[BQ Magazine] The value of student internships
The following is an excerpt from "Internships in today’s market," published by BQ Magazine:
The widespread benefits of internships are well established – they bridge the gap between the academic learning process and everyday working reality by providing practical experience and a sample of work in a chosen employment sector. They also allow increased networking opportunities, instill confidence in the workplace, and quickly enhance specialist skills through real time interaction with real world colleagues and clients.
According to Marie C. Newkirk, career services manager at Northwestern University in Qatar, an internship opportunity for a young undergraduate is often a transformative experience. She says: “It allows students to adapt the skills they have acquired in the classroom to a workplace environment while simultaneously exposing them to a broad array of new experiences that are not readily available in a classroom setting. As students have the opportunity to put theory to practice, they quickly gain confidence in their abilities. Also, by networking with colleagues, students are able to build their CVs and also acquire references.”
Newkirk says Northwestern University in Qatar offers a wide variety of unique internship opportunities to the students: “The University recognizes the value of hands-on work experience for its students and provides students with opportunities to intern at prominent and prestigious institutions in Qatar, the GCC, Europe and the United States.”
Newkirk also believes the development of excellent, long lasting relationships with private industry, policymakers and other professional organizations is extremely important to future student success in the wider workplace. She notes: “One of the main reasons we spend time cultivating these relationships is that they very often create real opportunities for student internships, and consequently for jobs after graduation. We witness such results not only with our official institutional partners such as Al Jazeera and Doha Film Institute, but also with the many other contacts at leading institutions that our faculty attract from throughout the region and the wider world, in particular Europe and the United States.”