Internship! The summer buzzword for any university student who wishes to further their career prospects and enhance their CV. Yes you heard right, no mention of holidays, partying and sunbathing. Just internships.
Internships are becoming increasingly important as the graduate job market becomes more competitive. Internships are now almost a necessity for any graduate; employers recognise that the number of students undertaking internships is on-the-up and are unlikely to employ, or maybe even interview, anyone who hasn’t done an internships. Indeed, recent studies reveal that students have a 7 in 10 chance of landing a job with the company they interned with.
This is all very well and good, but how do you bloomin’ find an internship?! A few of your mates have secured one, and they’re all over the news, but you haven’t the foggiest where to start looking.
Go straight to the company you want to intern with
If you already have a company in mind who you think could offer you the dream internship, have a look if they run an internship programme, it doesn’t matter if they’re an international law firm or a regional start-up that you heard about in the local press. Their information on internships should be easily accessible from the front page of their website, but if not send them a speculative letter or email with your CV attached explaining why you want to intern with them. Better yet, pick up the blower and give the company a call, asking to speak to the person who co-ordinates internships. People can ignore emails for days and weeks on end, once you have somebody on the other end of the phone, you can get information in the moment.
Ask around people you already know
‘It’s who you know, not what you know.’ The cliché is as old as your great gran, and hideously overused, but unbelievably it still applies… especially with internships. Perhaps your parents have a friend who works in the industry you want to intern in, or maybe your elder siblings work in a similar industry to the one that you want to work in. It may not be as straightforward as this in reality, and you may need to do some digging around and ask your friends parents also, but it’s possible that someone in your social circle will know of some opportunities you can get your teeth into.
Use your university careers service
With tuition fees now at a staggering £9000 per year, you want to be getting your money’s worth. No, this does not mean you hoard as many library books like you do Domino’s Pizza boxes. It does mean that you check out what your university careers service can offer. A few university careers services have started teaming up with local and national businesses to offer paid internships to their students. Not only does this mean you can rack up some dollar by undertaking an internship, it also means you face fewer competitors in the application process and are therefore more likely to land the job.
Look at job boards
A final way to find internships is by checking out job boards. We at AllAboutCareers.com have a pretty good internship job board if we do say so ourselves (hint, hint, nudge, nudge), and there are plenty more scattered around the web.
Finding an internship isn’t the easiest process in the world, but with the number internships on the rise and the ways to find an internship (hopefully) now clearer, you have no excuses for not trying.