2020 is here! New year – new you! Everyone is talking about their new year’s resolutions and goals. As a student, your main priority is to end the academic year with great results. Some of you may be thinking of spending your summer volunteering or traveling, but some of you will be looking to start working on your careers by securing a summer internship.
Every student needs more work experience. We live in a world where work experience can be more valuable than our academic degree in the job market. Whatever you want to do in the future, summer internships and jobs are a great way of testing what you like and what you don’t like in a job. It’s a great time to understand where your interests truly lie, potentially free of heavy responsibilities of paying off a mortgage or looking after a family.
Here are some practical tips on how to secure a summer internship.
Polish your CV
Think of all the part-time jobs, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, and projects you have been working on the past 1-3 years and write them down on a piece of paper. Depending on what internship role you are applying for, pick the experiences that are relevant. Go on canva.com and design an aesthetically pleasing CV with drag and drop. Get SOAS Careers Service to review your CV.
Read more about how to create a killer CV & template HERE.
You can use Canva’s Resume Maker HERE.
Create a spreadsheet of all the companies and organisations you want to apply to and keep track of your application progress. There is nothing worse than missing out on an opportunity of an interview because you did not put it in your calendar. Consider this application process like a part-time job. SOAS Careers Service can provide you with assistance looking for companies that offer internship opportunities that would suit you.
Download THIS spreadsheet template.
Over-prepare for interviews
Don’t believe people who say you can over-prepare for an interview! Your dream internship could depend on it!
Create flashcards with all the possible questions and answer them in the STAR interview preparation technique.
An example question: “Tell me about a time when you had to negotiate with someone”
- In 1-3 sentences explain the context of your answer
- What was your task/goal that you were working towards?
- What steps did you take to achieve the above goal?
- What was the result and how did you measure success?
Check out an example answer HERE.
Go to SOAS Careers Service and ask them to do a mock interview with you. I cannot stress enough the importance of mock interviews. If you practice being in an interview setting, you will feel more comfortable being actually in an interview.
Go get that internship of your dreams! We live in a competitive world where we have to take any opportunity to stand out; employers receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications. You have to start applying early and have a killer CV. Send those applications as soon as possible! Internship applications are open now and they will be closing in the next few weeks. However, if you don’t secure a summer internship, it’s not the end of the world. You can spend your summer improving your skills – take online courses, volunteer in charities, sell your skills on fiver.com or upwork.com.