The Ultimate Guide To Getting A Summer Internship In 2018
Posted on 13/04/18
You’ll hear people tell you constantly that your time at university will be the best time of your life. But it’s only when those three or four years of guzzling quad vods and playing fast and loose with coursework deadlines comes to an end and you’re left facing the horrible reality of needing to get a job like, now, that you start to appreciate that.
Finding a good job in your industry of choice post-graduation can be a pretty sucky process, but there is one way to give yourself a 1-Up over the competition and boost your employability while also gaining valuable XP in this giant game we call life: internships!
Internships are kinda like extended work experience and usually take place over the summer, but can also last much longer. You’ll gain insight into how the world of work, er, works and if you really impress your employers you might find yourself with a job ready and waiting for you once your course is finished!
If you’re looking for a summer internship this year but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, check out our handy tips for nailing the perfect work placement:
Start To Apply For Summer Internships... NOW!
Remember when you had to get work experience in school and there was always that one person who left it super late and ended up doing theirs in a warehouse or a funeral directors while everyone else was living it up as lawyers, doctors and engineers for a week?
Yeah, you don’t want the same thing to happen with your internship.
As with most things, the earlier you start work on something the better. That way you’ll have more choice, more opportunity and more time to prepare yourself so if you’re interested in a work placement either for the summer or for a longer period stop thinking about it and start applying... NOW!
Know Where To Look For The Best Internships
One of the biggest problems for anyone looking for a summer internship is that it can be hard to know where to look. There are so many different opportunities and so many different companies, websites and resources all claiming to be able to help set you up with the internship of your dreams that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
But don’t stress when you can get someone or something else to do the looking for you. Websites like e4s.co.uk essentially work like job sites for internship opportunities. You can choose what type of internship you want, how long you want it for, different industries, different locations and then simply choose the ones that you think fit you best!
Apply Everywhere And Always Have A Backup
Thing is, no doubt you’ll have one particular thing that you want to do in mind, just like when you were applying for universities through UCAS: you’ll always have that one preference you’d rather get over the others.
But it’s important not to limit yourself too much and end up putting all your eggs in one basket. With hard work and a sprinkling of luck you’ll land the opportunity you want, but if not it helps to have a bunch of backup plans ready and in place.
You never know, getting turned down for the internship you hoped for might just be the best thing that ever happened to you. Keep an open mind and you’ll surely have a blast either way, plus you know that opportunities always tend to present themselves when you least expect them!
Know How To Make A Good CV
For many people, the biggest hurdle you’ll have to jump over en route to the internship of your dreams is completing the dreaded CV. This will generally be your first, and sometimes only, opportunity to impress potential employers and so the pressure’s on to get it right.
One of the most annoying things is the classic conundrum of needing experience for a job but not having any because you needed a job to get that experience in the first place... Fear not though, because even if you don’t have much employment history you’re almost certain to have applicable skills!
Here’s a quick cheat sheet that’ll help you when filling out the relevant experience part of your CV:
Have you done any volunteering or community work? If yes, then you have collaboration skills and initiative!
Have you spent time travelling or living abroad before? If yes, you have the ability to work in and adapt to diverse environments!
Do you speak another language? If yes, then you can communicate across cultures!
Do you play any team sports? If yes, then you can work well as part of a team!
There’s more stuff too: we’ve written at length before about how starting your own blog or vlog can really supercharge your CV so that’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already! As well as that, although it might seem a bit irrelevant, having your full driving licence can be a real booster for your application!
Stop Looking In The Wrong Places
Can’t find what you’re looking for? It could be that you’re simply looking in the wrong places! Depending on what it is that you want to do you’ll find it much easier to get a good placement in cities where your industry of choice is really strong.
So, for example, if you’re into your fashion then London is probably the place for you while Bristol is great if you want to do anything related to business, technology or manufacturing.
Likewise, Manchester is fantastic if you love sports or if you’re looking for work in the financial industry and Birmingham is another brilliant option if you want to do something related to finance, manufacturing or engineering.
Closer to home, Belfast is speedily becoming the go-to city of choice for would-be filmmakers with a burgeoning creative and film industry, while Dublin’s also a great bet for anything creative or tech-related. Best of all, both are totally within driving distance for when you want to go back home to get your washing done and your pocket money replenished!
Don’t Be Afraid To Look Further Afield
If you’ve got real ambition and a thirst for adventure, remember that you don’t have to limit your internship opportunities to the UK, or even to Europe. If you’re looking to nail a job within the sports industry a fantastic option for internships is applying to summer camps around the US.
If you have a passion for travel or for teaching, we’d recommend checking out the JET Programme where you can teach English in Japan for a year. Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn any Japanese although likely a little bit will help!
Likewise if you’re planning on being the next big thing in tech, forget about Silicon Valley. Instead, why not consider an internship somewhere like Copenhagen which in recent years has really set itself up as *the* tech start-up capital of Europe?
The opportunities are endless, so get out there and start planning your adventure today!
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