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Sara, a graduate of Marketing and Communication, joined a corporate marketing team as an internship trainee, but declined to understand the company's organizational process. She argued that her training should relate to her specific activity in marketing. She got accustomed to a limited range of tasks, so she was not keen about familiarizing herself with how the other departments work.
Unfortunately, her college told her that she would get a marketing manager post after one year of training. But during college, she was only taught to create PowerPoint presentations, and prepare posters and promotional campaigns. There was no evidence that she had learned behavioral sciences, business maths, economics and business accounting. She did not develop her cognitive skills. She was ignorant of business fundamentals.
It is true that professional education often creates a silo and pushes the students into a specialization that makes them see themselves in a limited role and perform limited tasks. As an intern, Sara had the opportunity to observe and learn how the organization functions, how the different roles in the organization connect and how employees manage their jobs.
Observing, working with all the departments, asking questions when in doubt, trying to see the pattern of the organization as a whole – these are definitely what an intern should be doing. Even if you have a specific assignment to learn, the internship should provide you with a glimpse of the organization's expectations on its employees. Sara must have considered it an opportunity to see what the everyday reality in the organization was like. It is important for her to know how to manage time, resources and people. The intern has to learn how an organizational strategy works in business planning and performance.
Internships are meant to let students understand the complexities of an organization and how the different tasks connect to each other.
• Internships give students a glimpse of the working world
• Interns should understand the whole pattern of a company
• They should observe, perform other tasks and ask questions
Find out how an Internship helps increase the marketability of graduates
Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant