This article is written by Swapnil Singh, of Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University. The article gives a basic understanding of how to choose the right internship. This article gives some basic points which a student should keep in mind before choosing an internship.
Internship is one important pillar of a student’s academic career. It makes a person self-dependent. You are a few steps away from your convocation and the only thing you need right now is a list of internships to guide you through what you want to do after college. The only question is, how to know which can be the right internship for you? The right internship serves as a window to gain skills, market those skills and learning to use them. The right internship is the one that aligns with your career goals and helps you in finding your interest.
Some Questions you should ask
There is a certain question you should ask yourself before finalizing your internship because your decision will affect the way your future turns out to be. Before choosing an internship, you should know what is your objective behind doing an internship and what you are seeking from a particular internship. There is nothing like a perfect internship but you have to find the one that is best suited for you and will help you in achieving your future goals.
The questions that you should ask yourself are
1. What will I learn in this internship?
Chalking out what you will learn in an internship is a really important task because the set of skills you learn during such internship determines what you can offer to your future employer. This is important when you have to choose between a generic internship at a well-known institution and a specific internship at an unfamiliar company, a well-known institution may make one excited but there is not as much to learn as in an unfamiliar small institution.
2. Will this internship help me in the future?
The right internship is a foot in the door of the future you want. The seniors, you meet can be a great contact and may be of help when you are looking for paid work after graduation. The right internship will provide you with a resume that can help you in achieving the future you want.
3. Will this internship add new tools to my toolbox?
Internships are a chance to learn new things, it helps in introducing you to things you want to explore. Every internship should be a chance to learn a new skill that can add to your CV. The primary focus should be on making a CV that employers will be interested in.
4. Will this be the chance to find a culture that aligns with your values?
Work environment plays a major role in internships. You can explore and know what suits you, whether you want to leave office by noon on Saturdays or you want to work 100 hours a week. Internships can be a great way to know what suits you.
5. Do reviews from previous interns interest you?
There is a huge trend where previous interns write their reviews on different websites like Lawctopus or opinions of seniors from your own college who have already interned in that particular office can be a great way to know what you can expect during your internship period. If what they say is something that you are keen on experiencing and trying, you can go for this particular internship.
If you ask yourself these questions and you find an internship that is the answer to them, it can be the internship you are looking for.
Things to Look for in an Internship
There are a set of things you should look for in an internship to make it an experience that will pave the way for you. It is important to judge the potential of every internship and what it has to offer in terms of experience and knowledge. Every internship should provide you with an adequate experience and should open up a new area for you. It should not just be another waste of time but something that will count and offer you things you are looking for. It should teach you something that will bring you closer to your future goals. The things that make an internship right for you are:
1.An opportunity to figure out your career choice
An internship is a good way to know whether you want to pursue a particular career or not. It should provide you with enough experience to test the waters. Therefore, look for a hands-on experience in an internship to make a well-informed decision in the future.
2. A chance to separate yourself from your peers
The internship should be a way for you to stand out among your batchmates and peers. Distance from your pack makes you realize what you are truly looking for in your career. A good internship should make you stand out from your group.
3. An opportunity to learn from your supervisor
A good mentor is really necessary during an internship to guide you through the various ups and downs in an internship. A good mentor helps you to realize what you are looking for and how you should go about it. A supervisor with experience in handling interns is important to teach them responsibility and the approach to handle projects on their own.
4. It should be a test of what you have learned
You learn a lot of things during your time at the college but you never get a chance to actually practically use it. This opportunity should be a great way to know whether what you can practically implement the things, you have learned at college. Practical knowledge is really important and to be able to practically deal with things you need experience.
5. A chance to make an impact
It should be important that you work on something with which you can make an impact: a project that will matter. You should look for internships with which you can work on projects that deal with real-world issues, this will be a good story to talk about in your next interview. An experience to make an impact and work on real problems will make you realize whether you are actually interested in a particular field or not.
6. A way to work with people who motivate you
An internship should provide you with an opportunity to work with people who you have always looked up to and who have always inspired you. An opportunity to work at a place where everyone is excited to work and motivated to come to work and make a difference will make you choose a work culture similar to this in your future. A group of inspiring people to work with can make a lot of difference and can inspire you to make a difference.
7. A way to build essential skills
Leadership, project management, and work ethics are few of the skills that are essential to make a good employee. You should research for the set of skills you will learn in an internship because it is essential to know what you are looking for and whether the internship can offer you those skills or not.
8. A chance to experience something new
An internship should provide you with a chance to learn and experience things that are new to you. You should look for internships that will add new skill sets and experiences to your resume. It is important to have a resume that reflects diverse skills and experiences, it is a good way to tell your future employer that you possess a skill set that will make you stand out from others.
9. It should have additional benefits
An internship should offer you additional benefits like it can be a way to earn an income, a chance to meet people who you look up to in your profession or a chance to explore a new city. These factors should not be a deciding point but can definitely add up when you are finalizing an internship.
Importance of Internship for a Law Student
When you are a law student, you have a plethora of career options to choose from. It is really important to know what do you want to do before choosing your internships. There are three most prevalent career choices in law school:
If you are looking for a career in litigation, there is no point interning at a law firm. You need to intern under lawyers in District Courts, High Courts and Supreme Courts to get an understanding of how things work in a court. You need to learn how to research, draft and present it in the court. It is important to intern under senior because it will provide you with the right amount of guidance, exposure, and learning.
A corporate career demands you to have the patience to work for hours sitting in one place. It important to start early because you need to intern at a lot of places before you can zero down where you want to work in. Initially doing a basic internship will help in understanding the law but your law firm internship will actually teach you about the basics of law firms and skills you need to have.
If you want to go for further studies and don’t want to give up on academics just yet, you need to find internships that are specific to the course you would like to study. Internships play a very important role in getting a good college, especially for foreign institutions.
How to ace your internship
To be successful in securing and excelling in a corporate internship, you need to plan and prepare well ahead. Lawsikho observed the process and created a course on how to ace your internship. The course covers the practical insights of the journey of securing a corporate law internship and converting one into a job offer for hundreds of law students and then identified the elements that worked and that didn’t work. This program is developed to enable you to acquire those skills before you even walk into a corporate internship. You will be able to build yourself into a person whom a law firm seeks out. A wide range of topics are covered in a huge amount of detail, such as:
- How to draft an effective CV
- How to write an effective cover letter
- Guides for performing different kinds of tasks at an internship
- How to excel at due diligence
- How to excel at proof-reading assignments and learn for the future
- Comprehensive technical skills training on M&A, Corporate, Debt Finance, FDI, General Corporate and Stamp Duty
- Hacks for high-powered Google, Manupatra, MCA and BSE searches
- Presentation and formatting techniques
- Learn how to read and interpret financials of a business
- Internship Plan for mapping out your internship progress
- How to write expert-level articles that catch client and recruiter attention
- How to draw complex corporate structures in PowerPoint from Day 1
- How to build expertise in any area of law
- How to network effectively before, during and after your internship
- Detailed interview preparation modules for technical and HR-style interviews
Picking the correct internship for yourself can deliver an opportunity for future that prompts full-time responsibility and headway with early on preparing and experience. You can take as long as you want to find the right internship, but remember everything will depend on how seriously you perform your work and how willing you are to learn from every opportunity that comes your way. Show up on time, be professional and show enthusiasm for every project that is offered to you to work on. You should always ask for guidance from your mentors and set some goals with them. You should look for new experiences because you ought to include yourself in exercises that let you encounter chance, disappointment, achievement, and collaboration as that will enable you to develop as an employee.