Winter is coming – let’s plan for summer internships!

autumnThere’s no denying it we are firmly in the grip of Autumn and winter is just around the corner.

Soon you will be revising for exams and getting assignments in, so spare a little time if you can to make a few plans for summer!

Looking for a summer internship in a big company?

  • Large corporations often take summer interns from their second or prefinal year as a way of selecting talent for their graduate schemes.
  • They are usually advertised in Semester one and some may close before semester 2 starts – so check any you are interested in and get your applications in early.
  • Even if the closing date is months away – don’t wait- it could fill up early.
  • It’s not uncommon for interviews and assessment centres to happen in exam periods so prepare early and allow time incase you get the call!

More info here 

Fancy an internship at the University or a local charity?

Student Experience Internships

  • The scheme offers second year undergraduates the opportunity to undertake an internship either within the University, or in a charity/not-for-profit organisation. All SEI internships will be paid (above National Minimum Wage), full-time and last up to eight weeks.
  • Keep a look out for the launch in Feb 2016 for summer 2016 opportunities.

More info here

I’m a first year what can I do?

There are some employers who offer special opportunities for 1st year students

  • They may be called “internships” but might be a little shorter in duration.
  • They may be called spring weeks or insight days and could happen at easter or in summer – they are really great opportunities though.

More info here

You can also do any of the opportunities below:

Want something different?

People get a bit obsessed by the word internship – all it really means is professional work experience, and depending on what you want to do after you graduate it could include a whole load of things that are not “internships”

It could be called – work experience, summer scheme, vacation or summer job or anything that fits in your summer vacation really.

  • You could go abroad: summer camps in Europe or USA for example – would give you good experience of leadership, teamwork and working with young people if that would be useful to your future. Or stay home – plenty of sports and summer camps here too!
  • Get experience in hospitality and events work – festivals, hotels, theme parks (even Disneyland) & sports grounds.
  • Plenty of retail work available – great if you want to do a retail or buying / merchandising grad scheme.
  • Support or care assistant work could be really valuable if you are going into social or health care related roles
  • Market research type roles are available too.
  • Roles needing languages for tutoring or translating.

These types of roles could be advertised at almost any time of year for a summer start, it just depends how far in advance the company feels they need to organise their staffing.  For some it can be very last minute!

All these roles plus part-time work and volunteering roles are advertised via your careers account CareersLink

DIY – find your own summer opportunity.

Plenty of jobs are never advertised widely especially in small businesses and in the private sector.  A speculative approach – ie contacting them and asking may be the way forward!

  1. Think about what type of opportunity you are looking for.
  2. Research which organisations might employ people in those roles.
  3. Check their website in-case they are advertising.
  4. Make your approach.
    1. Ring to find out if they might be interested and who you should contact.
    2. Email – explaining who you are what you are looking for and what you can offer.  Cover letter and CV. (see example in the cover letter guide of a speculative letter)
    3. Try snail mail – a postal approach may be a surprise and less easy to ignore than email – make it look good though.
  5. Be ready – get your LinkedIn profile up to date and looking like the sort of person who can do the job you are interested in.
  6. Exploit social media – Twitter, corporate Facebook pages, LinkedIn – opportunities just appear and are gone, so keep looking.
  7. Ask friends and family to put the word out – you would be surprised who might know someone who does xxx.

The timing for this can be very tricky – too early and an opportunity may not have come up yet and too late and well, just that, it’s too late to get anything organised in time. Start your research early,  larger organisations can take more time to move than small ones,  so perhaps start big and work down to smaller companies as you go along. You could always discuss your best approach with us.

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