Two colleagues in a meeting

General conditions

To gain real work experience from your internship, certain framework conditions should be met.

You can use an internship to find a suitable career field as well as to test your own interests and abilities in that field. In order to make real use of this opportunity, you should make sure that certain framework conditions are met when looking for an internship.

How long should my internship last?

An internship should ideally last three to six months, even if only a six or eight-week internship is required for your studies. It will be a real advantage when it comes to your career entry, because most employers expect you to have some prior work experience, ideally in the same field you are applying for. It is less of a priority for employers that you keep in line with the standard period of study.

What makes a good internship?

An internship should give you the opportunity to gain first professionally relevant practical experience. Therefore, your internship should meet the following criteria:

  • give you insight into a possible career after graduation
  • ideally give you the opportunity to work with a team on specific projects
  • provide you with individuals who can help you with questions or problems
  • include challenging tasks
  • not restrict you to simple tasks, even if making coffee or copying work are sometimes part of the job

Mandatory or voluntary internship?

A mandatory internship is part of your studies. Content, type and duration of the mandatory internship are often specified in detail in your respective study and examination regulations. The responsible internship supervisor for your department can tell you whether you have to write an internship report and, if so, how extensive it needs to be in order to get your ECTS points.

The voluntary internship, on the other hand, is not a mandatory part of your studies. It is completed voluntarily. Therefore, you are more independent in your decision about content, tasks and duration and can structure your internship individually with the company.

Your salary or intern compensation may also depend on whether it is a voluntary or compulsory internship. Therefore, you should sort out which regulations apply for salary and compensation for your internship.

Should I do an internship after graduating?

There are definitely good reasons for doing an internship after graduation. If your career start is difficult due to the overall economic situation or a very competitive job market, for example. Or if you have only a small amount of work experience in your desired business sector. You should take great care, however, to find an internship position that offers you enough practical work experience. Also, the salary should be appropriate considering your level of education.