Published in Esperanto:
2014 JAFFY Edition – (Introductions in the magazine below)
‘Aleczander Gamboa knows all the tips and tricks for bagging the best internships.’
By: Aleczander Gamboa
University is typically seen as the final stepping stone before you enter the big bad world known as the work force. So with that said, it’s also the perfect time to figure out what you’re good at, what you like and don’t like. The easiest way to know this is through work experience and interning.
But considering how competitive internships are, how would one go about it? Where do you look? How do you prepare for it? And even more so, how do you nail the internship once you’ve got it? Well fret no more because Esperanto has got you covered on all bases!
- Pedestrian TV Jobs: If you’re hoping SEEK will give you something, then you’re doing it wrong. Pedestrian Jobs is the way to go! Bookmark it, favourite it, or even make it your internet homepage – this place is a gold mine if you’re searching for some much-needed work experience. This site has everything from PR and journalism internships, graduate jobs to volunteer applications with some of the best organisations in Australia. This is a great place to start your search and from my own personal experience, I can guarantee that you’ll always find something that will catch your interest.
- Be involved – very involved: Every university has a plethora of clubs, societies and committees to join, so try to involve yourself into the ones you’re interested in. This can provide a talking point for whenever you’re in a job interview, and also helps to make a good impression on your employer.
- Be succinct and straight to the point: You’ve found an internship you want to do, and they ask you send in a cover letter and CV, so what do you write in them? Let’s break it down: the cover letter should only be one page and detail any related experience. However, you don’t want to drone on, because depending on the internship and how competitive it is, some employers will skim through applications and if they have to read long winded sentences (like this one), more than likely they’ll just move on to the next person. The CV can mention everything else with a little more elaboration. Remember, the cover letter should make the employer want to read your CV.
- Work your arse off: This should be obvious. So you’ve conquered the interview hurdle and your foot is in the door – congratulations! But the work doesn’t end there; in fact it’s only beginning. If you think bludging on Facebook and snapchatting friends at work is a good idea, think again because everyone probably caught you in the act (don’t you just love open-plan offices?). Take control of your internship. Research about the organisation. Write something and seek feedback. Ask questions. Offer a helping hand, even if it does mean you have to do the ill coffee run for your boss or pick up dry cleaning. Show them you are enthusiastic and hard-working, and then reap the benefits later on when (or if) they hire you!
- Stay in touch: When your internship has wrapped up, maintain a relationship with your supervisor. Exchange contact details and organise a coffee catch up. It’s extremely important to stay on their radar. But with that said, please don’t become a stalker (ie: daily phone calls or emails anyone?). If you wish to contact them, email them once, and if they haven’t replied in a week, wait – yes, wait – for a few more days after which send a brief follow up. If it still doesn’t work, wait another week, and then politely give them a call.
- Learn from the experience: Trust me when I say that with every internship you undertake, there will at least be one that was an absolute disaster for you. But take it as a learning experience. Better to learn it now than when you’re screwing up your first full time job. Reflect on the internship and ask yourself what went wrong. Then improve on your short comings in your next endeavour. Best of luck!