How to Get an Internship While Studying

Internship

In between the late nights and long lectures, you’re going to have to think about what to do with your life when you finish college. It’s easy to party now and think later, but when you eventually graduate, you will be competing for the best jobs in your field.

The trouble with this is that even the entry-level jobs require some sort of experience nowadays – employers want to see dedication to the cause, which means becoming a part of your chosen industry before you even finish your course. That’s just the way the world has gone.

Fortunately, most organisations run internship schemes, whereby they gain an extra worker for a while and in return you gain the necessary experience to secure yourself a job when you enter the big wide world. Essentially it’s all about giving yourself the best possible chance at getting to where you want to be. After all, that’s what college is supposed to help you do.

You’re probably thinking, “But how do I do that when I have to study, work, and socialise?” Well, we’ve decided to make it easy for you, and have outlined a few ways to secure the perfect internship.

Tailor Your CV

When you’re in college, your CV will probably be filled with part-time work and any other experiences that you’ve built up over time – you just need an internship or two and your profile will be stronger than ever.

The best way to secure your perfect internship is to use your past experience to explain why you are the best person for the job. Don’t just send out the same CV and covering letter to different organisations, because they will spot this a mile off and mark you down for failing to include a personal touch.

Instead, think about what they are asking from an intern, and highlight your current skills that prove why you should be hired over anyone else.

This doesn’t mean that you should lie through your teeth just to secure the role (if you do this, you might come unstuck when they do eventually hire you). Instead, be open and honest about the areas that you need to work on, and say how this internship is going to change you for the better – the benefit of doing this for an internship application is that you can prove your progression when it’s time to apply for a full-time role.

Make Use of Your Resources

Internships are a mutual agreement between two parties, which means both you and the organisation will benefit from your involvement. That being said, other organisations stand to gain from your internship, and these are the ones that you can look to if you need a little help finding the right one for you.

The first organisation you should consider seeking help from is your college. They will more than likely have a dedicated employability team whose main purpose is to make sure you get a job once you’ve graduated. A large part of finding you permanent employment is making you employable in the first place, so they will usually have something in place to connect you with businesses that are offering internship opportunities.

Make use of the employability strand of your institution as much as you can they are a valuable resource and will usually give you career-enhancing advice. Take the time to sit down with them and go through your CV and internship application. They will give you honest feedback on how to give yourself the best chance at securing the right role for you.

Use the Internet

The internet is a great tool for connecting employers with interns, and there are some websites that are specifically designed for finding work for students. Don’t limit yourself to student-only sites, but they are definitely a good place to start.

Keep an eye out on the following sites for internship opportunities:

●       Irish Jobs

●       Student Job Ireland

●       Internships Ireland

Even if you find your internship through one of these services rather than your college’s internship scheme, take your application to the employability team, because they can still help you out in completing the application in the best way possible.

Be Flexible

Internships come in various shapes and sizes: some are long, some are short. Be flexible with your expectations, and don’t rule out shorter internships just because you’re looking for one that lasts a few months. At the end of the day, a short internship is better than none, and you can always use the experience you’ve gained to then secure a second role.

Some internships are part-time and work around your studies, whereas others are full-time set contracts. Be realistic about what you apply for, because you will never be able to participate in a six-month placement if it clashes with your college timetable.

Consider sacrificing your summer to gain some hands-on experience interning in your industry, because this shows real dedication and will give you a good idea as to whether the role is actually for you or not.

Do What’s Best for You

It’s important to think about what you want to achieve from an internship, to ensure that you’re applying for the right one for you. If you want to gain experience in a particular field, make it clear to the employer that this is where your ambitions lie.

Keep in mind that as long as you’re doing actual work for the organisation, you’re entitled to at least the national minimum wage (NMW). Knowing your worth is an important part of finding an internship, as strong-mindedness is a key quality to take with you in your future career.

Internships: A Stepping Stone from College to Work

When you’re making the transition from college to work through internships, make sure you can unwind in a comfortable setting. Take a look at our locations to see what we can do for you.

 

 

8 Extracurricular Activities to Do at College That’ll Look Great on Your CV

Getting a job when you finish college isn’t the easiest thing to do. In fact, you’ll probably find that most graduate jobs will expect a certain amount of experience before you’re even considered for the role, which might seem a bit contradictory but that’s the way it is these days.

