Juliette, Marketing Intern and 2nd year Business student shares her thoughts on ‘Preparing and writing application forms for internships’ …
Everyone always stresses the importance of getting an internship as this gives you a taster of a job you may be interested in, the transferable skills that employers are looking for when hiring graduates as well as giving you the opportunity to be fast tracked into the graduate scheme of that company. However, writing applications for most internships can be very time-consuming especially in second year when the work-load has suddenly become overwhelming and you’re trying to balance your time between work and a social life.
My tips when it comes to preparing to write applications …
- I have taken part in the Cardiff Award which requires 70 hours of extracurricular activities as well as completing 10 hours of compulsory and additional workshops. This really helped me prepare for starting applications as you are required to pass psychometric tests, attend workshops such as CV writing, presenting skills, application forms etc. which are all useful for developing your knowledge and confidence about the process. The Cardiff Award also helps you gain the skills that employers are looking for in applications and interviews e.g. commercial awareness, self-management, communication skills and team working skills as well as teaching you how to present those skills to employers. Check out their webpage – don’t forget the application deadline is the 12th of December!
- Your CV is one of the most important parts of the application process. I have been to numerous presentations where they say it is all about the presentation of your skills, so even if you have done amazing things, if your CV isn’t presented properly, employers won’t be able to recognise the skills you have gained. Did you know you can book a quick one to one careers appointment with a member of the Careers team to discuss and improve your CV? They are bookable up to a day in advance on target connect, on the appointments section.
- Did you know the Careers and Employability team also have an Application Forms booklet which goes through step by step how to complete the process including cover letters, CV’s and the STAR method, highly recommended by employers? Pick one up from 50 park place or download it here!
- I find it can be useful to attend company presentations as this shows your enthusiasm for the company and may give you ideas for when you are writing a cover letter to the company. They are also really informative and inspiring. Careers and employability still have events going on this November. Check them out here.
- Set up a LinkedIn account as this is the best way to connect with employers or people you have networked with. Some internships may even give you the possibility to use your LinkedIn account as a way of entering your achievements and skills!
- Attending careers fairs is important because not only is it an opportunity to network with potential employers but it can give you an insight into the different roles within a company and where you might fit in. Careers fairs from different schools within the university can also be useful for discovering companies you may not have heard about.
Writing your applications …
Applications can take days sometimes weeks to complete therefore it is important to start them early. This is especially important with some internships which happen on a rolling basis.
Ideally you should start applying in summer when they open or start researching about the companies you are interested in then as this won’t affect your studies, and will show the employer that you are pro-active and aware of the process.
However, if you are in the process of completing them now, it is important to motivate yourself by using your time effectively as it can be easy to keep putting it off. Don’t leave it too late!
After you’ve submitted your application …
It is all a learning process therefore even if you don’t get any success; try not to be disheartened as it is still a great experience. You could even email the employers asking them for feedback to show your commitment to their company!
Second Year Business Student and Marketing Intern at Careers & Employability
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