How an internship can boost your soft skills.

Internships are a wonderful opportunity to experience the workplace, make new connections, and develop those all-important soft skills. But what are soft skills?

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Internships are a wonderful opportunity to experience the workplace, make new connections, and develop those all-important soft skills. No matter where you’re thinking of applying, should it be for any International Business Internships or an internship at a local firm, there will always be opportunities to boost your abilities. But what are soft skills?

“Soft Skills are very important because they’ll help define if you’re a team player, able to build a good relationship with your teammates and your customers. They also indicate if you’re able to evolve and adapt.

Soft skills are things such as our emotional intelligence, communication, flexibility, critical thinking, and so much more. Some might even refer to “common sense” as a soft skill. While you may not mention all of them on your CV, they are arguably more important than a relevant degree. Or at least there are in my eyes.

5 Ways an Internship can boost your soft skills!

An internship can help boost your confidence. 

Everyone feels nervous when they go into a new job. You’re meeting new people, getting to grips with new systems, and integrating into a new culture. Now imagine you’re fresh out of school or college and it’s your first time in the workplace in general! No doubt you’d be feeling anxious on a whole new level. 

I went to university with so many people who had never worked a day job until they moved on to their placement year. Boy, did they get a shock to the system! But, much like a placement, internships can prepare us for what’s to come. Whether you get the opportunity to remain with the company or not, you’ll leave with numerous soft skills. And, in my opinion, confidence is one of the most important skills you’ll gain. 

Image from Cookie the Pom

No matter where you end up applying, be it that international business internship or closer to home, you’ll be surprised at home your confidence can sore! You’ll give your first presentation, get to grips with public speaking, research and complete your own projects, and even sit in and lead team meetings! There’s nothing that boosts your confidence quite like taking on a challenge head first and learning new skills! 

And it doesn’t end there. Your newfound confidence won’t leave once you pass the threshold of the office door. You’ll be able to carry that into other areas of your life. I was at my most confident when I worked in my small, local retail store. I knew my job inside and out, got on very well with my co-workers, and had some wonderful regulars who commended me on my work. Yes, all I was doing was serving food, but the confidence I gained boosted my work-from-home job, my artwork, and even my social skills in general! 

Confidence, no matter where we find it, sets us up for conquering our own personal goals and improves our self-esteem. And with all of this comes healthier, happier relationships with our friends and family.  

Internships help improve your ability to solve problems. 

An internship introduces you to real-life work-related issues and therefore helps build on your ability to solve problems. There may be one clear-cut answer, or there may be many hidden behind the bigger picture. Developing our problem-solving skills helps us to see that sometimes we need to think outside the box, while other times the simplest solution will do. 

But remember it’s not about your knowledge or experience. In fact, the more you have doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll come up with the best solution to the problem. In fact, in my experience, it’s often the fresh outlook or the external eye that can see the solutions that veterans of a workplace can’t. 

Like all the skills learned within an internship, you can carry problem-solving into various walks of your personal life. 

An internship can help develop your levels of communication.

Communication is probably one of the most important soft skills you’ll learn in your lifetime. Whether it’s in social situations or professional situations, effective communication can make or break you. Having a good level of communicative skills means that as well as having a good grasp of a language, you’re great at listening and presenting. It’s not all about what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it and how well you listen to others.

During an internship, you’ll be introduced to various people from all walks of life. Some may be native speakers, others may not. You might find that some of your colleagues communicate best verbally, while others might be better with the written word. And of course, you’ll learn more about yourself and your own communicative skills too!

Image from Priscilla Du Preez

You’ll develop other soft skills like adapting yourself.

Naturally, we’re not all prepared for what a new workplace can bring us. Likewise, if we were going to a new school, university or even moving to a new location. But that’s where the ability to adapt comes in. It’s often known as the ability to step outside our comfort zone and adjust to whatever environment we’re placed into. While things may seem new and scary at first, you shouldn’t allow this to put you off from putting yourself forward. This goes double for situations outside the workplace like moving to a new place or meeting new people. The ability to adapt and apply is useful in all walks of life and I often find that the more confidence you acquire, the easier it becomes. 

If you’re a newly graduated student going to university or entering the workplace for the first time, it’s natural that you’ll feel out of place. But, trust me when I say, as your confidence in yourself grows, so will your ability to integrate into scary situations with relative ease.

You’ll learn to act as part of a team.

Teamwork is possibly one of the most important things you’ll learn next to communication. Very seldom are we asked to work entirely by ourselves. Even when working from home or as a freelance worker you’ll encounter situations where teamwork is a must! Therefore it’s extremely important that you learn how to be an active, courteous and efficient team player! 

Internships offer continuous opportunities to work as part of a team. You might find yourself being called to work in a group setting, or you could eventually be asked to train others. Both of which are an example of situations where you’ll require teamwork!

Are there any other soft skills you would add to this list?


  1. I agree with you on the importance of soft skills. Knowledge can quickly become outdated and is often specific to a particular niche, but soft skills are transferrable to any position.

  2. Yes! Having an internship is so valuable, and you can learn so much by working for others. It also counts as prior experience. So good!

  3. Interesting thought and insight and I am recently studying about another learning course and certificate, your topic inspired me and shed some lights in a different way.

  4. These are really good points and something I am doing at the moment! I must admit, I am only on my second day so I am quite anxious still. But I am sure I will end up loving it, and it will provide me with these important soft skills as well as experience 🙂

  5. Nnniiiccceeee…personally, internship helped me answer the question of the sector of life I wanted to make a career in. The big-money industry was not for me.

  6. This is a really great article to read! I will let my niece read this, she is in college now. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  7. Internships can be a great way to gain experience. It’s great that so many more companies are offering them. There are loads of great benefits.

  8. This is interesting, I will keep these things. Teamwork is important and something we need to improve on them.

  9. You know I wish I knew about this when I was in college. I didn’t really do an internship. Whether it was a lack of motivation on my part or just not having a good mentor, looking back, I missed out. But I can see how it can be helpful not just professionally but also in personal development/growth.

  10. So well written. I too believe internship gives you the scope to expose your skills more to the world and learn new skills from different people we are interacting.

  11. I think internships are absolutely vital to success. They really do teach you so much that you won’t learn in any classroom setting.

  12. This is such a great read lovely, thank you so much for sharing with us. I haven’t ever thought of a internship before but it’s defiantly something I’ll consider in the future after reading these 5 reasons. It sounds like a great way to grow in confidence! Xo

    Elle –

  13. Internships also help you to build your time-management and organizational skills, because you’re usually juggling a few projects at once. Good post!

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