Not everyone is aware of the importance of having some professional, hands-on experience. Although student loans will usually cover rent, many of us will need to find a part-time job to pay for other important things like food, bills, books etc., with a bit on the side for going out occasionally and having a social life.
Even though it’s sometimes necessary to take the first job that comes your way (especially when money is tight), as a student you should try to find work experience when you can, even if it means making some sacrifices. You have worked hard all year and of course you will want to go on holidays with your friends: you deserve it – make the most of not having many responsibilities while you can. However, if you can, you should try to carry out an internship
, even if it’s just for a short period of time.
In countries such a France, internships are a vital and compulsory part of most degrees
. This seems to have been forgotten about in the UK: there are, of course, a few degrees, such as business, offering placement years, but students from other degree programs are left to their own devices and not much information is provided on the subject.
Not everyone has a network
to let them know them about the importance of work experience or connections to help them find an internship, which is why we wanted to share some advice with you.
Why is work experience important?
1. You will have a better idea about what you want to do with your future
. A degree can give you the theory, but hands-on experience will give you a real taste of what it’s like to work in the job. This can be helpful further down the line and reduce the stress you feel when you think about the future. No matter how much we try to put off thinking about what we will do after uni, we will eventually have to face it. If you don’t like your internship, you can eliminate that career from your list
2. If you do enjoy your internship, it will add to your motivation and determination to work harder when you can actually visualise the reason why you are revising and what it is you are working towards
. Sometimes it’s easy to feel as though all the essays and exams are irrelevant, but if you have an objective and long-term goals in mind, it's sure to help you focus on your studies.
3. It will look great on your CV and improve your chances of finding a job
. This is an obvious one, but the more professional experience you have, the more likely recruiters will be to call you in for an interview. Put yourself in the place of a recruiter: two candidates have exactly the same degree and mark, but one has professional experience. Although personality is a large factor when it comes to choosing a candidate, they might not get the chance to discover yours if you’re eliminated in the early stages of the recruitment process
. Having professional work experience on your CV will usually outweigh the numerous bar and restaurant jobs that fill up most CVs.
It also reveals a lot more about your personality than you might expect. It's shows that you are serious and dedicated: important characteristics which are highly-sought after by recruiters
. It shows an awareness of the world of work, your pro-activeness your determination to succeed.
Which companies are most likely to employ students for internships?
Where you choose to carry out your internship will depend on the sector you would like to work in. Large companies most likely to employ summer interns include
: BDO, Bloomberg, Mazars, Toyota, Deloitte, EY, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hewlett Packard (HP), PwC and Thales, to name a few. If you're more interested in carrying out an internship in a non-profit
or a charity,
Macmillan Cancer Support and many others offer internships lasting anywhere from one to four months.
If it's money that motivates you, the 10 UK companies who pay interns the most
(according to Glassdoor) include: Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citi, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Microsoft. Competition will obviously be high
for these companies, so make sure you start applying early to avoid missing out
This small sacrifice will bring you so much: experience, determination and confidence. If you are worried about money, why not apply for a short term internship, lasting a month or so? Don't forget to check out Wizbii for thousands of job, placement and internship opportunities in the UK and abroad!