The term internship is used for those individuals who are interested in practical exposure, they are known are “interns”. They work in a firm on temporary basis in order to get aware of the practical things that goes by, internship, basically prepares a person for the real world, interns are said to be “on the job trainers” because they are treated are learners, they have no command over a specific decision, rather they are asked to follow their supervisor and are suppose to conclude each task given to them on time, this helps them in learning the do’s and don’ts of the company.
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These interns are usually college or university going students, who are interested in making a healthier future for them, which is the reason behind organizations offering part-time internships especially for those students who are studying. But they also offer full time internships during vacations (summers) so that students could get full advantage and take the effective use of their time. All internships are not always in a paid form, they are sometimes unpaid-depends on the requirements by the firm. They are partially paid as well. Students planning to have a degree in science, business, law, advertising, technology and engineering are asked to have a practical occurrence in their respective fields. This can also facilitate them in achieving their goals. Charity organizations usually offer unpaid internships, they typically ask for volunteers. They time duration for internships lasts on average for six to twelve weeks, it can be shorter or more than this.
There are on the whole, two types of internships, the first is “work experience internship” and the other is known as “research internships”. Work experience internships are often during the school periods. It can be from two months to an entire year of school. It helps the student to have a practical exposure from the real world and apply that experience in their studies. They are supposed to learn things and put it in practice. While the research internship is mostly preferred by the students, who are in the last year of their professional studies, this internship also known as dissertation internship where students are asked to work on a thesis assignment for a particular company. Companies hire those for this task, when they think that there are certain areas they need to improve. Students are also allowed to choose any topic they like, and are allowed to work on that.
Many students are interested in the field work. They don’t like sitting on a desk and doing all the paper work for long hours, instead they are more fascinated by the work that has to deal with people who are outside the organizations. For this many students try to get into a logistic firm. The term Logistic is the art of storing, managing the stocks of materials, energy or any information, it can also be defined as the science of keeping stocks for goods and services and delivering it to the marketplace on time. The exporting/importing of goods have always been so common between the countries, but trading internationally would be impossible without logistic firms. A logistic firm helps in creating a link between countries. Such firms not only keep the stocks but their duty also includes the maintenance of goods, the transportation of goods, warehousing, packaging and material handling. They perform such tasks just to satisfy consumer needs and demands. This has originated from the ancient times when military’s need to supply themselves as they moved to the other position, military officers had the responsibility of supplying and distributing the raw materials where it was needed. People who work in this field are known as logisticians. (Intern: Definition, Synonyms, n.p,).
A logistician should have some basic qualities on which he/she is judged by the company, qualities such as consultation, purchasing, transportation, inventory management, planning and organizing of such activities. A logistician should have qualities in order to survive ion the respective field. The field is subdivided into two main categories, there are basically two types of logisticians one is asked to store the material that comes into the flow and keep the records of each and the other is asked to deliver it on time to the right place.
Hiring individuals for such tasks is a difficult job. I joined a company in my summer’s vacation and performed “work experience internship”. The duration was of about 6 weeks starting from June 25th to August 3rd. I believed that I need such a period of time because this is one of the time period when I have my university holidays and I can learn a lot from this internship and I also believe that this is a way from which I am utilizing my time at its best. I have always been interested in the Human Resource Department and I was deliberately waiting for an opportunity. My university asked me to join a Logistic Firm as an HR officer and yes! I agreed to it. I was so thrilled and accepted the challenge with full heart. It was greatest ever opportunity I had ever had in my life. I was asked to join them in a week and I was looking forward to it. I always wanted to deal with different kind of people, I always wanted know that what the basic criteria’s are, behind the recruiting of employees, on what basis the management describes the salary areas, what does payrolls mean?, what is the role of compensation department, what are the rules and regulations of the company, on what basis they determine the rules and regulations. I had so many question marks in my mind that were to be answered in a week. Such type of internship also helped me in understanding the management subjects which I was studying at my university. More over it also contributed in my experience and there were many other things which I think I won’t be able to learn from books. I believe that books just explain what is right and what is wrong. I believe books have many limitations such as is doesn’t teaches how to tackle problems related to management of business and this can only be accomplished through practical experience. Many of the companies also prefer those employees who had already worked in any of the powerful companies.
The company helped me learned many things, these six weeks were the most professional time I have ever given to myself as being a student. The company let me understand the SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) analysis more clearly. In order to recognize whether the employee or any manager have such strengths which the company need in order to achieve success the Human Resource department plays a great role. And this can only be achieved through SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis consists of:
- Strength it talks about the advantages the company has, what is the company’s unique selling point (USP), what are the best resources the company is dealing with? Are these resources are utilized cost effectively?, what are the basic strengths that the audience outside is taking notice of. My supervisor made his point more clear when he asked me to jot down all the strengths of the company I’ve noticed up till now. He asked me to present all the strengths in 30mins.
