Do you want to find some work experience or an internship for this summer, but unsure if you have left it too late or unsure how to find the right role? If this sounds familiar, then here are some ideas to help you get started and explore options you may have not thought of.
Although some of the bigger companies have advertised their summer internships schemes in the autumn there are still options for finding work experience or an internship. It is important to consider how flexible you are in how you are searching for jobs. Sometimes a really good opportunity can be missed if you have limited your job search to a selection of companies or one area of work.
Ask yourself the following questions, which could help you explore other types of companies, areas of work or locations and find those opportunities still available:
**Would I be prepared to apply to a smaller company instead of a big corporate for work experience?
At this time of year, there are smaller companies advertising summer opportunities.
- Check out CareersLink on a regular weekly basis and also join the internships Facebook group or Work Experience Twitter
- Research the sector to find companies to approach with a speculative application
- Think about people you know in your network of contacts is there anyone working in an area or role that interests you?
- Consider the benefits of working in a smaller company with my previous blog on the big corporate versus the SME
**Would I apply to a less well known company within the area that you are interested?
Even if you don’t recognise the company they may still be providing a valuable work experience.
- Look beyond the company name or title of the role and check out the skills and experience that will be needed and that you can develop.
- Google the company and find out more about them.
- Research the company through sector related websites, are they mentioned at all?
**Would I be prepared to find an internship in a related area or sector?
As examples consider the following:
- If you are interested in accountancy or investment banking, have you considered the wider finance or business sectors?
- If you are interested in one branch of engineering, what about related engineering disciplines?
- If you are interested in marketing then have you also looked at PR or the media?
**Would I consider finding an internship abroad within the sector I’m interested?
- Check out CareersLink for opportunities, there are vacancies advertised globally. This is updated every week so don’t miss out.
- Search Going Global through CareersLink for information about a country of interest and possible places to search for jobs
- Research contacts and information from our Working Abroad pages as a starting point.
- Look at some of the companies within the sector that interests you, do they have schemes that apply elsewhere in the world. Are there still opportunities available outside the UK?
**Would I consider a work experience outide my sector of interest but gives opportunity to build skills for my future career?
All work experience can be useful to build up different skills and experience and can transfer to other roles. Look at our information on our website about How to develop skills and also our Employability Audit that you can download.
A quick checklist of ideas of how to source internships and work experience:
- Always check out CareersLink as your first place and keep checking as new roles are placed every week. Search under the ‘placements and internships’ option on the drop down menu.
- Check out online TARGETjobs, RateMyPlacement, Gradcracker.com (engineering, science & technology)
- Research and explore the industry sector including professional bodies, industry journals and specialist recruitment sites to find out about companies and opportunities.
- Look for employer related events on CareersLink under the ‘Events’ tab option.
- Register and make a profile on LinkedIN. Check out any contacts, companies and individual groups within the sector of interest that you could link to and find out more?
- Ask your family and friends and explore friends of friends even if they don’t work in the location you want or ideal company. Think out of the box.
Check out the information on our website for applying for work experience and summer internships, download our Internships, placements and work experience starting point guide, as well as joining our Internships Facebook group or Work Experience Twitter to help keep up to date with useful help, support and opportunities.