Why you should Intern during your Gap Year with CanGap Ambassador AJ

Updated: Jul 15


AJ - 00:00

Hello everyone, welcome back to the Canadian Gap Year Association channel. My name is AJ and I am one of the gap year ambassadors and today I'm going to be talking about internships.


Internships are an exceptional way to gain real world experience in careers or disciplines that you genuinely care about. And it's a great way to understand what you do care about and what you don't. It's also a great opportunity to learn about what your career prospects may look like and what working really feels like.


We tend to learn a lot in school, but we don't really have the opportunity to see how that applies into the real world. How can this apply to something that people really do on a day to day basis?


AJ - 00:33

And that's why internships are so important! I think gap years are an exceptional opportunity to get internships and take this time to learn more about what your career might look like before you even go into school.


And I think that's particularly important because once you go into school, you're now so much more oriented and you have a greater perspective about these specific things and concepts and theories that you're learning in school, may have implications or provide insights to things that you may be doing in the future, and so I think it's not only a great opportunity to learn in the real world, but it will also give you a greater perspective and put you in the right mindset when you're learning within university or whatever else you decide to pursue.


AJ - 01:16

So in regards to my personal experience and what I set out to accomplish throughout the year, internships were a very significant goal that I wanted to achieve at the beginning of the year.


I wanted to learn more about business and the multifaceted nature of it and where my passion lies within the holistic nature of business, that was something I really wanted to discover.


And so in doing so what I knew I had to do was go through the entire application process, and I think that process within itself was extremely valuable in teaching me important career skills such as writing a cover letter, how to prepare for and go about interviews as well as how to construct a concise yet very representative resume.

I think these are very important skills to learn from the offset, because as you gain more experience as you discover and learn as you go about university and life, you'll be able to add to your resumes and cover letters and all of these very important career documents in a way that is more effective because you already know how to craft your own career story.


AJ - 02:10

And you also know what you want to do, and so even though I, for example, applied to over hundreds of different internships and got rejected from the majority of them, I think that process really allowed me to learn, and so an important take away that I would like to emphasize here is that it's OK to be rejected.


You will be rejected, you just came out of high school and you probably don't have that much experience.


It's sometimes hard to get internships as a lot of the larger companies in particular have more significant requirements and they predominantly give internships to university students as well.


So it's important to try to be perseverant and understand that the application process within itself is valuable and you will learn skills from that. So if you persevere, and if you're resilient and you keep trying and keep adapting and look for feedback and watch YouTube videos and read articles about how to improve your resume, how to improve your cover letter. How to practice for interviews and how to improve your interviewing skills.


AJ - 03:01

I am sure and I'm more than confident that you will land yourself an internship and sometimes it takes long but you have to keep trying. It's important and remember you're learning every step of the way.


Another side note for that is to use and leverage online platforms for you to be able to apply to companies. Look for different companies' postings by checking out companies and industries that you're particularly interested in and going on their website and looking for internship opportunities and specific.


You can also check out LinkedIn and if you need more tips about how to craft an excellent LinkedIn profile.


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