Friday, July 24, 2015

An intern’s guide to finding work experience and internships

Hi I’m Lizzie, a current editorial intern at GTI Media (the parent company of TARGETjobs). I know that finding the right work experience, internship or placement when you're a student can be tricky, so here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned from my own application process for anyone needing a little help!

Use your university’s careers and employability service

My university was my main resource to find work experience opportunities. It’s how I found a work shadowing day at GTI Media, which led to me getting a summer internship in its editorial department. Your university’s careers and employability centre should advertise placement, internship, work experience and work shadowing opportunities – so keep up to date with what’s advertised on their website and in their e-mails. Also, keep going to the careers advice centre’s talks and presentations; I went to a few presentations by our careers advice team and found them really helpful. The people I spoke to continued to e-mail me with ideas and advice afterwards, and even offered to conduct a practice interview with me when I told them I got an internship interview at GTI Media. Unfortunately I couldn’t take this opportunity due to a lack of time with essay deadlines, but in hindsight I think it would have been really helpful as it was very different to interviews for my previous jobs.

Use what’s available online

You need to do thorough research on job descriptions, companies, and vacancies. There is an entire section of the TARGETjobs website giving advice on internships and advertising available opportunities and openings. There are also plenty of companies and organisations that use social media to advertise openings in specific fields. Alternatively, if you have any particular companies in mind see if they advertise any work experience or placement opportunities themselves, or if you’ll need to contact them directly to find out if they do.

Choosing where to apply

Stay open minded when making this decision, as any experience you get in your field will give you valuable skills and experience, give you a great insight into a potential career, help you make networking contacts, and be good to put on your CV. Internships and placements are brilliant if you have a clearer idea of what area of work you’d like to go into, but if you’re unsure then short term work experience and work shadowing days are perfect. They’re a great way to get insight into fields that you’re thinking about, plus whilst you’re there you can speak to people in various sectors to learn about different roles that you could potentially look into in the future.

For a break down of all the experience opportunities available to you, look no further than TARGETjobs

Article written by Lizzie Akass, TARGETjobs Editorial Intern. Connect with Lizzie on LinkedIn