For most students, the biggest worry about University is ‘will it have been worth it’? Although I love going to University, my main goal from it is to get a job that I couldn’t have gotten without my degree, thus the worry of not getting a job is always close to mind.
The way I have found that I deal with this is by trying to improve my employability by applying for internships. An internship is a period of work experience offered by an employer, to give students exposure to a working environment that they aspire to have a career in. Internships can range from a few weeks up to a full placement year. I can’t say that I am an expert in applying for internships, but I think I have a pretty good grasp of where to search for them, so here are the main places you should look when searching for internships (or placements, whatever you like to call them).
Primarily for job vacancies, but has good features to refine your search. I have used it to search for internships and found plenty. It’s very easy to refine the results by what area you are willing to work in, how much you want to earn, and the job title you are looking for.
Aimed towards University students and graduates. It has a separate section for work experience and internships, so you don’t have to filter through all the jobs. Again, very easy to refine your search and even shows if the internships are part time or full time.
Careerhub is a University of Essex run website, that has job and internship opportunities for current students or recent graduates. It has a huge number of listings and is really easy to use. You can search by type of work (part time, internship etc), location, and by using the search bar.
A great place to see previous interns’ reviews and find out more about the daily ins and outs of the placements. Also has a separate section to search for internships and ‘insights’ (< 4 weeks long).
Although the title suggests it is only for jobs, there are plenty of internships advertised here. The job descriptions are usually very detailed and there is a large number of placements advertised on the website.
Search for jobs and internships. Browse jobs by location, popularity, there is even a section for £50k+ jobs (maybe worth waiting a little while after graduating to apply for these)! You can also search by recruiter, which is great if you have a company in mind that you would love to work for.
A website not only for students to find internships, but also for employers to search for students who would be suitable for their internships. As the website is only for placements, there is no risk of accidentally applying for a job instead. Placementuk offers alerts when a placement is added that they think would be relevant to you. They also offer tips such as how to get the perfect placement.
Frontrunner vacancies are advertised on the University website, usually before the start of each term. They run for one term alongside your degree, or you can apply for a summer frontrunner internship, which is around 10 weeks during the summer. Frontrunner placements are focused on getting you graduate level skills and I would really recommend them.
Through company websites
Some companies will only advertise their vacancies through their own website. It’s a good idea to look on the careers section of the website of any company that you would like to work for.
Things to be wary of:
Not all internships are paid.
It’s worth taking a good look at the listing and if no kind of salary is mentioned, then it’s likely they would want you to work for free. Although this could really pay off in terms of experience, I personally wouldn’t want to work without salary (and couldn’t afford to) for more than just a few weeks.
If you would have a long/expensive commute, for example into London, then you should check if any travel expenses are covered. Usually jobs that don’t offer a salary may offer to cover your travel expenses; jobs that offer a good pay and cover your travel are even better!
Good luck with your applications!