Learning is a multifaceted undertaking that takes place both within and without the classroom settings. While theory plays an important role in exposing the learners to new concepts and information, it is imperative that such concepts are reinforced and espoused with real-life experiences. These real-life experiences are critical in cementing the ideas learned in theory classes and give learners a deeper understanding of how the classroom knowledge theoretically learned can be applied in real-life events and situations which is one of the fundamental purposes of learning. Real-life experiences can be in the form of learner’s personal experiences, experiments, researches as well as internships. Internships, in particular, play an integral role in exposing the learners to real life work environment. Through internships, learners have an opportunity to witness firsthand the thrills, the challenges and professional code of conduct that are key to success in their field of specialization. It toughens them mentally through professional challenges. It also offers them an opportunity to market their skill sets and competencies to potential employers. The learners have the opportunity to shed off the naivety of theoretical learning and acclimatize to real work environment. This is an important step in successful assimilation in the increasingly competitive, complex, diversified, and globalized modern-day workplace environment.
However, such benefits from internships are not exclusively confined to interns. Organizations that take in interns enjoy several benefits. They not only benefit from the fresh ideas of the vibrant and highly motivated interns; an internship is an important human resource management tool. These organizations have the opportunity to market themselves in the highly competitive job market. Organizations that take in interns usually find it easy to recruit highly qualified new talents to join their fold. Interns, when treated well by these organizations, would most probably prefer to return to these organizations on a permanent basis if an opportunity for employment opens up. It is also an important public relation (PR) exercise that builds the organization’s reputation. This not only attracts and retains customers but also investors and key partners who are important for growth of the organizations. Gaining a deeper insight into the importance of internships to both the learners and the organizations is not easy without both ‘theoretical’ and ‘practical’ exposure. Firsthand experience, like the one I had during my five weeks internship at Salah Al Hejailan (LFSH), is imperative in fully comprehending the centrality of internship to personal and professional development for students and organizational development.
Internships are integral in the learning process. It is an exciting and eye-opening encounter with classroom theories and models within the fast-paced work environment. From tight schedules to challenging tasks, situations, and even clients with very complex demands and tastes, interns are exposed to their future profession. It is an opportunity for the learners to toughen up while also marketing themselves to potential employers. To the organizations taking in interns, it is an excellent opportunity for marketing themselves to potential clients, talents and investors. The vibrancy and exuberance of the interns are important towards growth of the company. I had a highly successful internship stint at Salah Al Hejailan (LFSH). It exposed me to the workings of the legal environment including the challenges and the key skill sets that are important for success in this profession. While the company benefited from my stay, I believe I am better prepared professionally and personally.