In continuation of our “Becoming the Ideal Job Candidate” series, we are following up Educational Background with Professional Experience. We went over how a degree is what you make of it, since it is a culmination of skills and experience you gained in classes. In this part of the series, we’ll go over how you can accumulate professional experience.

“Professional experience” are two words commonly heard by the job seeker. It is also necessary in the eyes of the recruiter and within your professional field. However, many see gaining experience a predicament. You need a job to get professional experience, but you need professional experience to get a job. In reality, the cycle can be easily broken by considering internships.

Internships offer the very professional experience demanded for a career. You also have the chance to interact with professionals in your field and learn from their experiences. In addition, companies offering internships will be more considerate about taking on someone with little experience. Those companies realize that there are young professionals trying to get their footing in the field but need somewhere to start. Those are the very companies that can give you the jumpstart needed.

An unpaid internship can be seen like a financial burden but it doesn’t have to be. You can take on an internship without working full-time hours. Work with your supervisor to devise a schedule where you can commute less or work a part-time job but still get the most out of the company.

Here are some tips from Different Perspective on getting the most out of your internship:

• Use your time wisely, apply things you learn in college in a real life situation
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions
• Use your voice, speak up, make suggestions
• Focus on your ability to communicate effectively
• Take your internship as seriously as an actual job

If you strive to put in quality work and communicate with your team, then you can gain connections, knowledge and experience. There is much to gain from an internship, paid or unpaid, and how much you gain is ultimately up to you. For the next part of the series we will cover skills – specifically transferable skills. What are transferable skills? What transferable skills do I have? How do I make use of my transferable skills? You’ll find the answers in the next post!

Looking for an internship or job at Different Perspective? Send us your resume and/or portfolio to Like us on Facebook, we post job, internship and casting opportunities there first.