their employees, how big corporations manage to keep the human aspect, and how even a small part of a larger organization becomes indispensable by bringing unique perspectives to the table.
As we navigate new seas in a world that’s changing every day, we as human-centric organizations can only hope to do justice to our people. Gone are the days, when people can only be seen as “resources”; they instead need to be valued as whole beings! Employers, now more than ever, have arrived at a juncture where they have to acknowledge this fact and become more humane in every way possible.