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Now’s the perfect time to apply for an internship

If you want to enhance your CV alongside succeeding in your studies, all before leaving university, then undertaking an internship could be invaluable. They’re also great for building contacts and could potentially lead to you landing a job before you graduate. With many internship and work experience applications opening at the beginning of the year, here are some top tips of where to look for opportunities.

The QMUL careers service is an invaluable tool and a great place to start to apply for and find experiences. Results from surveys taken from students after meeting with an advisor have shown a high level of satisfaction with the advice they were given. In countless careers events, QMUL careers staff have often mentioned that many students regret not using the service earlier.

A simple browse of the QMUL Careers website displays a plethora of opportunities available to students of all years, including links to insight experiences for first years – ranging from finance to creative industries. These can be great if you’re looking to intern at the same place in the following years.

There’s also a link to QMUL’s ‘JobsOnline’ web-site which displays live vacancies including graduate jobs, internships and part time work. The careers service also has its own work experience opportunities, the most popular being ‘QInsight’ and ‘QConsult’.

If you have an idea of the place of the type of place you would like to work, then it is worth directly going to their vacancy pages, where they might list some opportunities of interest. Or you could write an email asking if they’re offering any work placements.

Most retailers have internship opportunities in their head offices. Some placements with charities and media companies that you apply directly to are open to all and not just penultimate year students – for example, work experience at the BBC or the Welcome Collection’s internship opportunities.

If you’re not sure on what you want to do, then there are many websites which list opportunities that you can filter to your interests. Employment-related search engines are useful. A top pick would be Glassdoors because they not only display internships, including ones abroad, but they also have a section dedicated to interviews that display questions and answers from actual interviews. LinkedIn also displays an immense range of opportunities in its jobs search section which you can filter to see internships in other parts of the UK or perhaps abroad.

For those interested in working in government-related jobs ‘w4mp Jobs’ is the website to head to; simply search the word ‘intern’ and you will see the relevant opportunities. The Foreign Office’s vacancy website posts internship opportunities from British consulates and embassies around the world, throughout the year.

A top tip is to not only use the internship search filter but also filter by temporary and fixed term positions, as they can sometimes also be another way to get experience for two to three months over the summer.

If you’re interested in the arts sector then ‘ArtsJobs’ shows not only internships but many different exciting opportunities, including auditions and behind the scenes production opportunities. ‘Creative Access’ displays opportunities at some of the most well-known companies like The Times and Warner Bros., specifically for BAME students.

Another option could be to get involved in volunteering. You could email your local MP to volunteer at their office or you could become a volunteer first aider with St John’s Ambulance and the British Red Cross, where you would deliver first aid at events.

Remember that it does not matter greatly if the work experience you land isn’t related to your future aspirations; when writing about your experiences you can capitalise on transferable skills you have gained. To optimise your chances of landing an interesting and impressive internship, give yourself time to search thoroughly and apply within plenty of time to ensure a greater chance of success.

Applying for an internship is similar to applying to a job. You might also have to take certain tests.

Again, the careers centre has a wealth of advice and materials to help you write CVs, cover letters, applications and prepare for tests and interviews. You can make as many appointments as you like…

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