Internships and Skill Acquisition, in Italy and Abroad

The School considers internships a unique opportunity to gain experience and knowledge through participation in the real life of a company. Interns should not be treated as guests in the company, but rather as collaborators who take part in all its activities. The School therefore shuns projects that involve mere observation and exclude interns from the daily operations of the company, and instead favors opportunities for progressive involvement in a company’s work, such that interns can improve their skills and gradually take on responsibility. A successful internship is one in which the company clearly feels the absence of one of its staff when the intern has left.

  1. Internships are productive only up to a certain point: they are extremely useful in the right moment, but can become counter-productive for real work if overused. In the latter case, an entrepreneur may be tempted to ask, “Why should I hire this young person as a permanent employee when I can have him/her continue working in yet another internship?” A first or second internship can lead to a proper position, while the sixth or seventh only produces the effect of indefinitely waiting for a real job offer.
  2. So it’s better to accept a job offer after one internship, even if the job is not as good the student hoped, than to go on doing multiple internships.
  3. The value of an internship lies in the quality of the experience, not in the remuneration. A productive internship involves the student in the real life of the company so that he/she understands how it functions. An internship should therefore not be seen as a mere job with low pay.