Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from new students all about finding an internship. Now, it is generally more common for large organisations to seek interns who are in their second year of study. That being said, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find an internship for your first year – just that it might take you a bit of hunting around to do so. To help you out, we’ve put together this handy list of some companies we know do accept first year applicants.
Spring Insight Weeks
You’ll also see on this list a number of ‘insight weeks’. Generally, these are shorter than full internships, and they involve spending a week or two, usually over the Easter break, finding out about what it is like working for a certain company or in a certain industry. Often, doing an insight week in your first year will then help you when you apply to do an internship in your second year, so take the time to have a look at what opportunities are out there.
Other Work Experience
Students often focus on internships because this is what you have heard about and you know they are important to getting a job after uni. However, internships are not the only way to get work experience. Any opportunity to work with employers, to gain an understanding of a certain industry or organisation and to improve your skills, will be of value to you. Volunteering, for example, is a great way of getting experience if you are interested in working in a charity, an NGO or any job in the third sector. Getting a part-time job in a theatre will help you to network and increase your chances of hearing about permanent graduate positions. Tutoring and working with youth groups will boost your personal statement if you want to apply for teaching. QProjects, for example, has some fantastic, unique work experience opportunities that all students should take a look at.
The point is, have a think what type of job you will want after university, then research what skills and experiences employers are asking for, and then find the best way to get these skills and experiences – be that with an internship or through another way.