With the semester finally coming to an end, and with an inevitably long summer ahead, some of us might be looking for internships or some work experience. Although it sounds tempting to spend the holidays doing nothing, we all know that the British summer won’t grant us three months of sunshine. Why not use these summer months doing something your future self will thank you for later?
As university is a very theoretical means of education, therefore it can only be beneficial to try to apply this theoretical knowledge in a more practical way. However, it can be intimidating to think about gaining work experience if you are looking into it for the first time. The requirements are daunting, as is the paperwork, and it seems like every potential employer prefers experience over character. However, whether it is just a waitressing job or an internship at a big company you wish to apply for, all of them look for the same thing: your ability to present yourself. In short, that means the confidence in your own qualities. This entails writing a cover letter, a CV, sending in your transcript of records, and potentially facing an interview.
Asking friends and family for advice is a great idea; however, if you are in need of professional help, you might want to look to the Careers Service. Their service is specifically tailored to students of the University of Edinburgh who need help getting started in working life. Whether you want to attend career events, need advice on your CV or are just looking for some guidance on your future plans: the team at the Careers Service is there to support you in any way possible.
Even if you already have concrete plans, it can still be intimidating to reach out to a contact or an established company. Although it is well known that contacts get you further than any good application ever will, it is still controversial; nonetheless, there is no shame in accepting this advantage.
Those of us who have to start from scratch can still leave an impactful impression. If you are desperately wanting to intern at a company that does not explicitly offer any positions, you may want to send out a speculative application. Chances are that they will respond to you sooner than if they had advertised for the job. However, if they don’t, you can still call them after a few weeks, or drop in to leave a memorable impression.
Whether you have been rejected or have gotten your dream job, it is important not to be discouraged. For some, it may take a bit longer to find an internship and there is nothing wrong with you if that is the case. Gaining experience is part of the process and will help you figure out what you want out of it too. Yes, you may feel like you are in the inferior position, but you have the right to be picky as well. Not every company might see you as a fitting candidate, but you may also not want to work anywhere. Rejections may feel personal, but the goal is not to be discouraged, or compare yourself to others, and to keep looking for that perfect job.
Image: Waseem Farooq via pxhere