What makes a good internship experience?

Posted by GradConnection


Posted by GradConnection in collaboration with Swire Group

In a competitive job market, internships are a valuable experience for students to get job-ready during their university years. With limited time, finding the perfect internship experience is crucial. So, what makes a good internship and how can you get the most out of it?

1. Autonomy

Unlike the classroom, an internship gives you a real-life experience on top of what you have learnt in class. A great internship provides you with the knowledge and skills required to become successful in your chosen career field, arming you with experience and knowledge that could help you integrate to the job market once you graduate.

Learning on the job is the best and fastest way to develop new skills. Internships that allow you to take ownership of a project and work on a variety of tasks, rather than ad-hoc work, offer you an opportunity to learn and gain awareness.

For example, Swire Group, a large-scale conglomerate that encompasses operating companies like Swire Properties, Cathay Pacific and Swire Coca-Cola allows interns to own, lead and implement a business-related project during their seven-week internship programme. Previous projects have included leading the development of a digital sales toolkit for the beverages industry; and curating customer loyalty events for shopping malls.

Tip: When looking for an internship, search for reviews on Glassdoor or speak to others who have interned at the company to get a sense of what you will do during your internship.

2. Education through supervisors or mentors

When starting your internship programme, you will undoubtedly feel nervous. Guidance from mentors or supervisors can teach you about an organisation, give you insight on how a business works and guide you through day-to-day work. In addition to being an “on the job teacher”, a mentor will help with any problems and keep an open mind to help you become a professional.

For example, Swire’s internship programme provides all-rounded support from different angles and perspectives: on top of the Direct Supervisor and team, Interns will also have access to a Project Ideation Coach to sense-check and debate business pitches, a Management Trainee Buddy and batchmates who can share their personal learning and growth experiences with you – these stakeholders can guide you during your seven-week internship programme. You can also build life-long connections with these helpful stakeholders.

Tip: When looking for an internship, research whether the company gives you all-rounded support with open-minded mentors and supervisors that are willing to teach and guide you. Do not be afraid to ask questions on the job!

3. Making professional connections

Your professional connections can be most valuable as you begin your job search. Not only can they advocate for you, but they can also give you tips during your application processes.

However, as a student, building a professional network in your career field of interest can be difficult. Internships present an excellent opportunity for you to meet professionals in your potential career field and can help you network with people from other sectors.

Tip: Speak to your colleagues or peers and take the opportunity to discuss your future goals. Do not be afraid to connect with them on LinkedIn to stay in touch.

4. Potential for more

Undoubtedly one of your goals is securing a full-time job upon completing your internship.

Some companies have a strong track record or have processes in place to offer interns the opportunity to become a full-time employee. These internship programmes are often more worthwhile as companies are more likely to invest in the development of their interns during their programme.

Tip: Keep in touch with your mentors or supervisors after the internship, even if you do not get an offer.

5. Jobs that align with your values

A key factor to consider is whether a company aligns with your values and makes you proud to intern at the organization.

Companies that offer a diverse and inclusive working environment, as well as jobs that provide a social purpose and align with your values, can provide high job satisfaction. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 found that employees show more loyalty to companies that address employee needs, from diversity and inclusion to sustainability and reskilling.

Tip: Before applying, do your research on the company’s vision and mission. Evaluate whether the company’s social impact initiatives and strategies align with your values.

Swire’ Summer Internship Programme

Many companies offer summer internships or graduate roles. Finding an internship that fulfils all the above requirements may seem difficult but is not impossible!

Swire Group, a diversified business group operating across various industries and geographies, is committed to its home-grown leadership teams. Its sought-after Summer Internship programme for Hong Kong and Chinese mainland candidates and graduate programme known as the Swire Management Programme for candidates from any nationality are a core part of the organisation’s culture.

Swire’s Summer Internship Programme offers a comprehensive induction and hands-on experience to help ambitious interns learn about the breadth of the Swire Group. Over seven weeks, interns have the chance to work in one of many Swire operating companies based in Hong Kong or the Chinese mainland. They will have the autonomy to lead high impact projects to develop skills and gain commercial awareness to kick-start their career in business. They will also work in teams to conduct a creative business pitch to Swire’s management team. Outstanding interns will be fast-tracked in subsequent year’s Swire Management Programme recruitment.

Interns who successfully complete the Swire Summer Internship Programme and exhibit high potential will be prioritised to attend a panel interview for the Swire Management Programme selection process.

Learn more about Swire’s summer internship programme here: http://bit.ly/3rkCFtR


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