In today’s blog, Danielle, guest blogger and King’s Careers & Employability Microintern talks about finding an internship during lockdown. Tune in for some advice and inspiration about what it’s really like, and Danielle’s top tips for students thinking about internships.
I’m a 2nd Year Liberal Arts Student at King’s and I’ve chosen to major in Digital Culture and minor in Politics. I was a student rep for my course, the Diversity and Inclusion rep for my faculty and a student ambassador for the Widening Participation department in my first year. This academic year, I decided to search for internships that will fit around my studies and student ambassador work. Finding internships during lockdown isn’t easy, however, I’m going to share some tips that I used which helped me to secure two micro internships at King’s.
As long as it’s right for you – apply, apply, apply!
When I searched for internships in my first year, I found it very difficult because most employers were seeking a student in their penultimate or final year of university. On top of this, I was looking for a niche range of internships from big companies irrespective of whether the internships were right for me or not. I managed to secure an internship with King’s last year however due to Covid-19 it was postponed so I didn’t do an internship in the end. So, this year I decided to apply for internships that I was interested in and I knew that it was okay if I did not secure one because there are always other opportunities available when the time is right! I also applied for quite a few… I have a wide range of interests, and I really wanted an internship this year, so I knew the more I applied for, the more chance I had of securing one. So I’d definitely say apply for as many as you want, as long as they’re right for you.
Rejection isn’t always a bad thing – in fact, it’s pretty normal
If you apply for an internship and get rejected it’s completely normal and it’s all part of the job hunt and the reality of internship hunting. I got rejected for an internship that I applied for earlier this year and honestly, it just motivated me to keep on looking for the right one. There are loads of internship opportunities available – it’s just about finding them, and King’s CareerConnect is a great way to find these opportunities in one place.
Utilise the platforms available to find internships
King’s CareerConnect is the way that I found many internships that I was interested in, so I would highly recommend using their service. I have signed up to get emails weekly with internship and other job opportunities, so I never miss a thing. If you are on King’s Talent Bank, make sure your personal statement is up to date – you never know who is going to stumble across your profile, and if they do, you might be offered something based on you and your experience.
Pay attention to the type of internship especially unpaid vs paid ones
I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you are interested in an internship that will offer you experience as well as money. Something that I realised whilst searching for internships, particularly through LinkedIn, is the growing emergence of unpaid internships which expect students to work as much as one would for a paid internship, however you would work for free. These types of internships are only ever beneficial if you really want to work with the company, if it will be short term, or if you are happy to work for free. Otherwise in my opinion it’s a cheeky way for companies to get students to work for them without having to pay them, so it should be classed as unpaid work experience instead of an internship. So always make sure that the internship is a paid opportunity if that’s what you’re looking for – if the company does not state it’s paid when you are looking at the job role then it probably isn’t.
To summarise, internship searching isn’t easy especially due to the pandemic and it can be quite stressful. However, there are ways to make the search easier. So, make sure that you apply for internships that suit you and your needs, use your career service through King’s CareerConnect for booking onto events, appointments and vacancies, and KEATS for careers online education resources to help you during your internship search. And finally, remember rejection is normal and there will always be another opportunity available.