The social sector may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for an internship. But did you know that there are actually many benefits to interning with social enterprises?
Contrary to popular belief, internships in the social sector aren’t only for people looking to pursue a career in social work. This is especially so in today's world, where more organisations are becoming aware of the importance of creating social impact through the work they do. From issues around climate change to sustainability, welfare and social stigma, the opportunities to contribute in the social sector are vast.
Find your purpose
Many graduates find themselves equipped with a wealth of knowledge but may not have discovered their purpose or passion. This is where taking up an internship at a social enterprise can help. By seeing the world from a social perspective, you’ll learn to identify social gaps that exist in the real world, and even learn something new about yourself.
For example, SMU student Bernice Goh shares that her internship with Edible Garden City helped her realise the need to take a step back from the fast-paced life in Singapore. Through her internship, she also gained new knowledge around urban farming and ways to live more sustainably.
Gain new experiences, face new challenges
Internships are a safe space to explore, experiment, and try new things. This is particularly so with social enterprises, since they often operate on a flat hierarchy due to the nature of work. Being in the changemaking industry also comes with its fair share of challenges, which can train you to think on your feet – a skill that will put you at an advantage when applying for future jobs.
As these former LCSI summer associates can attest, the internship has broadened their horizons as they are given the chance to gain hands-on experience in the workplace and learn from their colleagues. Learning to face different challenges with the support of experienced colleagues has prepared them to be more resilient in the workplace.
Start your career by making an impact
If you’re already thinking about taking a year off to do something good or create a positive impact in the world, perhaps taking up a social internship could be an option. Doing an internship at a social enterprise doesn’t only help with personal growth, but also empowers others around us.
Being part of an established organisation also helps you learn the ropes and you’ll discover the joy of seeing how the work you do impacts others. At the very least, it’ll be one more thing to add to your resume, and your future employers will value the skills you’ve picked up during your internship.
Taking a different perspective
Whether you’re a local looking for an internship in your own backyard or coming from a different country to experience working in Singapore, you’ll get a firsthand view of how changemakers work in this part of the world when it comes to empowering communities around us. Unlike corporate internships, social organisations also have a different set of priorities when setting business goals. Such insight can be a valuable asset in your future workplace.
In a world that’s changing so rapidly, internships at social enterprises can help mould your perspective of the world, and teach us to be problem solvers. As long as you keep an open mind, you’ll be sure to discover new things.
Applications for our various internships are now open, so find out more and sign up here:
All images via Unsplash.