Already worrying about grabbing internships in London for 2014? You are not alone. Whether still in education or freshly out of it, with 2013 drawing to a close it’s time to focus your career on the year to come. Don’t worry, we have a plan.
According to a recent survey, more students than ever are starting to worry about post-university life whilst in still in full-time education. And with a huge number (65%, in fact), believing that uni isn’t doing enough to prepare them for the world of work, brilliant young people everywhere are looking elsewhere for support. That’s where we come in.
As specialists in internships in London, we’re here with a TOP DOLLAR plan to get you the kick-start career you deserve. And all in 10 easy steps.
Internships in London 2014 – our guide to staying ahead
1. What’s your objective?
First up, let’s figure out exactly what you want from your first move. And take note of the words here – FIRST move, not Entire Life Plan Forever.
Basically, it’s really easy to feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of choice open to you when it comes to your career. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE? Your brain (and parents) seem to scream. You don’t need to know that. You may never actually know that. If you do, fantastic, you’re ahead of most of us.
Rather than trying to imagine what your life is going to be like in ten, twenty, fifty years time (I mean, sure, you’ve got a yacht, but the rest of it can be blurry), focus on what you’re enjoying right now. What sounds interesting to you? What sorts of businesses make your ears prick up? What articles do you find yourself reading, what types of skills seem exciting to you, what seems like a natural first step?
Don’t worry about the other stuff. The other stuff can damn well wait.
2. Why do you think this is for you?
So, you’ve glanced upon an interest. Maybe it’s an interest in a business sector, maybe its a certain skill you’d like to develop more time to, maybe it’s a way of working, maybe its a particular company you think is just brilliant.
Next step is to work out WHAT you like about it. Pin-point what this particular thing inspired in you, and you’ve got the basis of an initial direction.
For instance, say you love Innocent Smoothies, because their branding is just darn cool (it really is, those clever things). So, breaking this down – is it the visuals you love? The way they use words? Is it how they engage with people, is it the packaging, is it their efforts to stay green?
Figure this out, and it will open up a bigger world of opportunity for you – once you know exactly what makes you passionate, you can start targeting that thing in opportunities that come your way.
3. Research some London-based companies
Now that you’ve got something to hang your next step on – even if it’s just a single filter of industry, or type of work, you can start looking into the sorts of places that might offer what you’re looking for.
London is one of the most innovative, exciting and entrepreneurial cities in the world, with new opportunities being created every day. It’s important that you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of companies growing fast, so filtering by some sort of interest or passion is key. We recommend taking a look at sites like Built In London, TechCrunch or Startups.co.uk to take a look at the sorts of companies all looking to be the next big thing. The more specific you can be with what you’re looking for, the better, at this stage.
4. Figure out where you fit
Now that you’ve got a list of the kind of companies you think you might be interested in – really take some time to figure out what makes them tick. Be a little nosy with their staff, with their business objectives, do a bit of LinkedIn stalking – what skills do the decision-makers have? Where have they come from? What do they like in others, and in the people they hire? What do you have that they might want, and what are you lacking?
5. Check out the market
Now that you are clear on the kind of companies you like, the kind of skills you think you can bring to the table and where you might fit in with an innovative young team, it’s time to go to market. This isn’t to say we’re going to ignore the list of companies we made earlier (don’t worry, we’ll come back to that), but it’s important to get a sense of the level of opportunity out there for someone like you. Search out internships in London in 2014, and make a list of the most asked-for skills in the industry and area you are interested in.
6. Fill in the gaps
Hopefully, off the back of taking a look at the jobs and internships on offer in London in 2014, you’ll have been able to figure out exactly where you fit – what skills you have, and what you lack. It’s time to plug the gaps you can. If lots of interesting opportunities are asking for experience with a certain program or platform, take some time to get to know them. The more experience you have the better, and if you can target growing your skill-set to the sort of internships you want to apply for, you’ll be one step ahead of the game
7. Get all your documents in order
Now that you’ve got an idea of the kindof company you want to work for, the sorts of roles out there and how your skill-set can transfer, it’s time to write the hell out of a brilliant CV.
Before you go any further, you need to make sure your CV is looking as good as it possibly can – and bear in mind you will need to move things around a little depending on the kind of company you’re applying to. You know what these companies want, you know what kind of area you want to go into, and you know what skills you have. This should be easy.
8. Get some advice
Before you make the first move into actual applications, get people you know and trust to look over your work to date. Think to yourself – is there anyone you can ask for advice in terms of moving into your preferred area? There’s certainly nothing wrong with a leg up where you can get it, and you’d be surprised how many people will be willing to read over a CV, to chat with your about your passions or to put feelers out as to people who can help you.
9. Apply, apply apply.
Here comes the hard work. First off, go back to that list of London companies you fell in love with a few steps ago. Remember them? Sure you do. Regardless of whether they are offering an internship in 2014, it will be worth sending them an email application explaining your passion for what they do, and asking whether any opportunities are available with them.
Worst comes to worst, you won’t get a response. And then you’re right back where you would be anyway.
Next, it’s time to check the relevant London internships boards for 2014. You should (of course) start with Enternships, but other great ones to check out include Milkround Jobs, Intern Avenue and Rate My Placement. They are all free for students, grads and young job-seekers, and you are guaranteed to find some amazing stuff.
10. Refine and repeat.
From the feedback you get – from the companies you apply to, from friends and family, from mentors, from friendly types in the industry, you can make every application better. Stay interested, keep learning, don’t lose hope. Keep these steps in mind, and you should soon by well on your way to one of many brilliant internships in London in 2014. Good luck!