Graduates and undergraduates have been advised to take their internship programmes seriously to gain valuable work experiences to be marketable.
Patricia Abena Kissi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEDAT Consult who gave the advice indicated that an internship opportunity, if taken advantage of, would be a big boost to one’s career.
This was because the job market was choked with graduates for the limited vacancies, as an estimated 77,500 graduates joined the labour force every year of which only 5,000 were employed in the formal sector, representing 6.5 percent of fresh graduates.
She said the over 90 percent left had to seek employment opportunities in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Cape Coast , the accomplished HR and Business Consultant said internships provided great opportunity for undergraduates to make the right contacts in their chosen field and as well built their confidence in the search for their desired jobs.
According to her, employers were usually concerned with work experience than academic qualifications adding that internships were the way to get the work experience needed to secure a job after graduation.
“Many employers prefer or require applicants who have relevant work experience, and in many of the more competitive job markets, work experience is essential to set you apart from the other job seekers” she said
Sometimes all that one needed was an opportunity to prove to an organisation that he had what it took to add value to an organisation, but many organisations were not willing to give graduates without any track record the opportunity, She stated.
“Do not waste your vacations on unproductive ventures, but make all your vacations internship vacations. All graduates have their educational experience in common. What differentiates one graduate from the other, to employers, is the graduate who also had work experience by the time they graduated.
“I can assure you that having a job experience of a minimum of six to nine months will give you the competitive advantage in the job market” she said and urged graduates to work hard and be smart enough to land them jobs.
Mrs Kissi said according to a report by Forbes, undergraduates who undertook internships had about 60 per cent chance of being employed after their internships.
She underscored that students needed to be guided to establish whether they were on the right career as the inability to choose and pursue the right career could make their lives miserable and unfulfilled.