Bridge the skill gap

Internships are more than just a course requirement and should be seen as an effective way of learning in an ever-changing environment

Published - August 28, 2021 03:48 pm IST

Students should network among peers and build professional relationships, ask the right questions and learn.

Students should network among peers and build professional relationships, ask the right questions and learn.

In this age of automation and innovations, industries have scaled up faster than universities, substantially widening the gap between education and industries. Unfortunately, this pace will only accelerate in the coming years. Hence, a more collaborative and dynamic model is vital to bridge this gap.

Internships are an effective way of managing this divide. It essentially means to ‘learn by doing’. This is the best way to understand the ‘real-world’. Universities have made it mandatory for students to undergo internships as part of their curriculum. However, the attitude of students towards internships should change; it should be seen as an effective way of learning rather than just a mandatory university directive.

Skill building

Learning while working makes the process more meaningful, enjoyable, and effective. Internships offer a challenging environment propelling students to go beyond textbooks and to learn from peers, communities and other resources available. This helps them develop several essential skills such as collaboration, learnability, adaptability, and so on. Internships also help them develop a challenge-taking mindset and problem-solving skills, explore their interests and discover their true selves. Internships should be explored continuously from the early stages of education and should be part of the culture.

Making a choice

Choosing the ‘right place’ to do their internship is the foremost aspect of the process. It is important to choose an internship that provides a challenging environment. “What” they do is more important than “where” they do it. If they prefer to pursue entrepreneurship or work in creative and innovative companies in the future, it’s ideal for them to work in small-scale ventures or in start-ups. This will result in accelerated growth, an enterprising mindset, and even an understanding of the process of building an organisation. Start-ups may also be interested in offering long-term paid internship opportunities, after classes or on the weekends, to deserving students.

Proactive learning

Creating an impression is key. Students should network among peers and build professional relationships, ask the right questions and learn, and be unafraid of failure. They should take responsibility for their work, and be proactively involved in activities and discussions and contribute rather than waiting for instructions. This will help them get better opportunities to grow within the organisation and communities.

Students should explore internships in areas of their interest or where they think they have to improve, or ones that operate in spaces that they are excited about. This will help them gain a better and more fulfilling experience.

The writer is Founder and CEO, Bloombloom Dreambiz (P) Ltd. and Founder, B-HUB Lifespaces (P) Ltd.

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