Intern insight, the first step on your career ladder
The job market can be a pretty daunting prospect for any undergraduate. But our recent intern Sam Ladds gives you her three key reasons why an industry internship could take your CV to the top of the pile.
Being thrown out into the real world with a few letters after your name, a piece of paper, some selfies in a mortar board and a hell of a lot of debt is not just a cliché student stereotype. For pretty much all of us it’s a reality. I’ve been lucky enough to have completed a selection of paid internships since I finished my GCSE’s and those experiences taught me much more than sitting in a classroom did. My advice to all undergrads is to apply for internships, they’re invaluable and here’s why:
Build your network – Possibly the greatest thing any undergraduate can get from an internship is the chance to connect with people already working in their industry. These networks can take you far in the future if you take the time to nurture them and strengthen the bonds. Get involved with office conversations and put yourself out there. Take an interest in what your colleagues did at the weekend. And most importantly remember to stay in touch once your internship ends; pop in to visit the team again if you really bonded with them, or simply add your favourite colleagues on LinkedIn.
Understand the nitty-gritty – One thing you learn in an internship is that every single day is completely different, with new challenges arising there is no such thing as an ‘average’ day. However, an internship can show you the types of things you’ll be up to. For me, while working at Stand, I was involved in drafting client specific media-lists to writing content for national journalists, and managing social media accounts. Any good internship will throw you into the deep end and let you experience how all of these things work first hand. Then you can see a) the kinds of things you’d be up to in a full time position and b) if you still want to commit to a life in your chosen industry.
Develop your portfolio and interview ammunition – This brings me on to another long lasting gift you gain from an internship. When you go to those nerve-wracking interviews for that amazing job you’ve always wished for, you’ll have a secret weapon many of the other candidates may not have. You can bring a portfolio of work you’ve done before and reel off examples of things you’ve done previously. Just don’t forget to keep all the evidence of your work to back up your claims!
So those were my top 3 reasons but most importantly, an internship can be fun. A whole lot more than sitting at home watching Netflix all day, which I know is hard to believe!
Sam Ladds joined Stand Agency as a paid intern over the summer. She is currently studying English Literature and History at the University of Birmingham, and her heart is set on a career in PR and Marketing.
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