For a lot of students, finding a job is more difficult than your exams or your choice of University. With so many other students and graduates on the lookout for the same position as you it can feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall and that all of your qualifications and commitment to your studies was a waste of time. Instead of just giving up and looking down other potential career avenues, you might have to consider other ways of standing out from the crowd, in the form of work experience or internships.
A lot of companies are looking to take on students and graduates in intern roles, and this has benefits for all parties with businesses getting new members of staff to fill the positions advertised on sites like Jobs Today, while you can get a lot of experience and develop skills in the position that may even lead to a full-time place with the company in time.
Having landed yourself a placement or internship, you need to remember that it doesn’t guarantee you a job if the employer decides to open up a full-time position. There will be others out there looking to bring their own array of skills and qualifications to the role who may be more suitable – on paper at least – so it’s down to you to make an impression while you have the chance, showing the bosses that you’re not just “the work experience kid who can make a good coffee”, that you’re actually a highly motivated and talented individual who would be an asset to the company.
To get the most out of your internship, and to make an impression at the same time, you need to start by looking at every task favourably. Yes, you might get tasked with doing all of the ‘boring’ tasks that the full-time employees pass over to you, such as filing, photocopying or proofreading, but look at this as an opportunity to work closely with those people, learning from them and – with proofreading as an example – gaining exposure to everyday life in that business and picking up on how and why certain processes run the way they do.
By performing the ‘boring’ jobs, you’ll eventually prove to someone in the business that you’re up to the job and they’ll give you something a bit more ‘interesting’ to do as a challenge. The key here is proving that you’re willing to do the smaller tasks to earn trust and the opportunities to progress.
Pay close attention to the culture in the office, as this could help you to fit in with the other employees, helping you to understand the job, the company, and the staff better. For instance, if they’re always in the office by 8.45 each morning for a 9.00 start, make sure you are too. If they shut their mobile phone in their desk drawer until breaks, do the same. It’s all about making a positive impression at this stage so pay close attention to the slightest details in the early days so that you can do the same as them as you spend longer in the role.
This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular conrtibutor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84