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March 23, 2018

Traditional Internships Traditionally Suck – Why Ours Are Different

Written by

Seth Fuchs

Meaningful internship experiences are like unicorns. Rare if not entirely mythical.

Unless curated as part of a formal process, they’re just not stimulating. And it's understandable. As a company, why would you invest time, resources, space, and skills into someone who is just going to leave? It’s kind of like making friends with a tourist. Sure, you’d be nice, but your effort would be minimal.

What this means for you as a student?

Most of the time you get given the grunt work; shunted with meaningless or menial tasks no one wants to do. There is little scope to shine, or showcase anything more than your latte-procurement skills; the company unwilling to risk letting you tackle a project that might actually impact the business. It’s ambition-squashing and can suck the passion for a given profession right out of you. But, as you have yet to create a professional network, you’re kind of stuck.

iXperience interns presenting their final project

So what makes an iXperience internship different?

We’ve been running our internship program for over four years and have placed hundreds of students with multinational companies and burgeoning start-ups alike. In short, we know what works, both for students and the companies themselves.

Most importantly, we understand that our students hold immense potential and that they’re capable of achieving amazing things. All they need is the right environment and good guidance.

Our recipe for success

Before our students arrive, we work closely with our internship partners to scope out and plan projects that are challenging, but achievable. The projects add tangible value to the companies we work with as they’re based on real business needs.

Once the projects have been scoped with desired outcomes, we understand the skills required to achieve the objectives and ensure that these specific skills are taught during the four weeks of course time. This means that our students are well-prepared to hit the ground running. No nasty surprises or shocks.

We also identify a key mentor at each company, so that students have a central point of contact – someone whom they can look to for guidance and help, without feeling like they’re bothering half interested or bemused staff members.

Matching students with internships

Students are matched with their internship companies 2-3 weeks into the course program. When deciding which students might fit best where, our teachers consider each student's preferences, personality, skillset and course performance, as well as the working culture and environment they’d be best suited to.

Companies are presented with a shortlist of candidates and make the final call, electing students they feel would best suit the roles and requirements.

Accenture internship students

During the internship

2-4 students, often from different disciplines and courses will work together on a project. This cross-discipline mix mimics the working world and isn't typically an opportunity you'd get at university, where you’d usually only work with classmates completing the same degree.

Once students are introduced to their projects by their mentor, it’s up to them to scope out how they’d like to go about achieving the objectives within four weeks. We find that students learn valuable professional skills like time management, delegation, teamwork, and communication, as they pool their collective knowledge and spur one another on to craft imaginative solutions.

Ongoing coaching and mentoring

We understand that entering a new professional environment while having to complete a meaty piece of work can be daunting. That’s why we provide weekly professional coaching and mentoring at our iXperience campus. Students come together once a week, and meet with our coaches and staff to address and tackle any challenges, project-related or otherwise. This means that while the work is a little daunting, we don't just leave you in the deep end without some kind of a raft.

Presenting your body of work and beefing up your resume

Once projects are complete, students present them to a team from their company for critique and feedback – an equally important aspect of learning to grow as a professional. As projects are designed to help companies gain insight into a particular challenge or even try a new proof of concept, they ad real value, which is hugely rewarding for students and a great talking point in further interviews as very few juniors or sophomores have a real body of work to showcase potential employers.

Ready to flex your skills in a professional environment, bolster your CV, and earn college credit in a city ripe for exploring? Start your application here.

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