When Should Students Start Applying For Internships?
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When Should Students Start Applying For Internships?

Zoe Kramer February 16, 2023

In a competitive job market, graduates need more and more tools in their belt to stand out form the crowd. While a degree gives you a lot of knowledge in your field, this tends to be more theoretical rather than practical. That’s why internships are a great way to put your skills to the test and build up your CV. But with a busy uni schedule and only so many hours in a day, it can be difficult to juggle an internship with your studies. As a result, timing when to apply for internships can be difficult. Here is everything you need to know to make this process go as smoothly as possible.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

See also: When Should You Start Applying For Graduate Jobs?

What To Do Before You Apply

Before you start applying for internships, it’s a good idea to sort a few things out. First, you’ll want to have an idea of a potential career path you want to follow. Set a goal for where you’d like to be in a few years’ time. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the industry you want to join and what kind of skills are desirable in that field. This will allow you to filter out internships that don’t have relevant applications to what you want to do. It will also give you an idea of what to expect from this type of work.

After you’ve considered what you want out of an internship, it’s a good idea to also consider what you can bring to an internship. Put together or update a CV with details of any work you’ve done thus far. Think about what you’ve learned in university and how you might use this knowledge as an asset for someone. If you’ve done any notable projects or practical work, this is a great thing to make note of that you can bring up in an interview.

Is There An Ideal Time To Do An Internship?

Everyone approaches internships differently. Some apply as soon as first year, while others wait until they’ve graduated. While there is no right or wrong way to go about it, there are a few things that can increase your likelihood of success.

Make a habit of browsing your university’s jobs board regularly. It’s never too late to start doing this, but it can be great to do as early as first year. That doesn’t mean you necessarily need to start applying right away, but it keeps you aware of what’s available and when the deadlines are. By staying up to date, you won’t let any opportunities get missed.

It’s also a good idea to use your summers wisely. While you can definitely make an internship work during the academic year, doing one in the summer will help take some of the pressure off. Securing an internship for the summer after your second year is great timing to allow you to graduate with some experience already under your belt.

That being said, it’s certainly not a race — you don’t need to follow anyone’s timeline but your own.

See also: How To Set Up A Mock Interview

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.