With many students and graduates about to start their summer internships, it’s very important to first understand the difference between internship and placement. The term "internship" is usually used by city firms such as accountants, investment banks and management consultancies. An "internship" usually last from a week to 12 weeks and may involve some travel. "Internships" are usually offered to students and graduates outside of university term time (placements are usually held during university term time). "Internships" are usually focused on learning almost as much as working. The term "placement" is usually used to refer to long or extended periods of internship held by students during a degree course that has been specifically designed to accommodate a specific time period "in industry". Degree courses with a vocational element are becoming increasingly popular and consequently more and more employers are now offering "placements", including accountancy firms. Both placements and internships are great features for one’s curriculum vitae. In fact, any experience of working within an organization in the industry a person wish to work in is incredibly worthwhile and is a great indicator that he/she has career motivation and strong commercial awareness.
The important thing about work placements is that they provide an opportunity to get to grips with working - meeting deadlines and working in a team. While a placement may enhance one’s knowledge and help with course, it can also help to find out more about a job or industry, leading to more informed decisions upon graduation. Work placements and internships give the opportunity to develop relevant skills, knowledge and experience while getting firsthand experience of life in a real working environment.
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