IT Internship 2024: how to successfully complete and gain valuable experience

By PlaysDev
Published: Mar 28, 2024

Internship is one of the best ways to gain real-life experience in IT while studying. Undoubtedly, studying, participating in hackathons, competitions and pet projects gives practical and theoretical experience in development and specific hard skills. An internship is a demo version of a job. It is especially necessary for a student to encounter a real work environment, gain experience working in a team, understand how to behave in a team, and possibly develop soft skills. With the right approach, an internship will allow you to understand what the employer is looking for and how you can best position yourself when looking for work in the future.

What is an internship in IT?

An internship in IT is a temporary training in an IT company under the guidance of experienced specialists. It is usually aimed at students who want to gain practical experience in their field before completing uni, or for young professionals looking to retrain or expand their skills.

Duration of an internship

Let’s talk about how long the internship lasts. The duration of an IT internship can vary from several weeks to several months depending on the company policy and the goals of the intern. Typically, the duration of an internship is set between 3 and 6 months.

Some internships may offer the opportunity to extend or even become a full-time position upon successful completion of the program.

What does a student looking for an IT internship need to know?

Prepare your resume and portfolio: Your resume should be well-structured (no fluff). Try to highlight your academic experience, projects, IT-related skills. Find out more about writing a resume and CV in our article.

Research the market: Research companies offering internships in your area of interest. Keep in mind their requirements and values, and carefully study the field of activity. HR will single you out among candidates if they see genuine interest in the company or its products/services.

Don’t think that if you send your resume to 3 companies then you will definitely receive an invitation. It is better to collect a decent number of companies in which you are really interested, even if it is a remote internship. There are a lot of juniors on the market, so don’t give up on your search if you receive 3/3 refusals. If you’ve been struggling to pass a technical interview for a long time, start asking after the interview where you made mistakes.

Prepare for the interview: Expect questions about your knowledge, projects and motivation. Prepare questions about the company and role to show your interest.

Stages of selection for internship

  • Applying: Students apply for an internship by providing a resume and sometimes a cover letter.
  • Interview: Successful candidates are invited to an interview where they may be questioned on technical and general issues.
  • Taking Tests: Some companies may ask candidates to complete tests or projects to evaluate their skills. As a rule, this stage is omitted when searching for interns.
  • Offer: After successful completion of all stages of selection, the company offers the candidate an internship place.

What does an internship give you and why does an employer need the internship stage?

In addition to experience, the student receives:

  • New skills and knowledge, the opportunity to work with unknown tools;
  • Networking and development of soft skills;
  • An opportunity to try working in a specific field or company and evaluate whether it matches his career interests and expectations.

To better understand how to successfully complete an internship, study the employer’s needs:

  1. Assessing a Candidate’s Potential: An internship allows an employer to evaluate a potential employee’s abilities, professional skills, approach to work and adequacy before making a final hiring decision.
  2. Replenishing the talent pool: Apprenticeships can serve as a way to attract talented young professionals to a company and prepare them for future roles and responsibilities.
  3. Refresh with ideas and perspectives: Interns can bring new ideas, approaches and perspectives to the company through their training and fresh perspective on problems and challenges.

Common mistakes during an internship

  1. Waiting for instructions
    Yes, indeed, you have a mentor assigned to you and he will help you get into a new rhythm, understand new technologies, and assign tasks. However, it is important to consider that this is a current employee of the company, an experienced developer who has his own tasks and responsibilities, and the internship is, as we said earlier, a demo version of the work process in which you are responsible for your work and its result. It is important to understand that at the university you study, and at the internship you work, show your skills, not only technical, but also as an employee – how quickly you complete tasks, perceive new information, whether you can offer a solution yourself, even if it is incorrect.
  2. Excessive constraint and lack of initiative
    It’s normal to worry when getting your first real work experience. It is important that your insecurities do not prevent you from demonstrating your skills and yourself as a specialist, emphasizing your strengths for the employer.
  3. What to do if you don’t understand the conditions of the task?
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions or repeat them. If you see that your mentor is busy, ask your colleagues.
    You don’t always need to contact employees. Re-read the task, google it or a topic you didn’t understand – your independence will be appreciated. The main thing is that you figure it out.
    Break the task into parts. If a task seems too difficult, try breaking it down into smaller subtasks. Alternatively, it may help you better understand its structure and requirements.
  4. Ignoring feedback
    Some students may not take constructive criticism or comments into account, which prevents them from developing and improving during the internship. Work on your soft skills, because now this is a very important point that people pay attention to during interviews.
  5. Aggression, conflict
    Inability to work as a team, conflict or lack of flexibility can negatively impact overall performance.
  6. Failure to maintain balance
    No employer wants to push you to the point of exhaustion. You are expected to have a conscious approach to work, when you rationally distribute your time on tasks, don’t be lazy, but if you don’t have time to complete them, warn your mentor and don’t overload yourself to the point of exhaustion.

For students, this is not just a chance to apply their knowledge in practice, but also an opportunity to plunge into a professional environment, where every day brings new challenges and discoveries.

However, it is important to remember that an internship is not only an opportunity for professional development, but also a time to strengthen personal qualities: perseverance, independence and communication skills. Let every task become a step towards your success, and every mistake a valuable lesson on the path to perfection.

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