A Student's Guide To Internships

Monday, May 30, 2022

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There are many ways to build your career and CV. With so many jobs out there, it can be hard to know where you want to be in life. Before you jump into a career, there are a few ways to test the waters to make sure you will like it. Internships are a great way to meet new people, work and gain experience. If you’re considering an internship this summer, here is my guide to internships with everything you need to know before applying!

What Are Internships

An internship is like a work experience where you go into a business and experience placement in your chosen career. The only difference between volunteering, work experience and internships is the formal process. Yes, you will likely need to apply and do an interview to place an internship. They might also ask you for a CV. You get to do practical work in a career you’re interested in, and it can look good on your CV. Internships can sometimes be paid depending on if it counts towards college credit, so make sure you check before applying. It gives you a chance to try different things in a professional setting while networking and learning the necessary skills. They can be fun, especially when you travel abroad to work in a new place! You may even be offered a full-time position at the end of your internship.

An abroad internship is where you travel to another country to complete your work experience. For example, there are international internships Seoul where you can travel while building your CV. They can be exciting as you visit somewhere new while gaining the experience and skills you need for a job. Typically, an internship can last 3-12 months, so you’ll have lots of time to refine your skills. You could even do an internship part-time while studying at Uni if you don’t have the time to work abroad.

The Benefits Of International Internships

It can feel daunting to move across the world and start an internship. However, international internships can be beneficial to you and your career. Here are some benefits to internships and why you should give them a go if you’re stuck on what to do!

  • You can network with future employees
  • You build new skills in a professional setting
  • You can explore your chosen career path
  • You can add it to your CV & stand out more
  • You get to travel before settling into a job
  • You may get paid to do something you love
  • You can gain confidence in your field
  • You might get offered a job at the end of it

How To Find Internships

Internships can be hard to find, but there are some places to try first. There are dedicated sites such as Beyond Academy, which specialises in international internships. You can choose your industry and location, and it will help you find internships that fit you best. They even offer remote positions, so there is something for everyone! Here are some other places you can find internships:

  • Look at job fairs - As a student, you might be invited to many career fairs. Take advantage of the employers there and see if any offer your dream internship.
  • Check online websites - There are many sites like Indeed which promote internships. There will be all the details you need, and you can apply to multiple quickly.
  • Speak to people you know - If you have entrepreneurial contacts, you could ask them about internships. They might know someone who could help you or be able to provide you with a space at their business. 
  • Social media - Social media is an amazing place to find opportunities. Search Linkedin and Twitter for internships and connect with people in your chosen career. 
  • Contact businesses directly - If you love a brand, see if they have positions on their website. You could always email them and see if there is anything available. 

Once you have found your perfect internship, make sure you apply. You need to be happy with the salary, work hours and what you'll be doing on a daily basis. You'll need a good pitch and a CV, so having one ready to go can help you apply to internships quickly. You may be invited to an interview, so have your questions ready and be prepared to have a virtual or in-person conversation with an internship provider. It's unlikely there will be any interview tests, but make sure you read up on what's expected through the interview process. 

Top Tips For Internships

Whether starting or finishing your internship, there are always things to learn and pick up on. If you're looking to stand out, here are some top tips for internship pros!

Start your search early - It's never too early to start looking! If you want to bag the best internships, make sure you apply with plenty of time before the deadline. You want to start searching for an internship a few months before you're due to start. It will give you time to prepare, take a break and move if you need.

Ask for some feedback - If you don't get offered a job, you could ask what went well and what you could work on. Constructive criticism can help you later on and lead you to the right place. Even if you are offered a job, it's worth asking about your key traits and what you could be doing to improve. Feedback is always welcome. 

Get a good reference - If you got on well with your colleagues, make sure you keep in contact. Getting their details can help you apply for jobs as you'll likely need a reference. LinkedIn can help keep you in contact with colleagues and work experience providers. 

Network where possible - You've been given the best opportunity to meet people in your field. Make sure you mingle and get to know as many people as possible. They could help you later down the line! If you're invited to an event while on your internship, it's worth going.  You might meet some interesting people! 

Internships are a great way to formally try out the career you want. I think international internships would be the route to go if you’re looking to work abroad later in your career, as you’d have already experienced it. Have you ever tried an internship? I’d love to hear your experience and if you’d recommend them to other students looking to boost their CV!

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