Unlike a formal internship, an externship allows a teenage student to gain valuable work experience over a shorter, fixed period of time. Because externships are generally shorter in length, you’ll have more flexibility in fitting these valuable experiences into your busy schedule. Here are three benefits of making an externship part of your overall educational experience.
Explore Your Interests
As a teenager, you should not be expected to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life. An externship will give you the opportunity to explore your interests without committing to a full-time job. Some externships are designed to deliver a multitude of opportunities to interact with a myriad of people in different departments. Others allow you to closely follow the daily work of one professional in a specific field. This will help you to discern if that field of endeavor is compatible with your interests, your studies and your skills. Because externships are short in length, you get a taste of a discipline or occupation without having to commit to it on a long-term basis.
Externships allow participants to meet professionals and begin to network with people who can help them get a job later. Shadowing experts gives you a good glimpse of the day-to-day work life of the professionals in your desired field. A good externship will also provide multiple learning opportunities, helping you to hone your skills and talents in a low-pressure situation. This type of hands-on learning cannot be replicated in a classroom, making an externship an advantageous part of any education.
Form a Strong Work Ethic
An externship gives a young person a glimpse into what life in the adult working world is like. This experience can help teens to form a strong work ethic as they learn ways to be more productive and efficient with their time. Externships instill responsibility, personal integrity and commitment to colleagues. This type of work experience teaches students how to be dependable and reliable while working as part of a team to achieve goals. The soft skills gained in an externship will translate to any further field of study, making it a good use of your time and effort as you strive to reach your career goals.
The right externship can help you to develop new skills, make important networking connections and cultivate the soft skills needed to be successful in any endeavor. The experience will put you ahead of the competition and pay off big dividends down the road.