4 Reasons why you should invest in an internship after graduation

Laura Ang
8 min readJul 16, 2019

It was Thursday afternoon when Alexis messaged me, my future internship supervisor. He asked if I was interested in taking an internship at Kalibrr. Being a very bibo (active) kid with a FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) attitude, I told myself, “why the hell not?” and applied for the role. The next day, I came in for the interviews and got the offer.

I must say, taking an internship after graduation is so worth it. Here is why:

1. Internships allow you to discover what you want to do

Our college degrees are like guideposts, they tell you what you can do. For me, they are not the only paths you can take. That is why being unsure of what you want to do after college is normal. You don’t know what job you want to take? You don’t know which company you want to work for? It’s okay! The best way to shake out this confusion is to explore more opportunities until you find something you love doing or want to be a part of. How do you expose yourself to these opportunities? Get an internship.

Lunch with Paul (From the left: Gabe, Me, Cwenne, Jania, and Paul) | © Alexis Collado

During our recent lunch out with Paul, our CEO, he mentioned that young people are considered to be shapeless shapes. We are still in a blur of who we are or who we want to become. Right now, we are in constant search for our shape. So, in order to discover this, we need to expose our edges — find what we love doing and what we don’t.

The good thing about internships is that anything can happen! It is really what you make of it. If you grab every opportunity during your internship, you will get more experiences under your belt, whether it be learning a new skill, discovering best practices, or improving the usability of a certain feature.

These experiences will inform and clarify what you want to do or what kind of designer/engineer/data scientist you want to become.

My Kali-buddy, Cwenne! © Alexis Collado

As a designer, I still don’t know what specific area I want to specialize in. I’m a bit of a generalist, if I dare say. My internship in Kalibrr allowed me to touch on different areas — research, content strategy, visual design, and product management. Their program helped me improve my knowledge on areas I haven’t mastered. Therefore, my day-to-day tasks are usually varied and interesting. As an intern, I was able to refine my skills in UX, whether it be making informed design decisions, presenting my work, or communicating with other designers.

2. You won’t become very unproductive during the big break after graduation.

It’s not surprising if you don’t feel like doing anything after graduation. Those four or five years in college were fun but they also brought a lot of sleepless nights. Now is the time to catch up on those z’s. However, for me, after a month of being a well-rested bean, it becomes very boring to stay at home and do nothing.

I would say that I am a very restless person. Whenever I am in situations where I do not find myself doing anything productive, I get very anxious. On the other side, I am also a control freak, meaning, I want to take control of my own time. That’s why freelancing made sense to me — I get paid, I’m productive, I own my time, and I love what I’m doing. However, after graduation, even if I was already doing freelance work, I still had all these free time (like why am I just watching Netflix right now?). I wanted to make the most out of my time. I knew that I could do more impactful things. That’s where this internship came in.

Throughout college, I have gotten myself four internships. This is my fifth. Before applying to Kalibrr, I knew that their internship program is different. Even if I am only an intern, I will be stretched, challenged, and improved — both on a personal and skill level.

In my first month in Kalibrr, I am either listening in product meetings, sharing my ideas in design reviews, or doing design work. My productivity level this month has significantly increased. Surprisingly, this internship actually took up most of the free time I had earlier, but I don’t mind. I really enjoy going to Kalibrr a lot, because I knew that there is always something to learn or do, that is valuable and meaningful to people.

Pure UX workshop (From the left: Me, Riel, Mark, and Casper) | © Alexis Collado

In 5 years, I would not remember the break where I just stayed at home. I will remember going to Kalibrr at 9AM where I did something for the organization, our product, and the people using Kalibrr.

3. You will still have time to rest and do other things.

Internships are very diverse. Some would require you to do 9–5 at an office cubicle, some would tell you to work at home, and others would allow you to have a flexible time schedule. That’s why it is important to know what works for you.

I discovered early on during my other internships that I cannot, for the life of me, do an office desk job. My creativity and “bibo-ness” will plummet to the ground in that scenario. To add to that, Manila traffic is getting so bad that it would take me at least an hour to get to Makati or BGC. That is why, whenever I apply to internships, I make sure that it is flexi-time. This way, I can be productive at work while still getting enough time to rest and work on the other things I like.

In Kalibrr, at least in our team, we can go to the office anytime as long as we are present during important meetings. Fridays are considered a “Work from Home” days. On Fridays, we can do whatever we want. We can either do our tasks in Kalibrr, work on a side project, go shopping, or attend a workshop or event we are interested in. No one will stop you.

4. You won’t be pressured to find a job.

It is very tempting to go find a job ASAP when most of your friends or batchmates have already found jobs right after graduation. Don’t be pressured. There is a certain sense of joy when you decide intentionally. You shouldn’t decide just because this is what everyone else is doing. Find a job when you really think it’s time to.

Even before graduation, I already decided that I will be taking a long break. I may do some freelance work but not full-time. Yes, I was sometimes second-guessing myself if it was time to find a full-time job; however, I knew that rushing into things won’t really do any good. I might just feel unmotivated or worse, do things half-assed. Your mindset highly affects your behavior. So, if you’re not really into it or just plan to give 50%, it won’t be a great experience. Just drop it, and move on.

If you don’t like to get a job right after graduation, taking an internship can be a great alternative. Getting an internship after college doesn’t mean you failed. Quite reversely, it can even be used to your advantage, because internships are just like full-time jobs. We get the same level of ownership and growth opportunity, more mentorship, but with less pressure.

In Kalibrr, I am tasked to redesign specific parts on our recruiter platform. Currently, I’m redesigning parts of the job post. I realized that every design decision I make should be well thought out, because my design creates an impact both for the recruiter and jobseeker. If I don’t do my job well, recruiters won’t get the right candidates. Jobseekers won’t be able to find the best job.

Another advantage of getting an internship is you will still get some funds after graduation. For sure, you are not getting that weekly allowance from your parents anymore, now that you have already graduated. Rather than sulk about being broke, why not do some side hustles or take an internship? There are so many internships available today, paid or unpaid. You just have to find the right one.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of getting an internship after graduation. You can discover more about the industry you want to work for or what kind of work you want to do. You can also leverage your free time after graduation to be more productive. On the other hand, you can still work on other things that you are equally as passionate about. Lastly, you get to create an impact, just like being in a full-time job.

Now, is it time to get an internship?

Thanks for reading! If you like this article, please give it some claps.

— –

Laura Ang is currently a fresh graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. She is currently doing freelance work for Sun Life Financial Philippines while interning at Kalibrr. Her world revolves around design and user experience. She loves designing products that brings experiences to the positive spectrum.

--

--

Laura Ang

Product Designer at Expedock. I care about good design.