Jess from our finance department explains why you should start thinking about internships now!
Although it might seem early in the academic year and most of you will be more pre-occupied with deciding where to spend Freshers week and wondering if it’s socially acceptable to label your food in the communal fridge(FYI – it’s not acceptable), it’s never too early to start thinking about internships.
They’re a great way of getting valuable experience as well as developing your skills and putting to use the knowledge you’ve gained from lectures (well the ones you’ve went to anyway). If you’re lucky enough, some internships even lead to a job offer. So here are a few top tips for a successful internship application:
1) Apply early
Internships are highly competitive, and organisations usually have a fixed number of positions. Applications can open as early as September,but many will fill their positions before the deadline and therefore close applications early. So, give yourself the best chance by applying early.
2) Quality > Quantity
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to complete a strong application. If you’ve not got time to apply everywhere then you’re better off with a few high-quality applications over many rushed ones.Check and double check your CV and online applications, there’s no room for sloppy spelling or grammar!
3) Do your research
Know enough about the company and the role you’re applying to. Companies what to know how serious you are about working for them so have clear reasons why you’ve chosen to apply to them. You also need to covey not only what you think you’ll get out of an internship but equally what skills you can bring to the role.
4) Be specific
Avoid generic statements like ‘I work well in a team’. Instead make sure you provide structured answers by giving specific examples. Try using the STAR approach buy outlining the Situation,briefly explain the Task, what Action was taken (here make sure you’re clear about what you did collectively but also what individual skills you brought to the team) and what the Result was.
5) And if you didn’t get an internship…
If you don’t manage to get an internship, then try the traditional work experience route. All experience is valuable (even if it’s just a few days) so don’t be afraid to send out a cover letter and CV or make a few phone calls to places that might interest you. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who works in your chosen field, then don’t be shy to ask for a favour!