So you’re procra-studying on Facebook right now and after a few clicks you’ve managed to find your way here? Well my friend, you are in the right place! Getting so bogged down in the nitty gritty of uni work can be pretty disheartening at times and sometimes makes you wonder if it’s all worthwhile. Well, is it? Have you road tested your dream career yet or are you just hoping that after 3, 4 or even 5 long years of study that you’ll love it. I think it’s time you tested it for real and what better way than an internship. Internships are long enough to give you some invaluable experience and a real taste for what you can do when uni finishes but short enough that it won’t over take your studies. As a self-confessed internship addict, having interned at a couple *cough* 13 different organisations, here are my top tips for scoring your dream internship!
1. Keep your eyes peeled.
I hate to break it to you but your dream internship is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. It’s time to get your act together and start seeking out potential internship opportunities.
2. Know where to look.
So you’ve got your eyes wide open but where are you looking? My biggest tip, follow all your favourite companies on social media. These days a lot of companies will simply post on their Instagram account or Facebook page advertising that they are looking for interns. If you have an ideal company you’d love to work for, turn on notifications for their social channels so you don’t miss a thing! If you’re interested in any kind of entertainment, marketing or creative industries experience, a favourite website for me is Pedestrian TV Jobs.
3. Keep looking!
Set aside time each week to look over these sites so you don’t miss out on any application closing dates. My friends laugh at me because I’m forever scrolling through internship websites but they aren’t laughing when I get cool gigs at places like Dissh & The Urban List!
4. Create a LinkedIn Account.
I know this is one you’ve probably heard time and time again but so often internships are all about who you know. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, stop what you’re doing and create one right now! LinkedIn is like the Facebook version of your resume. You can add any previous experience, upload examples of tasks you’ve completed, join groups you are interested in, follow companies you’d love to work for and connect with people you know. As you meet new people from relevant industries, you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Then in the future, if they have a job opportunity come up, they have a way to reach out to you and vice versa. Beware: LinkedIn notifies a person if you view their profile, so while it’s fine to look at the CEO of your favourite company once, 15x – hello stalker alert!
5. Attend an industry event.
So many societies (like UQMAS!) at uni these days run networking events with industry professionals especially for students like you who are seeking work experience. These are the perfect place to start networking. The professionals attending know that you’re nervous and probably haven’t ever been to an event like it before so they are totally welcoming and put you at ease. You can usually get some tips for future events too! Don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn with anyone you’ve met on the night.
So you’ve found a role that is totally up your alley; it’s time to apply! Don’t think of your application as an assignment and leave it until the day before it’s due; apply as soon as you can after seeing the advert. Some organisations will stop reading applications if they’ve received a lot so it’s always good to get in at the start. Be sure to check over your application before you send it in and make sure you’ve covered off on everything they’ve asked for. It sounds silly but so often people forget to attach their resume or send in the wrong cover letter for another company – eeeek!
7. It’s Interview Time!
So they loved your resume and have invited you in for an interview. Don’t start stressing just yet! Remember you’re only applying for an internship and no company has three hours to spend grilling a potential intern! More often than not it will be an informal chat to give you more information about the role and to see if you’re the right fit for the company. Be sure to still give the interview the prep that it deserves; dress to impress and do some research on the company before you attend the interview!
8. What to do if you didn’t get the internship.
So things didn’t go your way and you haven’t scored the role. Don’t be disheartened, they obviously just didn’t get a chance to see how awesome you are! If you made it through to the interview stage, it’s always good to ask the employer for feedback. They won’t always be able to but if they do, take their tips and work on them for next time. Don’t give up, make sure you stay engaged with the company on social media. Who knows, in two months’ time, they may be looking for a new intern and if you’ve stayed engaged with them, your name will be fresh in their minds!
Good luck - be sure to let us know how you go!