We all have to start somewhere

Nearing the end of your degree you will definitely come across the word ‘interning’ and the reason is because you need it to ‘stand out’ you need it to have that ‘little edge’ over others.

Source: Creative Commons

But what is interning exactly? Can we really define it? As good old Wikipedia states, interning can be defined as ‘work as exchange of services for experience between the student and his or her employer.’ This basically means interns give their time and effort in return for good work experience and a look into what their future career paths may lead to.

I have had my fair share of internships, some good, some bad but what it really comes down to is that we all have to start somewhere. Finding work can be a real challenge, especially if you don’t have any experience and to get experience you must first find a job. It’s two fold and hard to get around, but an internship is a good way to do it. An article written by a careers advisor says internships can give you an edge over others and shows that you have a committment to the industry you want to work in.

Gaining experience into an industry is a key way to knock out competition when it comes to applying for jobs. Study New Zealand states employers overwhelmingly point to internship experience as the most important factor when they are considering hiring new graduates for full-time positions.

Where do you start?

So how do you get yourself an internship? Well my experience of this spans over two months of hunting for the right one. I first started this search by using sites such as Seek and The Big Idea I found a few relevant ones to my area of studying being communications and I sent off my cover letter and CV to them.  By doing all of this I have learnt a few key tips for when it comes to searching for an internship:

Key Tips

1.)  Firstly know what companies you would want to work for and this would give you an idea of what type of internship you want.

2.) Secondly, know that your internship search isn’t confined to only opportunities being offered. You can send you cover letter to companies even if they aren’t offering an internship. If your email and cover letter is that good then they may think about creating an internship opportunity just for you.

3.) Thirdly, ask your tutors if they know of any opportunities. Tutors are often flooded with internship offers and therefore just asking them could open many doors for you.

With the rise in unemployment, gaining any experience is an advantage.  According to Statistics New Zealand, 6.7 percent of people are unemployed in New Zealand. Getting work experience will definitely put you above others and give you that edge and if there was one job going, you would have more experience to offer if you had an internship compared to your friend who has the same degree but no work experience.

So if you are studying and fear the thought of going into the big bad world, then I would definitely recommend getting an internship. But then again, be careful with what type of internship you get, figure out if you will benfit from it before you enter into the unknown.

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