The benefits of summer internships and the stress of finding them…
… by Ellie / from United Kingdom / Business Management Graduate / studied at The University between 2015 – 2019
In my last blog I talked about having part time jobs and how they can help to supplement your income and improve your employability skills. Another way to do this is through completing summer internships. At the end of my second year I completed a summer internship in the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. In the following summer I completed a marketing and operations internship with Give a Grad a Go, a graduate recruitment company in London.
Benefits of summer internships
I have found many benefits to completing an internship during your summer break from university. Firstly the invaluable experience and guidance that they can offer. It is through completing two summer internships that I have a clearer idea of what graduate jobs I want to apply to and the type of organisation I would like to work for. My CV has also been enhanced by these internships because of the practical skills I have learnt that are not covered as part of my university degree. Despite being hard work, internships are also fun and a great way of working with different teams of people. Completing a summer internship in Edinburgh allowed me to make the most of the Fringe festival and completing one in London allowed me to experience a new city. Obviously, working in the summer also means you get paid. This allows you to start the semester with a bit of money saved and make the most of your earnings on an evening and weekend.
Challenges of summer internships
Despite the above benefits, finding a summer internship can be incredibly stressful and challenging. If you are like me, you will apply to 30 positions only to be rejected from them all. My advice is to keep persevering and not to take this rejection personally. After each rejection reflect on your application and CV to decide if you could have done anything differently, most the time there will just be very strong competition. You can also arrange a meeting with a member of the careers department to discuss this further. If the summer is fast approaching and you feel like opportunities are running out, it is important to remember that smaller companies are still looking for summer interns’ right up until May.
Last summer I completed an internship in London which meant me having to find short term accommodation last minute. This involved me frantically searching through spare room sites and eventually moving in with strangers. Something that turned out to be amazing and led to great new friendships being formed. It also allowed me to “test” whether I liked living in London for 3 months without having to commit to ever living there again. This was particularly useful as it has encouraged me to look for graduate jobs within London. Working whilst friends are on holiday and having fun can also be difficult. However, one of the benefits of being at the university in Edinburgh is the long summer holidays you get. As a business student having 3 – 4 months off has allowed me to complete a 12 week internship each summer but still have time to go on holiday and have time off for a few weeks. All in all, I definitely recommend completing an internship during your summer and not to get disheartened if applications aren’t going to plan.