13 April 2017
Anyone who went to university in Australia knows that it’s a wee bit of a joke.
You turn 18, finish school and you’re all excited to begin ‘adulting’. The reality is that you probably still live at home and let your mum fold your underpants OR your parents have to continuously transfer you money for substantial food but (jks) you spend it on Mi Goreng and 10 goon sacks #priorities.
University days are rife with beer bong challenges, textbooks you read once that cost more than your monthly rent, questionably written essays and at least one good ol’ fashioned walk of shame (there’s nothing quite as life-affirming as creeping back to your dorm minus pants as they were stuck under your suitors backside and you didn’t want to wake him and be faced with the awkward art of post-coital small talk).
As you near the end of your university ‘career’ (a bit of a joke calling it a career really, given you wake up at 10 and wear last night’s eyeshadow to lectures on the reg), most courses will have an internship as a pre-requisite to completing your degree.
Further to being a mandatory (and crucial) part of many courses, internships are one of the most important things you can do to learn, network and increase your chances of being placed in a highly-coveted company or role.
Think of companies you want to work for and put your networking feelers out for contacts. If you don’t have a contact just send your expression of interest off to the information email address with your CV and a tailored cover letter included.
I’m going to make this easy by just listing what to do and what definitely NOT to do at an internship.
Most importantly, use your common sense and don’t for one moment feel like you’re doing the company a favour by working free of charge. A company is spending time and resources to train you, trust me when I tell you that
YOU’RE the lucky one. Be willing. Be grateful. Absorb as much as you possibly can and I promise you’ll learn more in 3-months than your 3-year degree.
What to do…
What not to do…
Unfortunately, converting your internship into a job has a lot to do with timing. Even if you’ve impressed the bloody socks off them; if there are no job openings, there’s not much you can do.
HOWEVER, you can stay in touch and that way you’ll be front of mind when they have an available junior position open next.
They might put you in contact with some of their contacts or if you’re one of the lucky ones you’ll land a job. Always remember that every opportunity has the potential to lead somewhere, a close friend of mine started as an intern at a beauty website 5-years ago and was recently made the editor.
Be hungry for all learning experiences and take all feedback on board. Your internship could take you anywhere or exactly where you want to be.
*Please note that there are regulations with internships and if you’re being exploited you should report it.
Words by Kelly McCarren.
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