This is supposed to be a career and lifestyle blog so I thought I should get cracking on some content that will help progress your career.
There are hundreds of articles I could kick off with but I’m going to start where my career began and that is franticly looking for a place to intern.
As a first-year university student, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I didn’t know how long an internship went for or how to apply – I didn’t even know if I’d get paid or not.
There was so much conflicting information on the internet and while I was desperate for experience, I had no idea where to look.
I think that’s the case with most people.
They go into their degree with every intention to get some experience but the process is tedious and before they know it they’ve graduated without spending a minute in the workplace.
I pushed though that stage and have now completed three internships at top-tier public relations agencies. I have worked with clients such as Disney, ANZ, Metricon Homes and RMIT Activator and I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry.
Their leadership has been more valuable than anything I could ever pick up from a textbook and that is why I think an internship is one of the best investments you will ever make.
You are investing your time, money and effort to secure a future job and while it may seem demeaning, it will put you in the best position to find employment at the end of your degree.
Here’s how I go about finding the right place to intern:
See What’s On Offer At Uni:
The first thing I do is go to a unit convenor and check out what positions they are advertising.
Some more reputable companies prefer to hire interns through education providers and these always offer valuable experiences that align with course objectives.
While these opportunities are incredible, hundreds of people apply so you have got to get in quick.
Ask a Friend:
The second thing I do is ask a friend where they did their internship and if they enjoyed it.
With so much noise, a mutual friend makes it much easier to reach out and kick start conversation.
I’ve even asked previous internship supervisors where my next gig should be and their recommendations have been bang-on every time.
I wouldn’t make the mistake of applying for an internship through Seek or Indeed.
Applying for those positions is reactive rather than proactive and your CV is going to be electronically dumped in a folder with thousands of others.
Instead, I’d research companies that are innovating in your industry and apply directly through their website.
I usually do this by looking at who is winning awards and seeing the campaigns they have launched.
I check out their clients and recent projects to make sure what they do interests me and supports my career progression.
I find social media is the best place to get a feel of the company and what their culture is like.
It’s really important to take note of the size of their team.
I find small to medium size companies are better than large ones because you will get one on one attention and have the opportunity to get close to managers; the people who will one day employ you.
From my experience, you get thrown around a lot in bigger companies and end up doing a whole lot of admin tasks that do nothing for your personal development.
Make sure it’s the right fit:
The ultimate test is to ask yourself if it’s the kind of company you’d like to work at in the future.
An internship is like a trial run, you get a chance to experience the workplace and your supervisor gets to see what you are capable of.
If you impress them, they may ask you back for paid work, they may even offer you a job so choose the institution wisely.
Be smart about the internships you apply for.
You are getting paid in knowledge and experience and if the company isn’t paying well, it isn’t worth applying for.
I’ll fill you in on how to reach out to these companies next week – you’d think a business would take on anyone willing to work for free but it is as competitive as applying for a bloody job these days.
I hope this helps,