An internship can be a great way to gain experience, try out a career area, expand your network and can result in a job offer. Many recruiters use an internship as an extended job interview. There are also some areas of work where it’s important to gain experience so that your application is competitive on graduation – law, development, banking, and journalism to name a few. When choosing an internship to help you get ahead, there are a few things you need to consider:
Who offers internships?
It’s important to know the market. In general, structured internships are offered by larger commercial organisations who take on a high number of graduates each year. This includes employers in a variety of sectors including law, FMCG, consulting, banking, advertising, the pharmaceutical industry, oil and gas – and many more. You will also find opportunities with international organisations, large charities and major NGOs too. The employers taking part in our fair tend to be those who recruit the largest numbers of interns. Watch out for early application deadlines too.
What can you apply for?
You have a lot of choice so take time to think about what interests you and would match your skill set – the majority of internships are open to graduates of all disciplines so you are not restricted by the subject of your degree. In addition to an interest in the area of work, most recruiters will be looking for a good academic performance, evidence of the skills required for the role and an insight into your experience or extracurricular activities to date.
What do you want to learn?
Think about what you will learn and what the internship you are applying for will involve. Where are the gaps in your knowledge and experience? What skills would you like to improve or develop? Even if you decide that what you are doing in your internship is not what you want to pursue on graduation, what you learn will still help you get ahead longer term.
What about other work experience opportunities?
Structured internships are not offered by all recruiters and the competition can be fierce – but there are plenty of other opportunities to gain good experience over the summer months or after graduation. Think about applying speculatively for work experience, volunteering, part-time work or a combination of all of these. You can find more details on our website or come in and talk to us about your options. Good luck with your search!