A Poly Student’s Guide Towards Internships

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Internships are a part of most poly student’s life and are often done during the last year of their stay at a polytechnic. Over the course of a semester, poly students are tasked with working for a company whose job scopes fit or are related to the modules and lessons taught in school.

This article is a comprehensive guide towards all you need to know with regards to internships as a poly student. If you are interested, then continue reading the article to find out more.

What will you be facing?

Before we proceed any further, it is first important to discuss what an intern will be facing when they take an internship to avoid any crushed dreams and unrealistic hopes.

First is that as an intern, you will barely work any real activities that may affect the company or firm greatly. You will be stuck doing support tasks for the regular employees such as helping arrange files or photocopying documents. An intern will rarely be allowed to do any difficult tasks as those tasks are for the regular employees.

The second is that you will mostly go through training during internships rather than the feeling of actually being employed. After all, you are still a studying individual. So, make sure to make the most out of the experience by learning as much as you can over the span of time you are working as an intern.

Types of internships

As there are different poly courses that one can take, there are also different internship jobs that an individual can take. There are generally three types of internships a poly student can take, and these are:

1. Corporate internships

Corporate internships are the go-to internships poly students take when they want to experience a fast-paced, competitive, and result-focused environment. Corporate internships are great at developing one’s communications skills, ability to work under pressure, business management skills, design, and technological skills.

However, not all corporate companies are that hectic. Some small and starting companies offer a slower-paced working environment that allows for a more holistic development within an individual. Smaller companies also tend to be more open to ideas as opposed to larger corporations, so you can make small contributions to the company even if you are just an intern.

Corporate internships are not only limited to those in the office as well. There are also some corporations that tend to lean towards others sectors such as the service industry, arts, and design, or even those specializing in manual tasks.

2. Public sector internships

If you are looking for an option that will certainly look good in your resume, then you might want to consider taking a public sector internship. There are generally two types of public sectors, namely: Government Agencies (GA), or the Non-Government Organizations (NGO). Both of which are excellent choices for an internship.

GA internships usually involve working for the welfare of the public by doing the regular tasks of government agencies such as safeguarding the citizen’s independence, keeping their records well-organized, etc. An internship in GA’s is usually for those who usually want to serve the general public and are those who want to pursue a career related to that activity.

 For those who wish to give back to the community by helping the less fortunate, then an internship with an NGO may just be for you. This will expose you to what serving the community is like and will help you to decide the career you will take in the future. Do note that NGOs are non-profit, so what you are doing tends to lean more into voluntary work as opposed to conventional employment.

Why you would want to take internships

Now, you might be wondering: “Is doing an internship really that worthwhile?” or “What’s in it for me if I take an internship?”. Well, there are a lot of benefits one can earn from taking an internship, and here are a few:

1. Work experience

The first benefit of internships is the work experience that they offer. Gaining experience while you are still studying is such a huge plus as most companies ask their employees to have at least a little bit of experience related to their line of work before they employ them. One should never say no to work experience as it will help one get employed faster in the future.

2. Practical use of theory

After two years of learning theory in school, it should be the right decision to start practicing theory into action. And what better opportunity is there than to actually apply the theory one has learned in a real workplace.

Internships offer this chance to students and allow them to realize the extent of what theory can teach them. Learning is not just about theory and knowledge from books, one also needs practical use of these theories in order to effectively utilize them in the workplace.

3. Self- discovery

Another major perk of taking an internship is its ability to help someone make life decisions. If you have experienced the kind of work you wish to pursue with your own self, then you will have a clear depiction of whether you want to continue down that path or rethink your choices.

Internships are a great time to weigh your choices and to discover your true passion. Internships will help you decide whether the career path you chose is right for you, or if you need to rethink your choices.

4. Financial benefits

Another major benefit presented by internships is the financial benefits that they come with. Most companies pay their interns for a stipend during their internships, this means that you will be earning cash while gaining experience in the workplace you wish to be employed in. It is just like hitting two birds with one stone. However, do remember that interns are paid usually lower than those who work for the company regularly so try not to expect too much.

5. Helps transition to a full-time job

The final perk taking an internship has is the increased chances of getting a full-time job after the internship. Most companies tend to watch out for exemplary individuals who will potentially become a part of their regular workforce. Thus, if you do well in your internship, the company you worked for might consider hiring you full-time as soon as you graduate.

Or, if you do not wish to work for the said company, you can always find employment elsewhere. But this time you have the experience to back you up which will greatly increase your chances of being hired.

General tips

After learning all about internships, you might want to take one for yourself. If that is the case, as home tuition in Singapore, here are some general pointers on how to conduct yourself before and during the internship.

1. Research ahead

Knowing what you will be facing and planning appropriately is the first step you should keep in mind when taking an internship. Researching ahead about the details of the company you will work for, the kinds of jobs they do, their dress code, and all the nuanced details that may seem harmless at first but can greatly affect your experience in the company.

You wouldn’t want to just jump straight right into the fray without a solid idea of what is in store for you. So, try to find out as much as possible before actually starting your internship so that you can plan what to wear, what activities you need to practice, and what you will be doing over the course of your internship.

2. Wear appropriate attire

It should go without saying that while you are an intern, you are still part of the company you are working for. So, dressing accordingly should be another thing to keep in mind. Just because you are still training doesn’t mean you can dress however you like.

We’re not saying that you should wear a suit and tie even when you are still an intern (except if the company you are working for requires it). However, it would help you and the company a lot if you were to wear formal clothes and make yourself presentable when working, even as an intern.

3. Mind your attitude

The way you conduct yourself at work is the only way your higher-ups will know how you conduct yourself. So always mind your attitude especially during working hours. You wouldn’t want to be rude to others or the people around you as this can seriously lower your chances of gaining the various benefits that go with internships.

Conducting yourself properly and treating everyone with respect will surely get you to the good side of people’s opinions. This will also enhance your chances of getting employed as the company might take a liking to you and employ you for a full-time job once you graduate.

4. Know the people around you

The last pointer we can give you is to know the people around you better. If you really want to pursue your chosen career path and want to work in the same company you are working as an intern in, then this is very important.

Try to get to know the people around you and make connections with them. This will greatly increase your chances of getting hired especially if you have made connections with those higher-ranking individuals.

If you do not wish to work in the same company, however, this tip is still viable. Most individuals have connections to other companies and not just their own. This means that some of your former colleagues may refer you to other companies which can really help with your employment.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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