Saturday, 3 September 2016

Externship vs Internship

Externship vs Internship. Which to choose?

What is an Externship?

An Externship is to job shadow someone from a respected professional in an industry or in a career that a student has interest in pursuing. Externships are most common in the legal and medical professions.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a job opportunity provided to a student to work in a company or organisation over a period of time to understand the operations of the industry and the responsibilities of the profession.


Both Externships and Internships are designed to educate the student about a profession or impart skills and knowledge. Through working in a professional environment, students will be able to gain work experience and valuable insight into the working world.


Work allowance/ Payment

Most internships are paid. If not, students will receive some form of allowance for transportation or housing costs. In addition, most students should be able to receive college credits upon successful completion of their internship. Externships are most likely unpaid and do not offer college credit as the work shadowing period is short and the student is not expected to perform any substantial tasks that require monetary payment.

Time Period/ Working hours

Externships are usually held in a short time period from a one day to eight weeks. Most common periods for externships are during the winter or spring break. Internships are longer in duration of at least 2-3 months and as long as over a year. This is to ensure students to be able to receive hands on training and understand the operations of the company or industry.

Work Experience/ Job opportunies

Interns usually receive projects and deadlines just like any other employee in the company. This would allow them to receive some form of mentoring when they carry out their daily tasks. Externs however, are only required to observe the daily activities of the person the student is work shadowing.  

Most internships would provide the option for their interns to convert to permanent employment after graduation if they are satisfied with the intern's work performance. This is unlikely in externships as employers are not able to evaluate the capabilities of the student during an externship. However, it is possible for students of an externship to establish a friendly relation and seek internship or some form of employment in the future.

Which to choose???

Both externships and internships each have their own merits and would definitely provide a valuable work experience and lead them into selecting a suitable career for themselves.  Students should choose accordingly according to their interest and schedule.

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