InternshipIn the last post we spoke about how important it is for every student to understand how each subject is unique in its contribution to the world that we live in. And when there is a match between a specific subject (say, Geography) and the unique perspective of the student (Environmental Conservation) , that serves as a catalyst for the student to pursue a career in environmental conservation based on specialization in geography !
However, in reality, this is easier said than done. More importantly , if you want to convince your parents that you want to follow your chosen path, you need to prove to them that you have a clear, cogent and structured approach to pursuing a path that brings you both happiness and the financial means to live in this world (money is important right??). So how do you bring them to see your world through their eyes?
When students complete school and lets assume they have chosen a subject to pursue (based on my example in the previous post), the research work begins. As we speak today, the entire world is open for a student who is passionate about what they want to do. But the thing to keep in mind is, passion is not enough in the real world. The real world works on the basis on knowledge and experience. While what you learnt at school is the foundation, you need to add building blocks on top of it. Most students blindly pursue a graduate degree in science or Maths as the default option and start looking for a job. But in order to land a career in the subject of your choice you need to be able to show prospective employers that you have interest and real world knowledge of the work. Not only that, even if you dont want to work immediately and plan to study further, you still need to show proof of your inclination towards the chosen field of study.
A very important factor that students often overlook are Internships. Many organizations today offer internships to students that are typically unpaid. This shouldnt matter to students studying graduation (Bachelors) as they will learn a lot on the job. Working on the job they understand the nature of the job (do they like it?), the practical, real world skills and more importantly how their foundation subjects map to the real world. Internships serve to differentiate a students from other students because they show interest and knowledge. If you search the internet you will see several firms offer internships because interns are very useful to firms because they are dedicated and hardworking. And if a student is good, they will be offered a full-time job by the firm and may also be sponsored for higher studies. The other advantage of internships is that students who apply for post graduate education internationally will stand a better chance of not only getting admission but also full sponsorship for the course. And once you complete your study in the country you will most likely get a job there. Many universities offer scholarships in areas such as Environmental Conservation to attract more students in this area to carry research as well as boost employment
While the internet is a great source for identifying internship opportunities it is not the only source. In some areas , internships may not be explicitly mentioned. In such cases, you should search networking sites like LinkedIn, identify key people in areas of interesr and reach out to them expressing your interest. Believe me, this works ! If you are willing to work for free in exchange for experience you will get an opportunity.
Once you land an internship, and through the internship, get a full time job in your chosen field or get a full sponsored admission from a foreign university, your parents will not have any objections to your chosen path because they can see that you have done your due diligence . This gives them the confidence that you will have a career that gives you both satisfaction emotionally and monetarily !