There are many reasons why students choose to work alongside their studies. Working part time can be a necessity to support yourself financially, or it can be an opportunity to grow as a person. However, have you ever considered undertaking internships in Japan? Though not commonly offered until recent years, internships can be a great way to boost your CV and build your skills. Read on to find out the difference between part-time work and an internship, as well as the advantages and limitations.
How are internships different from part time work?
The first difference that may concern many students is that internships are often unpaid. You may get small amounts of pocket money or free meals in exchange for your work. The ones that do pay are usually long-term (> 1 month), and you will get to immerse yourself in the company like a real employee. These paid internships may also be more selective in their application as well.
Another difference is that internships are specifically targeted towards university students. You may find that most are catered towards the 3rd / 4th years or graduates. Some companies may also require that you have undertaken specific subject areas (especially for IT related jobs). Therefore, internships require some sort of specialization while part-time jobs may be viewed as labor that anyone can carry out.
Advantages and disadvantages of internships
Students should definitely take advantage of internships to boost their CVs. Real working experience as an intern shows that you are passionate and are willing to go beyond the financial incentives of working.
You can also acquire important professional skills that cannot be gained as a part-time worker. Especially for long term internships, you get to experience the daily life of an employee. You will also be entrusted with much harder jobs, which can be challenging but rewarding, giving you a sense of accomplishment.
Unfortunately, there are downsides to internships as well. Since only a small portion of internships are paid, you cannot rely on it as a source of income. If you would rather spend this time to make money, internships may not be for you.
Internships are also stricter compared to part-time jobs. You will be treated as a potential future employee for the company and will interact with real clients (that aren’t just looking to buy food). A high level of professionalism will be expected in terms of clothing, manners, and so on. They are also usually full-time, which means they are a lot less flexible on working hours than part time jobs.
Nevertheless, internships can be a doorway to a professional career. By doing an internship, you can build your network which will open up more opportunities. If you are considering working in Japan, it might be worthwhile to give internships go!
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