Fortunately, there are numerous activities that you can do to make your CV stand out and demonstrate that you have the skills that employers are looking for. We’ve put together a list of our favourites so that you can pick which ones suit you best – you never know, you might find one or two that you even enjoy.

Part-Time Work

Although securing part-time work takes effort, it’s one of the most beneficial activities for both you and your CV. While you’re earning yourself a few extra euros, you’ll also be learning essential skills that will help you out when you start your career. Most part-time roles will require you to work as a team, manage your time and communicate with others – all of which will be welcome additions to your CV.

Some customer-facing roles call for an ability to work under pressure, deal with difficult situations and handle cash, proving that you’ll be a reliable and trustworthy member of staff.

Volunteering

Charities such as Oxfam are always on the lookout for volunteers, which means your next CV-enhancing opportunity could be just around the corner. Volunteering gives you the chance to expand your skills and often shows good communication, teamwork and dedication.

Having volunteer work on your CV is a good indication to an employer that you aren’t afraid to commit to something – plus you get to contribute to a cause that you believe in.

Sports 

Sport is always a strong addition to your CV, as it demonstrates a wide range of skills – and keeps you healthy at the same time. Group sports show reliability and teamwork, whereas individual sports show dedication and (healthy) competitiveness. These are all elements that will strengthen your CV, especially if you or your team perform well in competitions.

Take further advantage of your sport by assuming a leadership role, as this will prove your ability to analyse the strengths of others and delegate appropriately. Be sure to place emphasis on the skills that the sport provides you with, highlighting the ones relevant to your particular career choice.

Societies

When you went to your freshers’ fair, you probably noticed enthusiastic third-years promoting various societies. College societies cover just about every topic from accounting right through to video games, so you’re likely to find something that will interest you.

Like volunteering, being a member of a society proves that you are enthusiastic and dedicated, with a willingness to learn more about a specific topic, making this a useful point to put on your CV. If you get in touch with your students’ union and find that there’s no society that you fancy, you can always apply to start your own – through recruiting prospective members and writing a case for your society, you can secure funding from your college (which would be another useful fact that’d look great on your CV!).

Blogging

Writing a blog is a great way to voice your opinion and connect with like-minded people. What first-time bloggers will find is that it takes determination, hard work and a lot of time to both set up and manage a blog. Bloggers have to be prepared to spend time planning, researching and writing for their sites, which demonstrates to a potential employer that you’re committed to your content. Blogs with good traffic can sometimes be monetised through advertisements and partnerships with relevant businesses – so you might be able to make some extra cash on the side as well.

Learning a Second Language

We live in a globally connected world where businesses span continents and therefore the need for multilingual staff is on the rise. Learning a second language could present you with more job opportunities in the future, and could even give you the option of moving abroad for work – with that second language under your belt you’ll be living it up on the Costa del Sol in no time at all.

Popular languages include Mandarin, Spanish and German – all of which provide good opportunities in business hubs across the globe.

Become a Student Rep

Future politicians, we’re looking at you for this one. A good student rep is the type of person who can listen to the needs of their fellow students and assess the impact of their college’s efforts while being unafraid to voice their opinion to the powers that be.

Representing other people is a huge responsibility, as you’re trusted to manage both opinions and expectations. Adding this to your CV will prove to potential employers that you’re a competent leader and communicator, which are both highly desirable qualities in any employee.

Job-Specific Activities

If you’re lucky enough to already know the career that you want to go into, you can make use of your time in college to get on with some CV-enhancing activities. Using your three (or more) years in higher education to build some form of experience in your chosen area will significantly improve your chances of employment once you leave – for example, if you want to pursue a career in journalism or video production, you can get involved with student media, which would give you solid experience to discuss in job interviews. Don’t worry if you don’t know yet, because you can still make use of clubs and societies to build on your more generic skills.

Use Your Time at College to Get Things Done

Regardless of whether you do or don’t know what you want your future career to be, it’s important to use your time at college wisely. This is a point in your life when you’ll have plenty of free time in between lectures, and proactively finding activities to do that will enhance your CV. This can have a huge impact on your changes of securing the job that you want in the future. So if you can sacrifice one night down the pub to instead spend an evening in a homeless shelter, or you can use that hour between lectures to write an article for the student newspaper, you’re one step closer to the perfect CV.