- Weaknesses. What are the major areas a company has to focus on, what are the areas the company has to focus on, are the sales are on the breakeven? Or the company is facing losses due to the change in some external factors?, what are major things the company should avoid and why, how does the market perceive your weakness? Are they buying your shares? Or they are reluctant to trust you?. My supervisor assigned me a task to take a notice of all the weaknesses of the company and he further asked me to make a report on the company’s weaknesses, by the end of my internship period.
- Opportunity these are the basic changes that are likely to come in the future. The changes could be technological advancement. The HR manager introduced me to the IT manager, he told me about the new upcoming software that can take the company on a highway with minimum wastage. Technology heads mentioned in the meeting that they should also start transporting goods by roads; this could help them in dealing with shorter distances and can minimize costs as well. For this they just need to hire a driver. This was only the change that technology could make, there are other factors as well for instance; changes in government policies, changes in population, social patterns, tastes and preferences, local events etc. They took me to the ware house and showed me the new summer wear collection, they said that this is the time of the year when people ask for new summer collection and the stocks are pilled up to be delivered on time to diverse area. Opportunities also include a downfall of your competitor. It may provide you with a chance that now more customers are attracted towards you as your competing company collapsed.
After this tour I was given with a task. My supervisor gave me graph and asked me to give analysis on it. The graph was some what like shown below:
The graph describes a sudden increase of demand in the month of December. My supervisor wanted me to describe this sudden change. I noticed that a sudden increase in demand in the month of December could be due to the winter season but I was wrong, the graph showed the Christmas time. When new clothing, lights, gift items were demanded in this month. The company knew that they would be getting more supply and more customers so before the Christmas time they start to vacant their warehouses so that they could welcome profits.
Threats are those problems that the company faces in order to achieve higher revenues with minimized cost. The company has to keep a close eye on their competitors and their upcoming new strategies. A good company will always face these problems and bring up a new strategy to overcome such obstacles. If your competitor lowers its fees and assures the customer that his company will deliver the stock on time with no wastage- this is a threat for other companies. The competitor is now acting cleverly because he reduced its prices. Every customer would prefer the low pricing one option. In response the company can give free gifts and gain their customer’s confidence by delivering their stock n time with minimum wastage.
This might result in the changes of a company’s job specifications; this may lead to many big changes like; more training of workers, more and more updating of new advancements. And the management has to be more careful about the competitor’s reactions.
The following chart is what I showed in my presentation.
|keenness, liveliness, imaginative, expertise in subject area, excellent track record in specialized area||Unable to express his own ideas. Not punctual. Lack of communication with others.||More training available in the market. More use of Technology which will make managers more efficient.||In order to reduce cost there must be flatter structure of organization is required and this must be done in order to give an edge over your competitors.|
Strengths and weaknesses are the internal part of an organization that can easily be controlled but as far as the opportunities and threats are concerned, they are the external parts of an organization that need to be analyzed by the expertise. In the modern world SWOT is also known as the SWOTS analysis, where S stands for the strategies the company use to gain a competitive hand of others. They said they have now started to follow this approach and the SWOTS department is working on it.
They made me learn the ups and downs of the business, and taught me that what their strategies behind each step were. I learned a lot in these six months, they made me learn about professionalism. They said we don’t hire people on personal terms but only the Human Resource department do so on the requirement basis.
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I learned about the Human Resource Department, I gained the real work experiences and applied them into my classrooms and it also helped me teaching others with their problems. I got more knowledge from others who had never been into such situation; I knew what others did not know. Due to my practical occurrence I started participating in the class more than others. I learned career-related skills. I can know judge the cultures of different organizations. I can now create a bridge between university and work. It strengthened my oral and written skills as I presented many reports and gave presentations in meetings using the latest technologies. It also supported my resume. I made a good PR I the organization that can help me through out my life and can help me getting employment else where. (Internships – Benefits, n.p.).
I learned how the department recruit employees, on what basis is the recruitment done. They hire those employees who have specialized in the respective fields. Such company need expertise, they have employees who can count the stock on computers on data basis, but not only the computers, they also need employees who can count the sock by hand. By using such a way the company lowers the wastage and grows steadily. I learned so many thing by this internship, I feel glad that my university chose me to for this company as an internee. This internship proved very beneficial for my studies, it helped me to make assignments with a touch of experience in the world, and I came to know what others feel when they are performing such tasks. The sense of responsibility, a feeling of authority and the sensation of confidence makes a person a complete man.
Allott D and Jamie. The Intern Files: How to Get, Keep, and Make the most of Your Internship. (n.d.)
Intern: Definition, Synonyms and Much. 2007. Web.
Internships – Benefits. 2007. Web.
Sweitzer H F and King MA. The successful internship: transformation and empowerment in experiential learning. (n.d.)