Whether you’re currently at University or are looking for work, internships can be a great opportunity for you to build some experience of a particular industry and give yourself a head start when it comes to applying for a job.
If you can show you had the drive to do an internship over the summer, for example, instead of spending the time in the pub or on a debauched holiday, then you’re likely to be looked upon far more favourably by a potential employer.
How should you go about applying for an internship?
You need to tackle this from two perspectives. The first thing is to make sure you do an internship in an industry where you actually want to work, or that you are at least considering as a career.
If you want to work for a consultancy business then doing an internship as a retail merchandiser probably isn’t the best option to choose! Yes, you can change your mind when it comes to choosing a career, but think about the options that will leave as many doors open for you as possible.
Opting for more professional internships – not saying retail is unprofessional, but it isn’t at the level of banking or accounting, for example – will strengthen your case later on.
You should also treat applying for an internship much as you would applying for a job. Send a full resume and be clear about your ambitions, don’t just send a template email saying, “Hi, do you have any internships this year?”
Find Top Companies
Companies in most industries today offer internships, so all you need to do is find the best ones. Options could range from ACPI Investments in the financial services industry to Deloitte in the consultancy industry, while all of the big banking institutions offer internships, too.
As an extension of thinking career, find companies that you will potentially want to work for. Many people who eventually become employees of a company started as interns, so it will prove an invaluable experience.
Connect & Get Advice
The way the world is today with the internet and social media it is nothing short of negligent if you don’t look to connect with important people in your chosen industry.
This is a great way to get free advice and have someone give you an idea of what you can expect from the internship as well as how the company works. You’ll also have someone you already “know” within the company for when you go to meet them in person.
Do Your Research
While the interview process for an internship might not be as intense as that for a full-time job, you’ll still be expected to know your stuff. Make sure you’ve taken the time to read articles and press releases related to the company you’ve applied to so that you can discuss what they’ve been doing and their vision for the future.
Do all of this, and you’re sure to impress and give yourself a great chance of getting the internship you want.