It is common knowledge that all jobs require a certain level of experience. Even graduate jobs. Having a degree is simply not enough in the increasingly competitive job market.
As a soon to be graduate, I found myself in a catch 22, knowing that I needed experience to get a job, but not being able to get experience/a job because I didn’t have prior industry experience!! Very frustrating.
Recognising this problem, I sought experience in anyway possible! I spent a weeks salary (from my part-time job at the local pharmacy) on a new suit and a great pair of pumps to showcase my positive, ambitious, and professional attitude. I then set my sights on getting those pumps into the door of a great company. I was happy to sacrifice salary for experience through an internship, knowing that in the long run it would pay dividends!
I have gained so much from being an intern, I have now done this twice.
My first internship was for a psychology organisation…in New York!!! Having dreams of living and working in the city that never sleeps, I Googled. I spent hours wading through company websites searching for internship opportunities. I finally found a company that inspired me, one I thought would be a perfect match. Despite not stating that they offered internships, I emailed them, explained I was a bright-eyed girl from Sydney, Australia looking for the opportunity of an internship. After a Skype interview at midnight to sell my case I was booking tickets for a 3 month adventure, ticking items off my bucket list as I went.
My second internship is here with Sprint People. I responded to an ad on Seek, called to follow up my application and made sure I put my best high-heeled foot forward when I came in to meet with Naomi and the team.
And I can honestly say, that as good as the Big Apple experience was, nothing beats local experience and networking. THANK YOU SPRINT PEOPLE!!!!
Internships not only give you the opportunity to gain experience, but they prove to any potential employer that you are hard working and dedicated. It shows that you have “go getter” attitude and it looks fabulous on your CV!
Here are my top 7 Tips for anyone looking to Intern:
1. Keep a positive attitude and wear a smile
2. Be prepared to start at the bottom (filing, shredding, cups of tea etc)
3. Show initiative – rock up early to get some work done, stay late, offer to do anything and everything!
4. Network while you are there! This is a biggie. You never know where these networks can lead you
5. Learn about your industry – read industry reports and articles and ask questions
6. Find a mentor and value them
7. Enjoy the journey and make it worthwhile.
If you would like to know more about how to take the next step in your career – be it your first step in the working world, a side step or a giant leap forwards – check out Sprint Coach for some tips.