12 July 2017

10 tips to help you get an internship

Did you know, while you’re on holidays that it is internship and vacationer role season?
Some of you are probably enjoying the European summer with friends or wishing you were! Whilst it is important to use this time for R&R after a big semester one, try to make the most of your time off and think ahead to how you can make the most of your winter break.

An internship or vacationer role can help you stand out from the pack when it comes time to apply for graduate jobs. I was successful in securing a vacationer role with KPMG in their enterprise audit division. The recruitment process took about 5 weeks and involved an online application, online assessment, video interview and partner interview. I want to share with you my top ten tips for anyone thinking of applying for vacation programs/internships!

1. Plan

Applying for a vacation program/internship could be a lengthy process and require lots of preparation, so it is essential to plan your time accordingly. Write down the opening and closing dates of the applications in your diary and start refining your resume and cover letter. A great way to stay up to date with the company you are interested in working for, is following their Facebook page – most companies promote their opening and closing dates on Facebook!

2. Apply early

Keep in mind that many firms assess applications on a rolling basis, therefore the earlier you apply, the better your chance. The online application is the opportunity to make a great first impression, don’t rush through it the night before the application closes, and give it your best shot!

3. Do you research
Understand what the role entails, the services offered by the firm, the clients it serves, and the firm’s corporate culture. Think about why you are passionate about the role and how your skills and experiences align with what the firm is looking for.

4. Reach out to your connections

Whether you know someone senior in the industry or someone who was an intern for the firm you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask meaningful questions. People are willing to help you if you show genuine interest and willingness to learn.

5. Practice, practice, practice
Attend networking events to familiarise yourself in a professional setting and enhance your communication skills. Many societies host networking events where you can practise interacting with professionals and building relationships. For example, SUBS (Sydney University Business Society) will be hosting their high achievers’ breakfast in semester two, where you can meet representative from different firms and industries.

6. Ask feedback from others
Ask your parents or friends to look over your online application before submitting, improve your application based on their feedback. Conduct mock interviews with someone who can offer you direct and constructive feedback. For behavioural based interviews, use the STAR technique in answering questions and make sure you have various examples from different roles.

7. Confidence is key
Remember that it’s a two-way process, yes, the firm will be assessing you, but it is also your chance to learn more about the firm and find out whether the role really suits you and would help in achieving your career goals. Believe in yourself and let the firm know your past achievements.

8. Don’t be afraid to be yourself
When you reach the later stages of the recruitment process, such as video interviews, assessment centres or face to face interviews, don’t be afraid to show off your personality and just be who you are. Your interviewers are experienced and have met many candidates, therefore they will be able to tell if you aren’t being honest.

9. Visit the CEO
The CEO is a great place full of resources and offer a range of career-related services to business school students. The CEO can review your resume, look over your online application, offer you application advice and interview tips, and also 1:1 career counselling sessions. I visited the CEO before my partner interview, the career leader answered all my last minute questions with great patience and offered other useful advice about the interview.

10. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t secure a vacationer role
Rejections are tough, but it won’t be the end of the world. I was rejected by many other firms before landing a job with KPMG, it is important to understand that there could be factor resulting your failure outside of your control. Don’t give up, look elsewhere, take every opportunity presented, you never know where your hard work may take you.

Good luck with all your applications!

By Josie Wu, Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Sydney Business School

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