This article was originally published in "The Nation" newspaper May, 4 2014

“You can’t get experience without a job – you can’t get a job without experience” this cycle of job and experience is so vicious.

You must have heard many people saying, I am highly educated, studied in a reputed university, passed out with good grades and have so many skills but I still never got a good job – why is that?

The reason is, organizations who are hiring, always look for some work experience, if there is no work experience mentioned in your resume, it is most likely to end up in a dust bin because, even smaller companies want to hire individuals who have at least little experience in professional industry. Doing projects and assignment in university is way too different than professional projects, no one in your university tells you the diversity and difference between two. University is like standing onto a cliff and diving is entering in a professional world, you always have to start from the scratch, except for those few who are always keen to take part in their extra-curricular activities in their schools/colleges or exactly know what their goal is and they start making way to achieve it, but that’s a rare case as most of the students in Pakistan like to stick to books only.

So, internships are designed for students who are fresh graduates or fresh masters and even those who are still studying. It is a great way to learn, explore and make professional contacts, not only this, people are also offered permanent jobs at the end of their internship period, if the performance is up to the mark, as Sana Khan, 23, says “I completed my 3 months internship at Ufone after graduating from university and luckily I got a permanent job there right after ending my internship”. Similarly, Khushbakht Abbas, 24, got hired in Capital TV as Assistant Producer right after completing her 3 months unpaid internship.

Internships are the best and easiest way of entering into a professional world and to get a seat in renowned organizations. Trust me, you will learn a lot, even if the job is to staple papers or arranging files. What could be best than grooming yourself in a professional environment and among highly experienced and professional personnel?

It gives the opportunity to explore different work cultures, to tackle with different kind of people and to realize what one’s true passion is. If, finance is one’s basic interest in university life, they might find out that they are actually good in sales or marketing. But it’s very important to experience both, one can never know what are they good at or what makes them happy unless and until they don’t try it.

Myths about Jobs and Internships:

Myth 1, I Have Good Grades, I don’t Need an Experience: Having good grades doesn’t mean you are good at work as well. So organizations not only want applicants to have good knowledge about things but also good skills to perform your daily tasks and to adjust in that work culture.

Myth 2, I Have Good References, so I will Directly Get a Good Job: Trust me, there is nothing better than and nothing as satisfying as having a seat in an organization that you “earned” yourself. Good references might get you a job but when you will be unable to perform your duties, they are definitely going to kick you out as no company want to have financial burden on their shoulders.

Myth 3, I can’t provide my contact details, I will be stalked: This is the biggest mistake one can ever make and there is hardly anyone who has time to stalk people, especially in working environment. Always provide your own personal contact number on resume, avoid mentioning father’s, mother’s or husband’s contact number, which is totally inappropriate.

Hence, it has been observed that internship proves to be a best way in acquiring experience beforehand and to enter renowned organizations in Pakistan. It also saves students from getting stuck into a job that is not of their interests.