Finding internships can seem an impossible task. There are so many different types of internships, industries, and companies that offer them. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help you decide what you want to do and how to find the right internship.
We’ve put together seven tips to help you find the right internship for you.
1. Decide what type of internship you want to do
Are you looking for a year-long internship to complete while you are at university, or do you want to take a year out for some real-world experience? If you’re looking for something short-term, lots of companies offer summer internships that you can complete in between your academic years.
Some companies also offer internships as short as a week. Deciding the amount of time you want to commit yourself to will help you narrow down your search.
2. Think about the industry you want to work in
For STEM subjects like engineering and computer science, the internship you choose may be more straightforward. If you are doing a less specialised degree that does have a specific degree path, this might be more difficult.
If you are doing a humanities degree, it is worth thinking now about the kind of job you want after graduation. If you can find an internship that matches this, fantastic! Even if you can’t find an exact match, look for the closest thing. The skills you gain from an internship will undoubtedly help in your future career.
3. Is there a company you want to work for?
If there’s a particular organisation you have wanted to work for, doing an internship is a great way of learning more about them and deciding if you could see yourself working there more long-term. You might even decide that it’s not for you, but that’s ok.
During National Intern Week, we have lots of well-known employers like Amazon, Network Rail and Zurich doing live events. This is a great opportunity to find out more about them and how they operate.
4. Paid or unpaid?
You might also want to consider if you’re prepared to do an unpaid internship. They are usually for organisations like charities, that rely on volunteers more than paid workers. You will likely have some expenses paid for though with this type of internship.
If you would like to work in the charity sector, for instance, doing an unpaid internship with a charity could be a great way to demonstrate your commitment. Understandably though, this is not the case for everybody. Consider your own circumstances, and if you have anyone who could support you if undertaking an unpaid internship.
5. Use your network
You might have family members or friends who currently work at a company hiring for an intern. Don’t be afraid to make use of the connections, they will want to do their best to help you. This will not be a guarantee of employment, but it will give you an advantage.
If you don’t currently have a LinkedIn profile, it is extremely important you create one. You can add your skills and education/employment history to give the best account of yourself. You are also able to search for individuals who work for specific companies. If you feel confident enough, reach out to them about their current opportunities. They may advise you to apply via their website. As long as you are polite and professional though, you don’t lose anything by doing this. It also shows you have initiative and aren’t afraid to ask for help.
6. Create a great CV
Make sure you create CVs for the different internships you’re applying for. Tailoring your CV shows that you care and are genuinely interested in the vacancy you’re applying for, as well as the company. Make sure you do your research on them, find out what the company’s values are and try to think of some ways you have evidenced this while at university.
Employers love to see passion when they read a CV, so try and do your best to show yours. It is your first opportunity to show them you’re the right candidate for the internship.
7. Where to find internships?
Our live sessions with employers will show you exactly where you can find them.
During the 26-30th September, we will be joined by:
- Severn Trent
- Royal Mail
- The Army
These sessions will show you what roles companies are hiring for right now, and where you should go to apply for them.