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Essential internship advice for students

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The only thing that you officially need to be eligible for an internship is to be able to work in the UK, but other than that internships can be very different. Some companies want previous experience, while others just want to know you’re interested in the industry. If an internship looks appealing but you don’t have quite enough of the boxes ticked we advise you to apply anyway as many internships are less about previous achievements, and more about finding an enthusiastic, likeable person who wants to learn.

How Does My Summer Internship Work?

Much like work experience when you were still at school your summer internship will work like a placement and last for an agreed period of time – this is usually between four and ten weeks. Undergraduate internships are usually unpaid, but if you give yourself time to browse, you will find a few paid placements.

Internships will allow you to gain special insight into a company’s processes, and if you make a good impression you stand a great chance of being offered a graduate placement, either at the same company, or elsewhere. These internships can also be a great indicator as to whether or not you like the industry, and want to pursue a career in it.

If you are searching for an internship we recommend Student Job and Employment 4 Students – two of the most popular websites you can use to find undergraduate internship options, from financial service internships to actuarial programmes. For paid summer internships, things can become a little more difficult as employers are harder to come by, but these placements do exist. You will find many paid and unpaid internships on indeed.co.uk.

We recommend that you create your university internship applications between September and October. However, these deadline dates do vary so be vigilant and try to get a head start on the other applications by sending a perfected CV to your preferred employer as soon as possible.

We recommend applying to a few, as you will inevitably get some rejection letters, for many different reasons. It might be due to the sheer volume of students attempting to get these all-important summer internships, or that the advert is just old and the role has already been filled. No matter what, just remember not to let it get you down, as internship roles are very competitive, but if you continue to persevere and try different things, you will succeed.

Speak To Your Careers Advisors

If you have any trouble securing your internship, you can always speak to the careers advisors at your university to see if they have any recommendations. They may well have sections on their websites which tell you exactly how to go about securing a university internship in your area, or you could set up a meeting.

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The key to a great summer internship is organisation, and contacting a range of employers as quickly as possible. Make sure you communicate your enthusiasm for the industry, and mention any work which you feel is relevant. Don’t be afraid to mention both essays from university, and real-life lessons.

Happy hunting!