Guest post by Inspiring Interns: I’ve got the key, I’ve got the secret…

Making the most of your internship: preparation is the key

With 300,000 students due to graduate this summer, the graduate job market will be more competitive than ever. As you may well be aware, many employers expect to see not just your degree but also relevant work experience when you apply for a job. Being able to show you have been there and done that, even to a small degree, can prove to a company that you will add value to their business and significantly boost your chances of a job offer.

We at Inspiring Interns advocate internships as the answer to graduate unemployment, since it gives interns the opportunity to gain work experience, learn about a new industry sector and test out a career.

Having placed over 2,500 graduates into internships we know what makes a successful placement. Proper preparation is often overlooked, but it is a key element to consider. Things as simple as doing your research and getting in the zone can help you make the most of your first day and ensure a smooth transition from university to working life.

Research

Learn all about the company.  Use LinkedIn, Google news and don’t just absorb the company’s website.  It is important to understand what a company says about itself, but it is equally as important to know what others think of and say about a company. Check out their social media channels; what is the office atmosphere like?

As you look into the company, look up your future mentor. Learn about him or her – chances are you already met at interview but cracking the ice on the first day will set you in good stead to make the most out of your internship. You can also probably gauge what to wear on your first day, but if you are struggling with this, just ask. Doing all you can to eliminate first day nerves will really help on the day!

Get in the zone

It’s time to get into the right mind frame of an intern. Think about your new company’s regular office hours – you’ll most likely need to get used to getting up a little earlier than usual.  Take another look at your CV and make sure you can stick to the promises you made.  For example, if you have said you are an Excel wizard, make sure you are! This example won’t apply to all internships, but you might need to consider an online refresher course for some software or brush up on your language skills.

Now that you feel ready, we’ll leave you with some final advice… internships are as much about making friends and contacts across the business as they are learning new skills and earning yourself a job, so work hard, socialise where possible, make yourself indispensible and you will have made the most of your internship.

This article was provided by Inspiring Interns.  Inspiring specialises in finding graduates internships in London and throughout the UK. Of the graduates they find internships, 66% earn themselves a permanent job with their host company.

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