By Anna Jefferis
It’s that time in your degree where you are ready to get some hands-on, real-life experience – how exciting!
Internships are a great way of putting the skills you’ve learnt at university to practice, not to mention they look great on the resume. However, finding an internship can be a tricky process. Where to look and who to contact can seem daunting.
Remember, as important as it is to be the right candidate for an internship it is just as important that the internship is the right one for you. You don’t want to spend all this time in an internship (often unpaid) that doesn’t interest you or showcase your skills. Find one that not only suits your university experience but your future aspirations, personality and skills. Take some time to think about the kinds of companies you can see yourself interning for, what your interests within those companies are and what you want to gain from those experiences.
There are so many different places you can start. Accessing websites, social media pages and contacting people you know are some of the different ways you can get closer to that opportunity you have been looking for.
Firstly, websites and social media pages are a great starting point especially if you’re not entirely sure what you want to do. Your typical job seeking sites such as Seek and Indeed showcase volunteer positions as well as paid opportunities and using key words such as ‘journalism’ or ‘media’ can help narrow down the search. As well as these popular and well known job sites, there are some sites that focus entirely on the creative industry. Sites such as Pedestrian TV and The Loop are a great place to look for creative internships. As well as checking their websites, keep an eye on their social media pages as they often post them there too.
Secondly, ever heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Searching for an internship is the perfect time to take this saying into consideration. Companies are always more likely to hire you if it’s through someone they have experience with. Ask around to friends, family, lecturers or anyone you come across that knows someone in the industry. This is exactly how I secured my first internship at Open Minds in my second year of uni. I had mentioned to my Dad how I’d love to work in the not-for-profit sector when I graduated and turns out Dad had an old workmate who worked for Open Minds (a not-for-profit organisation). He gave me his workmate’s details and I was able to contact him, tell him about my interest and this resulted in a three month stint (volunteer) at their Brisbane office. Networking is an extremely useful tool, so ask around and put yourself out there!
Finally, if you have your heart set on a particular place that you’ve always wanted to intern at, you can try contacting them directly. Look for their contact details on places like LinkedIn and start by emailing them a copy of your resume and outlining why you’re interested in interning with them. If you don’t hear back and are still set on this particular place, look for a phone number. This can usually be found on the companies website, Google listing or LinkedIn page. Just remember that they might not be looking for an intern at that point in time and if that’s the case, check if it’s ok to call back at a later time to see if anything else pops up.
Remember, industry experiences are an incredibly important aspect of your university degree, but it is just as important that you enjoy the experience and gain something from it. So, take some time to find the perfect internship for you!