The Intern 101 Series: Pt. 1
Contributed by: @JFrimpong_
Internships, work experience, insight days – the lot – they are extremely important. I cannot stress this enough.
I write this blog post, from my desk at work, snowed under a pile of poorly drafted contracts. Thinking about how I have started my career, I owe it all to the internships that I have completed! For the purpose of this post and repetition, the term internships will include insight days, work experience, work shadowing and the like.
This series, Intern 101, aims to provide you with handy tips and tricks when it comes to applications, interviews and ADZVICE (get it?) on how to make the most out of your internship experience. By the end of this series, I will be expecting emails from you all telling me about the internships you will hopefully obtain as a result!
(Pause: didn’t that spiel sound like something your teacher would say at the beginning of class – learning objectives etc. I digress, back to internships!)
Before embarking on your journey as an intern, there are a few things you need to do – the first being research! Whatever stage you are in your life, identify what it is that you have an interest in! Knowing this is key! Regardless of your chosen sector, understand that there are numerous opportunities in every field - some are easier to find in comparison to others, but that does not take away from the fact that they are there!
Browse company websites – on most websites, the ‘Careers’ tab tends to have information on what opportunities the company has to offer. If you don’t see anything that tickles your fancy, contact HR departments in companies! Let them know your name!
The importance of having a LinkedIn profile! If you don’t have one, I really don’t know what you are doing! LinkedIn is an online platform that aims to connect professionals from around the world and across different professions. I love LinkedIn and have met some amazing people through it and come across several internship opportunities as a result! I would recommend connecting with HR professionals in your field of interest if their contact details are not on their respective websites. Follow and keep up to date with the developments in that sector (I’ll expand on this in a later post!)
Following on from this, word of mouth has been a constant form of, debatably, effective communication throughout the years. Speak to people. If you know of someone that works in, say for example, law, drop them a line! (Picking up the corporate lingo already!) Find out if you can sit with them for a day or two and obtain some invaluable hands on experience.
3. Social Media
it is 2016 and I know many of you avid Adzvice readers will have a social media account (or two!). Utilise your accounts for your personal development! Follow companies, organisations and job/internship accounts. I remember applying for an internship opportunity with Accenture as a result of a tweet I saw from the Black Solicitors Network twitter account. I was successful with my application but I honestly would not have come across that opportunity in any other way, thank God for social media right!
Short but sweet – lesson to be learnt from The Intern 101 – RESEARCH. Pen everything down, create a clear plan. In the next post, expect practical tips for applications and interviews.
On that note, I need a coffee - back to my contracts!
Check out the other parts of The Intern Series here!