The perks of being an intern in your final year and how to become one
Although the idea of getting a job during your final year of university might not seem like the best idea, especially with the added stress of third year academic work, an internship can be a vital asset to your student experience and can be a deal breaker when it comes to nailing your dream job after your studies. Although many students take an internship after their studies, bagging one now can be a great start for your graduate life.
Here’s a quick guide to becoming an intern at university, from some information on the benefits of internships to tips on applications, nailing your interview and balancing the pressure of academia and work.
The perks of being an intern at university
· Bagging yourself an internship whilst studying will give you the qualities that employers are always on the hunt for as you will be balancing both academic work and the pressure of either freelance or in-office work as well- a brilliant ode to your time management skills.
· If getting experience and a bit of extra money during your studies doesn’t sound perfect enough, there is also evidence that the majority of internships do continue into graduate roles- so they’re definitely something to keep hold of if you’d like to slide right into a job after graduation.
· Internships are also the perfect time to make contacts- it’s best to set up a Linked In before you start to make sure that you can get connecting with your work colleagues for the duration of the placement- this way you’ll have them on call even when you have moved on from the placement.
· A university internship can also hold plenty of travel and accommodation perks. Due to the placement taking place during academic term times, you’ll most likely have somewhere to stay, thus avoiding the awkward bunking and hotel booking during the summer holidays which many students do find challenging.
How to become an intern: Utilise your career’s service
When it comes to getting an internship, consider your university as a business, and make sure that you get what you’re paying for through going via their career’s portal.
Yes, I know, everyone natters on about career services like they can solve unemployment for an eternity- and whilst they cannot be seen as a guaranteed road to a job, they can be vital for a door to be opened in your direction.
Many universities now have career link portals which display internships only available for certain years and for certain subjects, meaning that a drop in demographic leads to a smaller pool of applicants- hence a better chance at grabbing an internship that you really want to do.
Universities often allow you to search specific job roles whilst career services can offer advice and guidance on the pros and the cons of undertaking internship work during university.
Remember, career’s services aren’t just for undergrads! You can access your career’s service as a graduate at the majority of UK universities, many higher education establishments have a strong alumni presence- although it is best to check.
Sort out your CV
If you’ve been at university for the past two years, only really applying for bar jobs, then you’re cover letter and CV may be needing a little revamp and dusting down.
Have a look through it all and delete anything that seems irrelevant, whilst prioritising anything, no matter how small, that you think may be important in persuading the company to take you on as an intern.
Remember, the thing to remember here is that you will be an intern. Try not to worry if you haven’t really got that much experience, internships are all about learning so it’s best to remind yourself that your future employers will not expect you to be completely versed in the workings of the business.
Once your CV is all sorted, it’s best to focus your time and attention on your cover letter, an area of the application where you can really let your personal passions and hobbies come out of the woodwork.
Remember to emphasise that you are keen to learn, whilst also stressing benefits you feel the placement would bring to you and to the company.
Nail the Interview
If all goes well with your application, then the next natural step if of course- an interview.
Although there will be plenty of people telling you that an internship is simply practice for work after university, don’t let that blight anything and head into the interview taking the opportunity completely seriously.
Confidence and a willingness to learn are both attributes that employers like to see when interviewing potential interns, so make sure that you display yourself as both an adaptable and energetic individual.
Although this is a pretty positive guide, like with all job searches- there can be some downsides to the internships searching experience and rejections can be common.
In light of this, it’s best to remember that an internship is an educational experience, and rejection is just part and parcel of it all.
Handle rejections well and move onto the next application- and an internship should make its way to you soon.
Final tips to take away
· Utilise your university
· Stay positive
· Recognise the benefits
· Be open to learning new things
· Enjoy the experience
· Dust down your CV and cover letter