5 Ways to Survive Freshers Flu

Who’s feeling a little rough then? Freshers’ week is done and dusted, and it doesn’t look like the fun is going to slow down any time soon. Before you attempt to get that UV paint off your jeans, here’s a few ways to help that banging in your head stop.

1. The Power of the Paracetamol

Right, so let’s be honest: paracetamol isn’t going to cure this mother of all hangovers, but it will help lessen the aches and pains of those dance moves. Make sure you stock up on these little capsules of headache-healer so you have enough to last you at least until the next night out.

To up your vitamin levels without having to move or cook anything, get yourself some Berocca tablets. They will help to increase your nutrients, making you feel like you’ve had a plate full of veg, without actually having a plate full of veg. Remember, stock up on these too, unless you do want to have a full plate of veg – that’s your choice.

2. Sleeping Beauty

We bet you can count the number of hours sleep you’ve had on one hand… Are we right? If so, then get back to bed! Quick, before those early lectures start, it’s time to catch up on your shut-eye. A good night’s (or day’s) sleep is a cure for all things hungover. Although, try not to dream about those embarrassing antics you got up to in the Student’s Union the other night.

What better excuse than to lay in bed all day with your new soulmate Netflix? Give yourself some well-earned rest and your freshers’ flu will soon be over.

3. Just Keep Eating, Just Keep Eating

Right, enough of the end-of-the-night kebabs and pizzas, it’s time to get back on the good food kick. Starting to eat a little healthier will help you feel better. And we’re not just saying it, it’s proven: vitamin C helps to protect your cells and keep you healthy. Vitamin C can be found in your fruits and vegetables, so get those sprouts at the ready (too early for Christmas jokes?).

Along with your happy helping of greens, don’t forget to stay hydrated too. And no, not with more alcohol – with water. Water will help to get rid of any of those leftover freshers’ germs you’ve picked up.

4. Did Someone Say House Party?

We know you don’t want to miss out on any freshers’ activities, so how about having a freshers’ night in? It doesn’t have to be a Scrabble night (unless that’s your thing); throwing a house party or attending one will help to fasten the freshers’ flu cure.

How will it help? Well, for one, you won’t have to do the freezing-cold walk between the club and the takeaway. You won’t have to be squashed into sweaty clubs, where you can feel the freshers’ germs building up as you throw your next move. Plus, staying in will help you save a little pocket money for those extra beers at the end of the week.

Flat or house parties are also a great way to integrate with your fellow freshers, but, be careful not to invite the already freshers’-flu-contaminated ones – it’s too late for them.

5. Keep It Clean Guys

No-one likes the idea of having to clean, especially if it’s your student halls, but if you really want to survive freshers’ flu then you’ll need to do just that. Keeping your room and social spaces clean and getting rid of germs lingering about will give you a lovely, clean space to do nothing but chill out in.

You see those stacked up takeaway boxes and the empty glass bottles on the windowsill? Yeah, throw them out. It’s not a competition of how high your bin can get before someone takes it out, because it will be you that has to take it out anyway.

Nothing seems worse than leaving your cosy safe haven of your bed, right? But, if you want to be rid of all things freshers’ flu then we suggest to get up and get out. Go for a walk (even a run if you can stomach it) and get some fresh air. Being outside will help increase your vitamin D levels and you’ll definitely feel more refreshed than lounging around smelling of last night’s takeaway mixed with alcohol (eww!).

There you have it: the five ways to survive freshers’ flu. Remember, these tips come in handy for all those other college nights out too. Let us know if you think of any other freshers’ flu hacks on Facebook or on Twitter @UninestIreland.

7 Ways to Plan Ahead for Your Next Year at College

male-sudent-planning-ahead

If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving a year of college! You’re probably now a seasoned pro at getting to 9am lectures on time, and not starting your assignments the night before they’re due.

So why not continue your winning streak by doing these seven things to get prepped for your next year, helping you to stay on top of everything from your finances to your study time.

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The Ultimate Guide to Packing for College

Summer is already coming to a close! Where has it gone, eh? All panic aside, the time has come for you to really get excited about college! If you’re anything like us, you’ll be putting off the chore of packing until the last minute. But luckily for you, we’ve had years of practice from helping new students turn up on the big moving-in day, so here are some top tips on how to get sorted. No fuss!

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