July 23, 2021, by Rosie Pinder
I Don’t Have a Summer Internship: What Now?
By Rosie Pinder, BA English second year
Deadlines are over and the weather is actually (as I write this) hot! It’s summer, and I had planned to be nicely settled into a summer internship by now. But as this past year and a half has shown us, you can never really plan for anything. I sent off my applications, even had an interview, but by the end of June was back to square one when it came to finding an internship. So, what now?
Helpfully, the Faculty of Arts had organised a talk titled ‘Work Experience for Arts Students’ just as I was feeling most despondent about my latest internship rejection. It included loads of suggestions for useful things to do over the summer, even if it is too late to find a conventional two-month-long summer internship. Below I have listed some of the ideas from the talk, as well as some of my thoughts about being productive over the summer, in the hopes that you might find some inspiration!
Work experience comes in all shapes and sizes
This was one of the main points I took away from the talk: work experience can come in more forms than just two-month-long internships in London. The deadlines for many applications may have passed, but there are still opportunities out there. Keep an eye on job search websites and networking sites like LinkedIn. It is also worth sending off a few speculative applications to organisations that interest you as even if they can’t offer you a long placement, they may be able to provide a week’s work experience, a couple of shadow shifts, or the option to do some volunteering. Take a look at my previous blog post for tips on writing a speculative application.
Jobs vs careers: all employment is experience
It’s no secret that some jobs are viewed differently from others. A part-time customer service summer job, for example, is not going to be as desirable for a budding journalist as an internship at a national newspaper. However, that does not diminish the value of the summer job! As well as earning you money, something like customer service teaches a range of transferable skills including time management, problem-solving, and teamwork – all of which look great on a CV!
Tired of waiting? Start a project of your own
If you’ve had no luck getting someone else to give you an opportunity- why not try making one for yourself? With all the resources available on the internet, it is easier than ever to start a summer project. How about setting up a blog or a website? Starting an Instagram page or a podcast? It’s all on your terms and provides you with all kinds of skills to show off to future employers.
Help out your future self and do some research
Finding out more about your chosen industry, or indeed looking more into what that industry might be, is never a waste of time. So, if you have time on your hands this summer, reach out to some industry professionals and ask a bit about what they do. Or set yourself up well and have a look for some opportunities that are coming up over the next year.
Hopefully, these ideas have shown that it is not too late to get some experience this summer. But I want to end by saying is that it is just as important to have a break. The past academic year has been tough for everyone so we deserve some time to relax before it all starts again in September!
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