If you clicked on this article then well done and hooray you are an organised and ambitious person *high five*.
Using your summer break to intern is a great way to build up experience in your CV in whatever industry you foresee yourself embarking on after you finish your studies.
I did my first stint of work experience when I was 14 but it wasn’t until I interned after my A levels and before uni that I really got a real in depth look at the career path that I wanted to set out on.
Like with any job there are pros and cons so here is my quick guide to summer interning.
Get in there FAST
Treat this mission like trying to acquire a pair of tickets to a Beyonce concert because good internships are snapped up just as fast.
Write a list of companies you’d be happy to gain experience at and then do a quick Google of their name + internship. They may even have an internship scheme set up; for instance Bauer Media have GoThinkBig which advertises internships and work experience for all of their brands and Hearst and Conde Nast advertise internships on their careers’ pages.
As soon as you find out the relevant contact details for the person in charge of the interns/work experience rota, swing them a polite email expressing your interest and availability.
Be persistent but not pushy
If you don’t hear anything back within a week don’t be afraid to give them a friendly follow up call. When I first applied to intern at Notebook magazine I never heard anything back and was a little disappointed as I had to fill out a questionnaire and everything.
So I called them, bear in mind I HATE speaking on the phone, and Anna, the lady that was in charge of features interns, told me they had found someone unfortunately BUT she was impressed that I called. And when they needed some later that summer they contacted me! I doubt that if I hadn’t called back they would have remembered me just from my application alone.
Make yourself indispensable
If you get something then be genuinely proud of yourself because work experience and internships are in very high demand. But this also means that if you mess up there are hundreds of people that will fill your space.
You need to remember that you aren’t irreplaceable so you should find a way to be indispensable. What are you amazing at? You may think it’s small but it might set you apart. My thing was always my organisation – ask anyone, so I would always take it on myself during down time to organise things in the office, whether that was magazine archives or fashion and beauty cupboards I would get to organising and it was always appreciated.
Do you bake? Is you memory second to none? Whatever your special talent is, make it shine.
Be a yes person
Of course within reason, don’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with. Being a yes person means be the intern they can rely on to help even if you have to fake it till you make it – when I got asked to send a fax out by the editor at one of my internships you would never had guessed that I had no clue how to use the fax machine and at another when an IKEA rug needed lugging down to the loading bay, I was the gal.
That ‘no problem’ can-do attitude will have them remembering you for all of the right reasons.
Its always nice to follow up with the team you interned with after it’s over, and this is especially important if you want to go back there!
Sending them a card the week after shows them that you appreciated your time and their guidance (if you genuinely did feel this way) and with so much of our lives being online, getting post that’s not invoices or bills is always a welcome change.
If they have Instagram or Twitter make sure you’re following them and engage with their profiles every now and again. Just make you’re not too keen with the like button.