Volunteering, freelancing, or completing an apprenticeship or internship through a college program are all options for gaining business experience. Job seekers who are just starting out in the workforce frequently find themselves in a difficult situation: they can’t find work because they don’t have enough experience, and they can’t get experience because they can’t find work. As a result, gaining business experience is both necessary and difficult.
Volunteering in nonprofit organizations is one of the simplest ways to gain business experience. These organizations may have very specific objectives, but they still require the same types of tasks as regular businesses. If the nonprofit is repairing homes for the poor, for example, someone will need to coordinate with vendors for building materials, someone else will need to keep track of payments and bills, someone else will need to come up with the architectural plan for the repairs, and yet another person will need to review applications from homeowners. Although there is no guarantee of pay in these groups, those who perform well can gain business experience and a subsequent job reference.
Another viable option for gaining business experience is freelancing. Freelancers must work extremely hard to network and attract new clients, but the benefit of freelancing is that the freelancer must learn managerial skills. He is in charge of all aspects of his company, including scheduling, quality assurance, billing, contract negotiations, and tax management. This provides a freelancer with valuable insight into what bosses require and why, as well as demonstrating the freelancer’s ability to manage and succeed in his own business. Even if the freelancer is not paid, he can agree to do the work in exchange for an official business title that he can include in his resume.
Business experience is frequently provided as part of college training programs. Some programs are apprenticeships, which are based on a collaboration between an academic institution and real-world businesses willing to train newcomers to a field. Mechanics, for example, can receive hands-on training in auto shops while also receiving classroom instruction. Some apprenticeship programs offer employers formal certifications.
An internship is a good way to gain business experience related to college training programs. Some colleges and universities require formal internships before awarding a certificate or degree. Internships are usually the final stage of formal education. They can be compensated or uncompensated. Students learn how to complete business tasks or apply previously acquired skills on the job during an internship, similar to an apprenticeship, usually under the direct supervision of an experienced worker. Some internship programs offer job placement after the internship is completed.