Why internships in Kenya are a great career starting point
Internships in Kenya are all the rage now, with many companies starting internships programs to equip fresh graduates with job-relevant skills. As a fresh graduate with no experience and with employers asking for working experience as a minimum requirement, an internship can be a good starting point. Whether the companies offering internship should pay, i.e, give a stipend as you are offering your skills or not, is subject to debate.
An internship is much easier to secure than a job and often times, it leads to a job either within the company or in other companies. You can even consider taking an internship while still in school as it gives you a good opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice. A good internship actually gives you a chance to do as much and measurable work as a full-time employee. So, why should you consider an internship as a good place to launch your career?
- Get the elusive experience
You know how employers slam the door on your face with the “no experience sign” written on the door? Well, you might just make them listen to you with a little experience from your internship. It has become increasingly hard to find a job that does not require experience mainly because employers do not want to invest time and money to train fresh graduates.
An internship is a great opportunity to gain invaluable experience as you get to solve real business issues while at it. Additionally, you work under experienced professionals who train you on how to go about solving day-to-day business problems. This experience will help you enrich your CV and land your next job.
An internship in Kenyacgives you an edge over your fellow graduates who may only have education on their CVs. So, take the internship and gain the experience you need for your next job.
2. You can get a mentor
A mentor is important for your career. He/she holds your hand and helps you navigate the corporate world with much ease. Your mentor offers guidance, criticism and challenges you to become a better version of yourself.
The challenge comes in when you have to choose the right mentor, especially those who do not know people from the same career background.
During your internship, you can identify a person who helps you grow and who challenges you and make him/her your mentor. This is a person you would not have otherwise met had you not taken the internship.
A good mentor can even help you establish a career roadmap or networks which can help you rise up the career ladder much faster than you would have done on your own.
So, take that internship after school and you might just get a mentor who might become the best thing that happens to your career.
3. Shorter route to a job
Getting a job with no experience is hard but getting your foot through any door is a lot harder in the competitive world that is today’s life. Internship recruitment is often done on a very neutral basis and it can be your safest shot at a job.
Some companies recruit interns and train them and after the internship period elapses, they evaluate the interns and offer them permanent jobs. If you are finding it hard to get your foot through the door, how about getting an internship first as this might just be the chance you need to prove that you can do the job and you deserve a chance.
Additionally, an internship in Kenya may be a temporary position but it gives you a chance to showcase your skills. If a chance arises while you are still interning or in future, you might just be considered since the employer is already aware of your skills and capabilities. This is your chance to get visibility amidst all job seekers gunning for the same jobs.
4. This is your chance to evaluate possible career paths
Most people are not sure of the career paths they would like to take when in school and others take a while to choose a career path. An internship in Kenya offers you a chance to actually have a feel of what it is like to take a certain career path.
This is what will help you make an informed choice before you settle down on a career that you do not like. If you are still trying to decide what career path you want to take, you can intern in different capacities so that you can make an informed decision.
Today’s internships are typical jobs where you get to be involved in actual work activities. This experience helps you to become more practical and know what exactly it takes to succeed in different career paths. As a fresh graduate, this offers you an excellent opportunity to make informed choices for a successful career. Take the internship opportunity as a test drive.
5. You build your network
Networking helps one get a job quickly in the professional world. This is because some vacancies are advertised internally and some people look for candidates in their networks before looking elsewhere. When you take up an internship in Kenya, you get to network with people in the industry who can help you get a job in the long run.
These networks also help you grow in your career as you get to learn about the industry and what it takes to grow. It is easier to build networks while you are in the industry than while you are in school. As you intern, you meet people from different companies and backgrounds and these contacts can help you as you look for a job or for growth.
6. You might earn a higher salary than other entry-level candidates
One of the things that employers pay for, apart from your skills, is your experience. Once you take an internship, you gain some experience which you can leverage on, when negotiating for an entry-level pay.
An experience helps you to negotiate for a higher pay as you have already demonstrated that you are capable of doing the job and doing it well. Some employers consider candidates who have taken internships to be good quality hires and they are willing to pay more to bring them on board.
7. You develop your skills by putting into practice what you learn
What you learn in class is just a small percentage of what happens in the real world. An internship helps you to identify and fill these gaps for a wholesome career which is full of knowledge and expertise. While on internship, you can also find out what professional development courses (linkback) you can take to fill the gaps between the real world of work and your course work.
Additionally, you develop such important skills as communication skills, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, teamwork and problem-solving, which are very critical in the modern workplace.These are skills that you won’t learn in any classroom but which play a critical role in your career development.
8. You learn time management
When you are in school, you tend to have the freedom to attend classes if and when you want to. You can even tailor your classes to fit your schedule and time. You also tend to have lots of free time and time management is a challenge for most college students. How many times has a hangover made you sleep through the morning instead of attending a lecture and if the lecturer is tough on signing attendance sheets, there is always that friend who doesn’t miss classes and signs for you?
The working environment is different as every minute counts. You have scheduled meetings and deadlines which must be met despite all other activities involved in your day-to-day work. And you can never ask a friend to sign the attendance sheet for you because the meeting is not being attended by 100 people.
An internship will help you learn how to organize your time so that you can transition from the school to the work environment easily. You learn how to work in a fast paced world and hit your targets through proper time management. This is something that most college students find hard to do and an internship is a great opportunity to put your house in order.
Sample cover letter for internships in Kenya
Application for an internship
Your advertisement for an internship position in sales and marketing on BrighterMonday is of great interest to me.
I am in my final semester at University XYZ where I am pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing and I am looking for an opportunity to practice what I have learned in class as well as gain practical skills at the workplace. I believe that a chance to intern in your company will enable me to gain great exposure which will help me grow in my career, as your company is reputable and continues to grow tremendously due to a robust sales and marketing strategy.
I have good communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills, as I am a member of the University’s debate club where I am heavily involved in organizing debate sessions. I am also good at pitching as I am involved in looking for sponsors for the debates, where I pitch to potential sponsors.
I look forward to bringing these skills on board and gaining more skills, which will help me as I grow in my career. I am looking for a chance to learn and I believe that this internship will offer me invaluable experience.
Attached herein is a copy of my curriculum vitae.
Your full name.
It is easier to get an internship in Kenya, than a job. Most internships require minimal or no experience at all and they are great starting points for those seeking to get into industries where experience is important.
If you are finding it hard to get a job because you lack experience or proper networks or you just don’t know what career path you want to take, consider taking up an internship opportunity. Organizations are nowadays advertising for internships so be on the lookout and grab one that interests you.
Join the discussion on launching your career through an internship here.