Internships – The How-To Guide By A Current Undergraduate

By Teen Blogger: Hanna
Social Media Link: @Hanna_bnrd

Securing an internship is the eternal struggle of university students; there is high pressure to bag professional experience of some sort before graduation. But we all know how painful it is to be in this vicious cycle of needing a placement to obtain experience, but only getting offers once previous experience is already in the bag.

However, fellow students (and VIth formers!) stay motivated and try the following:

  1. Firstly, the obvious. Don’t be shy and create a Linkedin profile. Though Linkedin can seem quite intimidating, it allows you not only to see job listings but also to see potential recruiters and most importantly, for them to see you.
  2. Then, make yourself a profile on some of the many websites that list jobs, such as Indeed, Glassdoor or Bright Network. Searching for jobs and internships on these websites might be quite tedious due to the large number that won’t match your requirements, but after some research, you might find the holy grail of internships.
  3. If you already have an idea of the area you’re interested in, try to focus on specialized websites. For journalism for example, you might begin your search on Journo and go from there. If you’re more interested in working for an NGO, Charity Jobs would be the way to go. Even if these websites don’t have the right opportunities, they do have links to others that could offer more appropriate listings.
  4. If your dream company does not offer an internship, don’t lose hope. Browse the net in search of a contact; the contact can be either the Head of the department you want to work in, or the person who oversees recruitment/HR in the company – and send them an email. Try your luck. You never know and some people might appreciate the initiative you have shown. Highlight your qualities and why you think you could be an asset to them, then ask if they might have any potential opening for you. If you choose this path, be prepared to compromise on any pay expectations and internship dates. But surely, it’s worth it if it allows you to work for your dream company.
  5. Adaptability is always a useful trait; if none of these ideas result in you finding your dream internship, it might be time to broaden your search. Don’t forget that an internship, above all, gives you valuable experience, so even if your target job does not materialize, you might find one that brings you closer to it.

Thanks to the pandemic (not), opportunities are rarer than usual, leading students to feel quite deflated. But luckily life is steadily going back to normal and hopefully this year there will be more internship opportunities available. Another element to bear in mind is that with some domains, you must begin searches and applications for summer internships in September the year before while others are opening their applications right around this March-April period!

Finally, don’t feel discouraged even if it seems like an uphill battle; the right internship for you is just around the corner. I speak from experience!

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