It can often seem like such a relentless process, you need experience so you look for experience but you can’t get experience because you have no experience. That’s enough to make me want to shut down my laptop, binge on Netflix and give up. The key to finding your dream internship is persistence, if it’s your dream then it’s most likely a lot of other peoples too, competition can be hard but it’s not impossible. I somehow managed to land myself a placement with Grazia magazine earlier this year without having a degree or any previous magazine experience, if I can do it so can you!
Learn from your mistakes
After all the endless amounts of cover letters I’ve written over the past few months I feel I finally have a good grasp on what would be deemed as good and what would otherwise probably get thrown straight into the bin (I have written my fair share of those). I also learnt that writing generic cover letters is never a good idea, you need to tailor your applications and show the company that you really do want to work for them and no one else – even if you have just sent off to another 50 employers! This means talking about the company’s previous work and why it appealed to you, research is key and it really does pay off.
Interning for start-up companies can often be dismissed or not even thought about, it’s natural to gravitate towards all the well known big companies that look super snazzy on your CV but in reality, a start-up often has a much smaller team and can offer a one on one experience so you can really learn more about the sector in which you want to work in. Remember it’s always best to work your way up the career ladder.
Stand out from the crowd
If a career in media or journalism or even PR is what you’re interested in, then start your own blog and get your name out there. It’s not easy and perhaps no one will even read it but if it’s out there it shows that you are willing to work hard and can really add something to an application. Be big on social media, have a Twitter account, follow companies and brands who regularly search for interns. Unless you know someone who works in the industry then more often than not you have to go out there and search for your own opportunities.
Working for free is sometimes necessary
More often than not internships are not paid, this can make things difficult because we do all have to live and eat and travelling each day to a placement isn’t always cheap! It’s not impossible, though, I ensure that I have money from my part time job going into my savings every couple of weeks, it’s not a lot but it adds up and reassures me that if an opportunity does come up last minute and is unpaid I won’t have to turn it down due to money problems.
Go and find your own opportunities
It’s easy to just search through job sites every day until something happens to be advertised that you are interested in but I have always found it’s much more effective to approach companies and just offer your services for free, they may not even realise they need you until they receive that amazing email and they realise how wonderful you sound!
Take a step back
If endless searching and applying doesn’t get you anywhere then it’s easy to feel a little bit overwhelmed and suffocated. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve got myself all worked up and stressed because nowhere seemed to want me. By taking a bit of time out and refocusing on something else for a while you will be more motivated and focused for when you decide to start applying again.
So please don’t give up, go out there and be fabulous, you will get your time to shine!