National Careers Week 2016 – Applying for internships

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They say there is no time like the present, and that is especially true when you’re thinking of applying for internships, placement years and further study.

By now you will be starting to gear up towards end of year exams and final assessments in the next few months so putting in the work now means less hassle when you’re at your busiest and most stressed. So you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour by getting ahead and being prepared.

Start by dividing up your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks or sections to make the end result more achievable and less stressful. The following are my recommendations for how best to divide these categories and how to get started with tackling them:

1. Researching and enquiring: this requires a lot of patience, time and organisation so I would recommend allocating an hour or two each day to do this properly. Start by speaking to your personal tutor to discuss the possibilities of internships or further study, as they are likely to have the contacts and information to make informed recommendations. If you are still undecided then check out the careers department and organise an appointment to discuss each of the possible pathways and which one would benefit you the most. It’s important to get one on one time to discuss what suits you so don’t rely on websites or what other people are doing because it’s a personal decision.

2. Getting organised: Start by creating a word file or notebook specifically for jotting down the key dates for applications deadlines, important email addresses, where to send your CV etc. If you are applying for several options it’s important to have a clear picture of what is required and by which date so don’t get muddled or you may miss your chance. Also, be sure check when the interview dates are and factor in any travel needed or days to block off, especially if you have to inform your tutor or personally hand any assignments in.

3. Making yourself a worthy candidate: make sure you’ve polished your CV, perfected your cover letter, read through all the fine print about application requirement and brush up on your interview skills. Your tutor and the careers department can also help you with this but I also found websites like the National Careers Service invaluable for preparing myself. Once you have everything prepared then you will be ready to send anything off at a moment’s notice rather than having to rush it later.

4. The more the merrier: don’t be tempted to have your heart so set on one option that you end up limiting yourself. By sending off more applications and keeping your options option, the more choice and freedom you will have when it comes to the decision making process. Apply to everything you have found in your research that looks promising or interesting and take it from there.

So remember, start now and thank yourself later. Happy applying and good luck!

Elinore Court lives at Liberty House in London, she is studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.

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