Internships can sometimes be the difference between landing that top job after university. Although your degree is obviously the name of the game and undoubtedly of paramount importance, there are several things you can do to give your CV that added edge and a good internship is probably the best of them all. But how can you ensure that your time spent working for a firm, often for no money whatsoever, is a resounding success and gives you real value?
This is the topic of our latest student advice feature here at Almero Student Mansions, as we highlight the best internship tips for 2018/19. Making the most of your internship will essentially mean you are not wasting your time and are able to enter any industry, as well equipped as you possible can be.
Making The Most Of Your Internship
The majority of our internship tips are focused around organisation and ensuring you document your placement so you have something to show for it. Often and particularly at bigger firms, there will be no one officially looking after you and you could end up in a small room, doing something pretty menial. But by following these simple pointers, we think you could turn even the most uneventful of internships into a real win for your resume.
Set Clear Goals
Before you head to any sort of work experience placement or internship, it’s always a good idea to set clear objectives even if these haven’t been approved by your university or destination firm. This will give you a focus even if you haven’t set one and will mean you approach your placement proactively and this will really shine through.
This will also give you great insight into the sector you are looking to break into, as the feedback you get from these goals and objectives will be essential.
Keep a Diary or Journal
This could well be something your university or employer will insist on, but if not be sure to keep a diary. You will be able to refer back to this when writing your internship up or even when you are going to interviews later in your career, a daily log of your placement is vital. Keep this updated too, as by leaving to the end you will guarantee missing or forgetting important information.
Interview Your Firm
Now you should be sure to approach this internship tip with caution, but remember that you are interviewing the firm or even the sector as much as they are evaluating you. Don’t be cocky as that will not go down well from an intern, but this placement will either confirm this is the job for you or help you to dodge a pretty vital bullet.
From asking questions and taking in the culture in the office, daily tasks and how happy people are in their work, you are getting invaluable insight into an industry before you are qualified. So be sure to treat your internship as a road test for your employer as much as it is vice versa.
Finally, you should be keen to make a real impression. Whilst this may be easier said than done, especially in competitive industries it isn’t impossible and there are Managing Directors and CTO’s all around the world who started as interns. In a similar ilk to the last point, you need to make sure this is considered and doesn’t come across as arrogant and of course be backed up with knowledge, but take your chances and there is every chance you could be offered more opportunities in the future.
Your internship is also all about networking, so even if your initiative doesn’t result in full time employment, there could well be someone at the firm who is impressed by you and adds you on LinkedIn or passes you a business card. Who knows where this could lead in the future, so be sure to look keen, enthusiastic and willing at all times.
These are our top tips at Almero Student Mansions for absolutely nailing your internship and as you will see, it all really comes down to attitude. Don’t see your placement as something you are being forced to do for no money, but a chance to get awesome insight into your potential sector. At the very worst you will realise it isn’t for you but as we have mentioned, internships can often be the start of a very exciting journey indeed.
If you enjoyed this guide to internships, why not take a look around the rest of the Almero blog where we have student advice features likes this on all sorts of great academic topics. Be sure also to take a look at the fantastic student accommodation we have available in a range of locations across the UK.