Once you’ve finished education and you’re starting your life as a working person, giving yourself the best possible start can set you up for success and pay dividends in the future. Even though your time at school, college and/or university is nearly over, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning. Summer internships and work experience can be a great way to gain experience and understand more of what you want to do before venturing out into the big wide world. Here’s our guide on how to get one.
Making Career Decisions
When looking at your future, what do you see yourself doing? Whether you know the answer to this question or not, finding an internship or some work experience can be the key to building a future in the industry you want. You may think you want to work in finance, for instance, but a summer internship could change your mind, saving you a lot of worry in the future. Conversely, some work experience could cement your desire to work in the industry and give you valuable knowledge which may take you further than other candidates when it comes to finding a full time job.
Finding The Right Placement
Finding a summer internship can be tricky, depending on the type of work you want to do. Official internships can often lead to fully paid roles within the company, so a lot can rest on the right placement. Due to this, lucrative and popular industries tend to have a lot of competition, so get in early, show willing and be proactive in relevant areas of your life in order to shine among the other applicants. You can find internships through websites like Inspiring Interns and through sending out letters to companies you’re interested in. Remember – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Be visible and show willing to learn from the ground up and you will be giving yourself plenty of chances to succeed.
Funding Your Internship
Many summer internships and work experience placements are not paid, although some will subsidise any travel expenses you incur. When looking for placements its important to think about how you will afford to live while you do them, particularly if they’re situated away from home. There’s some great information on how to fund internships at Gov.uk – so it’s worth giving this a read before you start applying for positions.
Using Your Placement To Your Advantage
Making the most of your work placement begins on day one and doesn’t end until long after you’ve finished. Although it can be daunting when you start, try to get to know as many people within the company as you can, ask questions and volunteer to try your hand at lots of different tasks. Only by having a wide variety of experiences can you fully get an idea of what you really want to work toward. By being proactive and sociable, you’ll be remembered as someone who works hard and is a team player – something that many companies look for when hiring new people.
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