Job market for young students? Whatever the question INTERNSHIP is the answer
Studying and working can be seen as two different worlds sometimes, being the former really focused on theoretical frameworks while the latter is more focused on being productive, efficient, and independent.
More and more companies are hiring new employees with one pre-requisite that nine times out of ten makes them standing out from the crowd: working experience. The question rises naturally, how can you expect a new student who has just finished her/his studies to have already such experience?
There should be a starting point, there should be a chance to fill this gap between the academic world and the working one. What is the trade-off of such system?
Most of the time the answer is simply one: INTERNSHIP, which generally can last from 6 months to one year and the main aim of the company is to introduce the new student in the working environment starting with basic tasks to make her/him accustomed. Subsequently, the student is involved in more complex tasks which are pertaining to her/his domain of expertise. Benefits in terms of employability and success can be noticed at first glance in figure 1.
The type of internship can vary according to the type of institution/organization, which can be for profit, nonprofit, private, federal or local. What emerges in all the different organizations is that all the paid internships are more likely to provide a full time offer when compared to unpaid ones. When it comes to receive a full time job offer, the difference shown in figure 2 underlines a considerable advantage for those who did a paid internship.
Three essential constituents involved in the job market system are students, universities, and companies. Given the importance of the internship in order to get access to the job market easily, universities represent the bridge between students and companies. Several universities provide online platforms which put in contact students and companies, job vacancies or internship positions are constantly uploaded, others organize career days where students have the chance to meet the company delegates who are looking for new potential employees.
Dutch universities make this connection possible by providing detailed online sections regarding the labor market and all the important steps to take to find the best working path for each candidate. For example on the UvT website, these sections include training courses, workshops, CV consultations, application advices, career events and also insights on the labor market trends. In addition to these, active student associations give their contribute to the pursuit of job experience both at national and international level. One of the most known and active organization is AIESEC, which counts more than 70.000 members worldwide spread in 2400 universities in 126 countries.
Several leading companies cooperate with AIESEC to allow young students to develop their potential, gain experience, and widen their horizons through global internships.
If companies and private institutions appear to be a bit hesitant before hiring a new young employee with no experience at all, on the other hand a new young employee with such experience reached during an internship represents a more desirable candidate. The reason for such type of choice can be found in the considerable cost that a company has to invest if the candidate has no prior knowledge of practical tasks required or even if the theoretical knowledge goes beyond the practical one. For the state of the job market which nowadays is getting more and more dynamic, hectic, and specialized such asset can represent a crucial element in the job offer and hiring process. All the necessary ingredients to boost a young student’s leap into this competitive and challenging arena are available around them, the rest depends on personal motivation, capability of adaptation and fast learning, positive aptitude, and of course a bit of luck.