Guest post by E4S – Internships: it’s a date!

With competition for graduate jobs mounting all the time, the need for a bit of relevant work experience or an internship to brandish upon your CV is becoming ever more important.

Research suggests that around 80% of students complete some form of relevant work experience or internship before leaving university. More importantly, students with hands-on experience are over three times more likely to secure a graduate job soon after finishing their degree than students who never worked while at university.

So, what to do if you are one of the 20% of students who hasn’t got some relevant work experience? Where do you look for internships and when should you be applying? We are almost at the end of June, isn’t it already too late to apply for internships this year?

Internship Deadlines – Know Your Dates

Unfortunately, it is true that lots of internship places will already have been taken by other students for this current year. Many of the big companies with structured internship programmes advertise their placements at the beginning of the calendar year. For example, the Lloyds Bank internship programme closes in February and the Government Economic Service slams the door even earlier in January.

But all is not lost – there are still internship opportunities out there even as we approach the halfway stage of the year.

Media and creative companies are just two examples of organisations which might advertise internships around this time – and many small and medium sized companies offer internships on a rolling basis so could have opportunities at any stage in the calendar year. Do your research and find out the internship deadline dates for all of the companies working in the career path you want to pursue.

So, Where Do You Find Internships Which Are Still Open?

Most UK universities have very good careers service websites packed with information and links about internship opportunities. For example, University of Kent students’ first port of call should be the detailed resources available in the Careers and Employability Service website’s Internships & Work Experience section.

Another option which widens the scope of your search at this stage of the year and might throw up some interesting opportunities is to research summer internships abroad. You can also use the search facility on our own student jobs website to look for current internships.

Put It Down To Experience

Okay, so you’ve looked everywhere, but you still can’t find a relevant internship. Don’t panic – it’s not the end of the world! Understandably, you’re disappointed, but even if you really can’t find an internship this year, then you still have options which will boost your graduate job application chances.

There are always tons of summer jobs over the holidays, so you still have the opportunity to pick up some work experience to impress future employers. But try to ensure that the sort of holiday jobs you are applying for allow you to furnish your CV with the skills and character traits that are relevant to the sort of career that you want to go into after leaving uni.

Again, your own university careers service can be your friend in finding suitable options for holiday work. Or you can check out some of these options for summer jobs too.
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