What is an internship? The Random House Dictionary defines the word as:
“Any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.”
Modern Vs. The medieval
The definition and meaning of internship has changed over the past few years. Though the modern concept of internships has essentially sprung from the medieval apprenticeship, still there does exists a minor difference in the two of them. Apprenticeship is the one in which skilled laborers (often craftsmen) would teach a young person their trade and, in exchange, that person would agree to work for the teacher for a certain length of time
However, the major difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that internships are rather more exploratory. In internship you’re not bound to work for your employer after the internship is over (although many interns do receive job offers from the same company). That’s your choice, whether you want to work there only or you want to find a better company with better prospects. In case you start with your internship program early during college, then you can use the first internship as a means to educate yourself and train yourself with the practical exposure. The internships after that can be done in order to broaden your experience and know more about the practical world and how the machines actually operate.
Paid or not?
Honestly, there is nothing defined when it comes to internships. Internships can be either paid or unpaid. This generally depends on the company norms and rules. If the internship that you do in a company is unpaid then you can conclude that there are stringent labor guidelines in that company. In the U.S., federal law mandates that unpaid interns must not benefit the company economically or be used to displace the work done by paid employees. This might not be a good encouragement as the interns would actually avoid working whole heartedly. Hence, this would be a discouragement for both the employees and the company. Some states have their own legal terms and regulations regarding interns. For example, in California, unpaid interns must receive college credit for their work.
In America almost all the internships are done in order to gain work exposure and experience. They are essentially on-the-job training in a field that the student or young worker wants to learn more about the chosen field of work. They can also be the research internships which are basically more common in scientific fields, in which a higher-level student examines a particular topic on behalf of a business before producing a written study or presentation.
Internship is important because in the college you learn about the theoretical portion of your course however during internship you get the practical exposure of the same. It is not necessary that the company that you do internship will also provide you the job. However, it is a great way to strengthen your CV and get a job in the later stages.