An internship or “intern” is a work placement that is offered by an employer to potential employees.  These are usually offered for a fixed term period (usually but limited to 3- or 6-months).  Interns are often graduates or students.  We are also seeing that interns are sometimes employed people looking to (and financially stable enough) to change career paths.  Internships may be either full or part time.

Internships offer the candidate a period of practical experience in the industry relating to their field of study. This experience is valuable as a means of allowing them to experience how they can apply themselves to the “real world” work environment. It also provides them with valuable work experience that can be highly attractive to potential .

Typically, an intern works in a position for an employer who operates in a sector related to the interns’ interest.  Often, interns will get on the job training, as well as undertaking tasks related to the business operations.

There are also advantages for the employer in this relationship.

Interns on shorter-term contract can provide employers with cheap (and sometimes even free) labour, for what is usually low-level office based tasks (such as photocopying, filing or report drafting).

Long-term, employers can use internships as an effective way of advertising their graduate jobs and/or schemes to students. Graduate job surveys suggest that almost half of all graduate employers hire at least 20% of their ex-interns for graduate jobs and training schemes.

The prospect of hiring ex-interns after graduating is also very appealing to employers because these graduates already understand the company and the job they will be doing. Ex-interns require little or no training.

An internship may be paid, unpaid or partially paid.

Thanks to the folks in WikiJob for helping with this content.