The world we reside in is dominated by business and commerce. Every aspirant needs to be highly equipped to even stand a chance in this day and age. While all of us have access to theoretical knowledge, there’s one thing that gives us that extra edge to stand out: Internships. Internships in India are especially important because of the scarcity of job opportunities in most professional opportunities. A student needs to gain exposure and knowledge to build a sustainable career.

“An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student’s field of study or career interest. It gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills, offering the employer the opportunity to bring new ideas and energy into the workplace, develop talent and potentially build a pipeline for future full-time employees.”

What is the Purpose of an Internship?

Internships are the perfect mixture of theoretical knowledge and practical application. They act as a learning program that helps students grow emotionally and professionally.
Julie Maio in her article titled “10 Reasons Why An Internship is Important to All Students” wrote that an internship increases one’s marketability as well as provides students with an opportunity to network.

This means that they equip a student with both technical skills and soft skills as well as give the student an insight into the fierce competition that’s waiting for them in the real world. The icing on the cake is networking. The student has a golden opportunity to interact and bond with senior professionals in the field and build a reputation that increases their chances of securing a job in the future.

The purpose of an internship for a student is that it not only provides the student with learning experiences but also helps them identify their career path that matches their passion and interests. One of the more important aspects of an internship lies in the fact that it is an avenue that provides an individual with actual work experience, where they get to apply their knowledge in a real work environment and are also given the opportunity to get more insights on the industry and adapt to the corporate culture and the code of ethics various organizations. 

Importance of Internships in India:

Since it is considered to be a training experience for a student, students are exposed to world of work  while doing an internship. Hence, we can consider an internship as a stepping stone in an individual’s career path, as one can experiment in as many fields and organizations that they wish to before they find an avenue that interests them.

A country like India is no exception when it comes to the competitive nature of one’s line of work. With the popularization of vocational courses, the importance of internships in India is gradually increasing as well.

A lot of colleges and universities in India, emphasize the requirement of doing an internship as a part of their curriculum so that their students get a flavor and sense of how it is to work in an actual workspace like that of an organization, whilst still studying. As a fresher, doing an internship is always seen as an added advantage, as the experience gained from it can always be mentioned in the resume of the student, opening up more job opportunities for them.

History of Internships in India and the world:

According to a study conducted in the year, 2010, titled, “An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Professional Internships on Students’ Perception of the Importance of Employment Traits” –  “Students with internship experience appear to bring more to the classroom, link the importance of classroom discussions to practice, and demonstrate a significant maturation process.”
The value of internships has long been recognized by the academic and business communities. In 1952, the American Accounting Association (AAA) indicated that a period of practical experience incorporated into the academic preparation of a student would enhance the overall value of the educational experience. Not long after the AAA study was published, the AAA and American Institute of Accountants (AIA; 1955), a predecessor to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), made a joint statement concerning the standards and responsibilities of internship programs.

Significance of Internships In India

Another article written by Steve Cohen in 2014 states that a significant purpose served by the experience of an internship is to bridge academic preparation in statistics with real-world applied research/data science applications, as the students learn how to structure research questions and answer them with the data that they have access to by using research methods, which the regular curriculum in school may not include. Hence, one can say that Internships form an important aspect of the graduate/undergraduate programs as they are instrumental in formulating the key competencies required by the graduates at the time of final placements while mapping both personal as well as the professional characteristics of a student.