Are you going to intern somewhere this summer? Or are you planning to do that after your graduation? Never done it in your life? Are you willing to improve your “internship hunting capabilities”?
If so, you are just looking at the right column!
For two months I will be telling you everything about the internship, both in terms of technicalities, like the CV and the cover letter, and of attitudes, like energy and autonomy.
In a midsummer’s time: a midsummer’s internship guide.
Today we’re going deep into: Work Experience!
U for University Career Office
You’ve just decided to do an internship and you’re a bit confused about how it works in your university. There are two ways to deal with this chaos. The unsecure one: ask to your classmates. The safer one: ask directly to your University Career Office.
Indeed, your classmates may be confused as well, moreover there is the “gossip-risk” which makes what they tell you not so reliable. So, it is worth asking for help to professionals at University Career Office, whose job is help you:
- Prepare your application;
- Learn about jobs and the labour market;
- Learn how the recruitment process works;
- Find an internship;
- Solve whatever doubts you have regarding internships.
Moreover, their skilled consultancy over these essential topics for your career is for free: a rarity outside university, except if you are a close friend of some Personnel Manager or something like that.
V for Vacancy Hunt
You’ve just finished the drafting of your CV. Now the point is: sending it to the most interesting companies. So, let’s dive into vacancy hunting!
There are three main channels to be considered:
- Networking. Let the world know you’re looking for an internship: parents, friends, friends of friends, friends of parents etc. Just remember to be clear in saying at least in which industry are you interested in to be informed about the most exciting internship offers;
- University. Internship offers are managed by the University Career Office, as stated previously;
- Internet. It is a major source both for international experiences and for spontaneous applications. Indeed, surfing the net you can: send your application directly to your target companies or upload your CV in websites specialised in career hunting, like: Entrypark, Monster, Jobrapido etc.
Of course, there are overlaps between these channels that often lead to an application on-line.
W for Work Experience
You’ve just read internship advertisements and you’re upset. Recruiters are paradoxical: they want me to be academically good and professionally trained. But Superman or Wonder Woman live only in comics, don’t they?
Well, don’t be so pessimistic! Actually, it is statistically implausible that you have no work experience. Even if you haven’t worked with a regular contract in your whole life. Have you worked for the students’ journal at university? That’s work experience! Have you given private lessons to your friends? That’s work experience! Have you worked as a waiter in the nearby restaurant in your spare time? That’s work experience! Have you done some voluntary work for the Church or for some local clubs? That’s work experience! And so on and so far.
The important thing is showing your willingness to work and matching what you have learnt from your past work experience with the skills required to the internship position you’re applying for. For instance, your voluntary work in the local Church with kids taught you how to deal with them, which may be interesting for a recruiter of a child care centre. Or as a waiter, you learnt to listen to customers’ needs: it sounds good for a future marketing intern, doesn’t it?
By Valentina Magri, MA student in Management at Bocconi University