Interning has become part and parcel of student life. Lydia McKay gives us the top tips to impress.
Tough interviews:
 
The first step to securing your internship is by going to an interview. The company will have already seen your CV, so they will just want to meet you in person to see if you suit the job. While the interviews themselves can be tough, as long as you are prepared, you should be okay. Before the interview, you should research the company and know a few facts to bring up in the interview to show you mean business. Also, study your own CV to see what the best bits for you to talk about are.
 
For the day of the interview, leave extra early so that you know where you are going and have time to relax before going in. Catherine Noonan, managing director of Communication Matters described the best way to dress for an interview as “to dress like you are trying to get a loan from your bank." The important thing to remember during the interview (as cliché as it sounds) is to just be yourself. You probably will be nervous but you should try your best to get your personality across and try to impress the interviewers. They already know you are capable of doing the job; they just want to see if you have the right attitude.
 
No money, no problem:
 
The term “internship” is associated with ridiculous hours for very little pay. Depending on what job you are doing, you probably will not be being paid or the company will offer to pay your expenses while working. If you are lucky, you could secure an internship that gives you an allowance such as €100 a week or €600 a month etc. However, considering that interns usually work nine to five, five days a week, the money seems insulting. Unfortunately, while on an internship, you must remember that the experience and connections you gain are much more important than the money. You may have to keep on a part-time job while doing your internship but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
 
Long Term Work:
 
The best outcome from doing an internship is securing a full-time job afterward. Being kept on is the reason we suffer through those long hours with no pay. You need to impress your employers during your internship if you have any hopes of future work. They probably get interns all the time that just keep their heads down and do the bare minimum. The key to success is standing out and being different: take chances and do not be afraid to think outside the box. For example, if you are doing an internship in a newsroom, the employer will be more likely to keep you on (even for part-time work) if you pitch story ideas or utilize your connections.
 
A completely new world:
 
If this is your first internship, it is also probably your first real experience in the job sector that you want to be in in the future. It may be a bit scary at first because up until now, you have become accustomed to the sheltered routine of full-time education. There is no time for slacking, napping or dosing on your internship. The whole time, you need to be on the ball because there is no room for error here. Be prepared for a tough time while you are settled in and do not assume it will all be easy. If you have a proper professional attitude and are willing to learn, you should be okay. Your first internship can be used as training for your career so appreciate it for what it is and try your best.