Finding an internship: the do’s and the don’ts

Internships. The part of starting your career that can be tiresome and frustrating. What do I do? What is right for me? How do I even find an internship? These are questions that have probably been in your mind when you have started to think about becoming an intern. This is perfectly normal as it is often overwhelming and hard to know where to start looking. Once you have the tools and knowledge on how to get started, the process will become easier and less daunting. Internships are a great way of getting real hands on experience in your potential chosen career and can help you figure out what you are interested in. You might imagine yourself in a specific job role but after completing an internship, you realise that you are more interested in another area.

The do’s

  • Do think carefully about what you want to do. What is going to drive your productivity and help you learn more about your chosen industry? It is important to choose an internship that benefits you and your knowledge rather than one that you think will look impressive on your CV.
  • Do be open minded. Internships can be difficult to get so it is helpful to have a flexible mindset. Look around what kind of internship you would want to do and the related jobs so that you are broadening your net when searching.
  • Do use platforms like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people that are working for the companies that interest you. Network with them and reach out to ask what it is like to work for the company, what their job entails and why they work there.  You could even ask if they could let you know if any internship opportunities arise which would benefit you in the future, as they could recommend you. By getting your foot in the door, it leaves a bigger window for you to be presented with opportunities that you might not have known about.

The don’ts

  • Don’t leave it until the last minute to apply. If you see an internship that you like, try to apply as soon as possible because employers tend to spend more time reading through early applications compared to ones that are submitted a minute before the deadline
  • Don’t make life harder for yourself, use the resources available to you. There is a dedicated KEATS page for internships that you can use to help with your search and accredited opportunities that may be part of your course
  • Don’t give up! It may be obvious but it is important to keep going even when searching feels never ending. If you do get lost and feel overwhelmed, our discover page will help you with figuring out what your career interests are and what will make you employable.

The journey to finding an internship can be a hard one but always trust the process.  The key things are to put yourself out there and be open to new experiences. Have a look at Filip Kucherenkov, a fellow student,  blog on his journey of applying  as he gives great advice and an insight into the process which would be really useful for you.