Whoever said that internship hunting was a full time job in itself, was not wrong.
As the summer sun begins to seep through the blooming trees of spring, and as the academic year finally comes to a close, there’s only one thing on many aspiring engineers’ minds: Did I get the job?
Finding an internship can be a gruelling task. Hopefully, with these tips I’m about to share, it will be easier for you than it was for many.
Tip #1: Start Early
Although most internships start to take applications in late July-August, many internship roles actually open as early as February. Having a CV and cover letter ready can be really handy and advantageous, as it will not only allow you to apply early but will also give you heaps of time to get your CV checked and improve your interviewing skills, which leads me to my next point.
Tip #2: Attend CV Workshops and Speed Interview Events
These are a great place to not only to get invaluable advice from people in the industry but also could be a great chance to do some networking! Not attending these events is probably something I regretted most this year, as getting some good interview practice and tips for improvement would’ve really helped with my pre-interview nausea. Even if these events may seem daunting, you won’t realise how much of a good opportunity they are until it’s too late, so be sure to sign up for them. And if you’re scared to go alone, bring some friends too!
Tip #3: Use your Connections
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. There is no shame in utilising your connections to help with the job hunting process – which is why networking is so important! Even if it’s just someone who has had past internship experience, they will no doubt have invaluable advice to offer. Asking people is something that I am very glad I did this year and definitely helped me land the internship role I wanted.
Tip #4: Grades are not always the MOST Important
Although good grades look great on your CV, most companies also deem other things to be just as important, such as your extracurricular activities, personal projects or anything you do in your spare time that shows them you’re more than just someone who does well in school. Joining uni clubs can not only be a great way to spice your CV but also meet new people and discover new interests and hobbies, which is always a good thing.
Tip #5: Do Your Research
Before any interview, I cannot stress enough how important it is do your your research about the company, which is something I learned the hard way during my first ever internship interview (most of the questions were either about the company or the role, it was a horrible experience and I do not recommend it). It would also help if you went to company meet & greets either hosted by the uni or externally, to show you are really interested in their company and help you make a great impression.
And remember, if you don’t end up landing an internship in Part II, its not a big deal at all! There’s always next year, and the year after that… and maybe even the year after that too! Though this seem like very far into the future for all you Part I students reading this post, this is all stuff I wished I knew sooner and I hope it helps you in some way too. I know some people who were so onto it, that they found an internship in first year. And yes, after months and months of applying and interviewing, I did manage to score an internship! I will be working for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare this summer as a product development engineering intern for their infant care department. How exciting! It can take a while, so don’t be disheartened.
And with that, I wish you all the best for your internship hunt. Be cool, be confident, and be yourself always. And remember! I’m only a message away.