Applying to the big corporate schemes for summer internships

The neImage converted using ifftoanyw academic year is fast approaching with a new timetable of lectures and seminars, as well as catching up with and meeting new friends.

It is also the time of year for the big corporate companies to start advertising their summer internship schemes for the following year. It is easy to forget about planning time into your schedule to apply for summer internships. If you have some companies that you really want to work for, then if you want to get ahead and make a good application on time, here are some top tips to help:

  • Step 1: Research the companies you are interested in advance, so you know when their summer internship scheme opens.

– Google company websites to find out about their summer internships scheme and about the company

– Look on the Career Sector pages on our website or Journals in the Careers Resource Centre for ideas to search companies in the sector

– Look through some employer directories in the Careers Resource Centre with top corporate companies including The Times Top 100, The Guardian Top 100 and TARGETjobs. New versions of these employer directories for this academic year will be delivered in the autumn term.

– Register and attend the employer events, presentations and fairs from the autumn term onwards. Are there any companies of interest to you? Keep checking CareersLink regularly for employer events, presentations, and who will be attending the fairs. Plan to go and network, find out more about the company, how to apply etc. See more information dates for employer events, presentations and autumn fairs under the Events section when you log in on CareersLink.  For example, the fairs include The Ethnic Diversity Fair, The Engineering, Science & Technology Fair, The Finance, Business & Management Fair, and The Law Fair.

  • Step 2: Organise your diary or calendar with the opening dates for summer internship schemes recorded in a way that works for you. Allocate time to write applications. Remember applications can take more time than you expect, so factor in some extra time.
  •  Step 3: Apply early when the scheme opens. Often a lot of employers will start recruiting and consequently filling places as students apply after opening their scheme. It has been known for some employers to close their summer scheme early if places have been filled for their internships. Be ready and don’t be part of the last minute rush!
  •  Step 4: Plan time to prioritise writing a good application. Look carefully through the company and summer scheme details. What skills and experience does the company want from applicants? Where do you have examples of these skills that you can demonstrate in your application? Then read through the guides available in the Careers Service on writing a CV, application and covering letters from scratch, which will give you a lot of help in how to tailor your application. These guides are available to pick up in the Careers Resource Centre or online in our Guides and hand-outs section.
  •  Step 5: Write a well-considered and tailored application.  Never submit a general CV, application form or covering letter! Tailoring your application will give the impression that you cared enough about showing your skills well and about the position and the company. Focusing your CV, giving attention to detail when tailoring and formatting your application will make it easier for the employer to find the skills they are looking for. Putting the effort in will make you stand out. See my previous blog for some advice on how to avoid some of the common mistakes in making applications.
  • Step 6: Get support from the Careers Service to check your application before submitting it, as well as support for psychometric tests and interviews. There are Application Advice appointments available to book, in order to get your application checked before you submit it to the employer. As it can get busy in the Autumn with lots of people applying to internship schemes and lots of applications to be checked, don’t leave it to the day before the closing date to get an appointment. Leave enough time to get it checked and make any amendments so that you make the best application possible.  See information on booking Applications Advice appointments. See our website for information and help with psychometric tests and interviews.

If you want more help and advice check out the Finding Work pages with advice on applying for internships, look out for talks on Finding Internships and Work Experience on CareersLink, and pop into the Careers Resource Centre and ask the Careers Staff.

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