What is an internship?
If you are a graduate student, looking for experience and gaining new skills in your chosen industry, an internship is a great place to start – but what is one? An internship involves a student or trainee, usually aged between 18 – 25 years old, working within an organisation in order to gain some work experience in the company and industry.
This blog looks at what internships are and how you apply for one in the UK and abroad.
Who can you become an intern?
Internships are very popular among graduate students looking for some practical experience in the industry they would like to work in.
This could also lead you to getting a job at the end of the internship if they are impressed with your skills!
Employers may only recruit interns, rather than advertising any vacancy on job boards, recruitment websites or on their own website.
What is the duration of the internship?
The duration of the internship depends on the company you choose to work for. It could be for a couple of weeks or throughout the summer.
Graduate internships are generally longer than traditional student internships as you would generally have more training.
Are internships similar to work experience?
They are very similar but there are some differences. These include:
- An internship is a fixed term work placement and is usually part of a university degree
- Internships are also classed as a traineeship
- You are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for your age group.
How do I apply?
If an internship looks interesting to you, you need to have a great application as internships are very competitive.
Some employers will advertise on their own website or a recruitment website.
Depending on the internship, you could be about to start a long process of applications, interviews and event days – competition can be strong! However, some internships may only need your CV and cover letter.
Top Tips for Applying to an Internship
The application process may seem daunting – but don’t worry as I have some top tips for applying for an internship!
These tips will help you to create a better application and set you apart from the rest of the other applications:
- Research thoroughly: You need to do a lot of research into the company and the internship to make sure that it is right for you. If there is an email or telephone number, you could contact the company to ask some more in-depth questions about the internship.
- Look at your CV: Take a look at your CV and make sure it is the most up to date as possible with your qualifications, experience and contact details. If you don’t have a CV – don’t worry, there are lots of templates and websites you could use to help you.
- Make your application eye-catching: If your application is not relevant and you have not used the company’s terms and its name, then it will not look personal and may look rushed. Also add as many relevant skills and qualifications as possible.
- Spellcheck your application: This is really important – you do not want to have your internship application declined if you have spelling or grammar errors. So read everything you put on your application and maybe get a friend or relative to also look at your application, as they may see errors you might have missed.
Are internships a good thing to apply for?
Internships are an excellent way of gaining experience in the company and the industry you would like to work in. You could also gain a job at the end of the process as well!
Have a look at some of the benefits of internships:
- You get paid the National Minimum Wage for your age group if you are working for more than four weeks
- Your travel and lunch expenses can be paid for by the company
- You can receive a great reference from the manager or supervisor for future job applications
- Give you a chance to experience what it is like working in the industry
- Give you up to date knowledge and experience that will help you with future applications
Are there any opportunities to work abroad?
Fortunately, there are many opportunities to work abroad!
There are many international internship websites. Take a look below at some websites you could look at:
- The Intern Group: Used for programmes in Berlin, Dublin, New York, Latin America and Hong Kong
- Intern Jobs: A website where all internships are held worldwide
- City Internships: Has programmes for interns looking to work in banking, technology, consulting and law.
- I-to-I: Used for teaching internships in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.
Working internationally would look great on your application and your CV for future jobs!