The Benefits of Graduate and Internship Programmes

After years of hard work, studying, and maybe even a few tears, you’ve got your degree. For your entire uni career you’ve been working towards that one goal. But now you might be left standing in your cap and gown thinking, now what? Maybe, even with your degree, you’re still not sure exactly what you want to do, or  you know exactly what you want to do, or maybe you haven’t quite finished uni yet but you feel you need to get a foot in the door before you graduate. This is where graduate and internship programmes come into play. But what do these programmes do for you? What is a graduate training programme? Are graduate programmes worth it? Are internships paid? Throughout this blog I’m going to answer those pressing questions and even point you in the direction of some programmes currently accepting applicants. 
What is a graduate programme? 
Webster’s Dictionary defines…no, just kidding. Graduate Programmes are designed to allow you to continue to learn while getting hands-on experience. Even after all those torturous hours of studying, all the late nights of panic typing assignments, there isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to feel 100% ready to jump into a role. Imagine that you’ve been paddling around with a life jacket on and then all of the sudden someone rips it off of you and chucks you in the deep end. Now try to imagine a graduate programme like one of those noodles you get in pools. You’ve definitely out grown your floaties and you’re much more of a confident swimmer, but having that florescent green foam noodle bobbing next to you is a nice reminder that if you get tired, which you might, you can still have something to grab on to. Take, Baker Tilly for example. In their graduate programme they offer one-on-one mentoring, internal and external training opportunities, and give you an individual development plan, all while ensuring that you are a valued team member and exposing you to a variety of work. This programme isn’t alone either. Employers at Mainfreight, Accenture, even ANZ aren’t just there to employ you, they’re there to help you, to guide you, to set you on the right career path. 
What about internships? 
Okay, if you skipped ahead to this section I know why. So, I’ll answer the question that brought you here. Yes, internships are paid. Boom. Don’t believe me? Well, I’m paid. As the Social Media Intern at NxtStep, I’m getting paid to bring you some of these blogs and also the juicy memes and job adverts on our social media platforms. And like graduate programmes, internships give you the support and guidance you need. Think of an internship like trying on clothes, you want to make sure they fit before buying them right? Currently at NxtStep, we’ve got internships going for Aurecon, MBIE, and ANZ, all waiting for  you to try them on! The word ‘intern’ might sound small but believe me, long are the days of internships consisting of making coffee for the big boss (I can honestly say I’ve literally never done that). Internships are about trying out an industry, a company, or a role and seeing if it’s right for you, all while getting the teaching and guiding you need to help you succeed. You’re going to be part of the team, even if it’s only for a few months. And the best part? It looks fab on a CV. Recruiters will see that you’ve taken steps and gotten experience, or maybe you end up applying for a role at the company you interned for and they recognize your name. It’s an opportunity to learn, explore, and get your foot in the door (didn’t meant that to rhyme, but we’re gonna roll with it). And hey, if you’ve missed the mark for getting an internship and everything you just read is making you sweat, don’t worry. Not doing an internship isn’t the end of the world. You still have your degree and your experience behind you, and those do mean something. 
Are graduate/internship programmes worth it?
This might be a bit of a silly question for me to ask based on everything I just told you, so long story short: yes, graduate and internship programmes are worth it. Okay, so you’re not jumping into that top tier, mid-level position you have your heart set on, but if you really think about it, do you think you could do that position successfully without guidance? And I’m not doubting anyone’s potential here, because I have no doubt that everyone reading this could one day take on a high level role, but there are somethings uni can prepare you for in your career and there are somethings they can’t, which is where these programmes come into play. Networking, for example, getting mentoring from someone who’s been successfully working your industry for the past 20 years, or finding out if it’s even the right industry for you, all of this is provided to you in these programmes. 
Ready, set, go
You’re at the starting point now, and even if the finish line seems ages away, you’re already on the right track to getting there. We’ve got plenty of graduate and internship opportunities available for you right here on our website, and more are coming! Head to our jobs section to find the right programme for you and start your new career! 

Written by Erica Shepard, Auckland