The following post is written by Nicola Medici, a 3rd year Economics Student from Loughborough University. She has recently completed a years internship on the FMP programme with GE, having applied to (and been through the application process for) many companies while looking for a year-long internship as part of her degree.
I thought you might find the view ‘from the other side’ interesting…
How Students Find an Internship
For many second year students, applying for an internship is the first experience of the application process for a professional job within the sector they are interested and see a career in. Therefore it is important that finding the internship—and the process that follows—is as simple as possible.
There are a multitude of platforms on which companies can advertise placement positions:
- The easiest is on the companies careers website itself. A simple page with directions can allow the applicant to discover information about the position and essential background information on the company itself at the same time.
- A second form of advertisement is on websites which students use to search for placement opportunities such as rate-my-placement and milkround. You put a simple one-pager onto a website with a brief description of the role you are offering. This can also include links to your website, where you may describe the position in more detail, or to an application website. From my own experience this is how several students search for placement opportunities as it allows them to search using key words and to receive pages of jobs of possible interest to search through on one simple platform.
- The final form of advertisement is to go to universities direct. At Loughborough University, my own, we have a placements office who advertise roles directly. These comprise of A4 sheets which we are able to take away, providing simple information on the role, location, day to day tasks, how to apply etc. Many universities also offer career days where companies can come in and advertise graduate and placement opportunities. These are a fantastic opportunity for companies to advertise themselves to a wide range of students who may not even have thought of applying for the role on offer before attending.
Two Ideas for Improvement
From my experience of applying there are two areas which can be improved when advertising roles to placement students:
- The first is the amount of information about the role which is advertised. Often people have a rough idea about what a title relates to: however our perceived opinion is often wrong. It would be useful to create some sort of handbook detailing the internship for possible applicants. Information on key skills, day-to-day tasks, areas of work, opportunities for the year ahead, and reviews from previous students would all be interesting information for applicants.
- My second idea would be to allow applicants to contact the current intern to ask questions about the role, interview process and company. This would allow the opinion of the person currently experiencing the role to answer any questions potential applicants have. This may be less intimidating to applicants as they would be contacting somebody their own age.