<a href="https://capital-placement.com/author/vinay/" target="_self">Vinay</a>

Vinay

Co-founder and CEO of Capital Placement, a London based global internship programme provider, making international internships easier and more accessible for university students and recent graduates.

The summer is here and you have just realised you don’t have much planned. Don’t worry, you are not in the minority! This is a short blog to show some of the things that you can do to not only make your summer productive, but also earn some money and make your CV look amazing before you are back in university, so here we go-

Sign up to a MOOC

Massive Online Open Course or MOOC as they are known, is a great way to utilise your summer if you have failed to get an internship this summer. Most of these courses are free and include a certificate at the end (you can add this qualification to your CV). There are thousands of MOOCs available ranging from corporate law to Japanese warfare, from some of the best universities like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, etc. You can choose to deepen your knowledge of modules you are currently studying as part of your degree by doing masters level modules or you can do a course on something that has always fascinated you but never had the chance to learn more about like Introduction to Football Analytics, the choice is yours. The best thing about MOOCs is, all you need is a computer and an internet connection, you don’t even have to buy books or course materials!

You can find more about MOOCs on:

or if you have an Apple device- iTunes U.

Freelance

Freelancing over the summer is a great way to utilise the skills you have developed over the years and the knowledge you have gained in university. Many individuals and business look for freelancers everyday for odd jobs ranging from testing websites to social media management (yes, you can get paid to be on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!) They often pay per hour or per project and it is a great way to develop a portfolio if you are in the creative industry.

You can gain an insight into freelancing on:

or if you are interested in writing- www.dotwriter.com or get in touch with us to write guest blogs on here.

Work in retail or hospitality

There are thousands of casual jobs available in the service sector during the summer. Get in touch with a local recruitment company and they will be able to help you find various retail and hospitality jobs. At this point you might be thinking how this is going to help your career? It certainly can, almost all jobs will help your career, and it all comes down to how you describe the role and what you have gained from the experience on your CV. What you need to highlight is the transferable skills you have developed from the role.

Attend events and network

The importance of networking is not emphasised enough by universities. With the amount of spare time you have, the summer holidays are probably the best time to invest in networking and start developing contacts in the industry you want to go into. It is also important to start making contacts at firms you wish to apply to as they can make recommendations and give you insights into things you may not otherwise get. Networking is not all done in person, create a LinkedIn account and start networking virtually to extend your network outside your geographical reach.

Don’t know where to start? Try

and events section on the firms you want to apply to.

Travel and learn a new language

We are not talking about travelling to Ibiza and raving for a week! Try finding casual work in a country where you always wanted to visit and whilst there, you can learn the local language. Why travel and learn a new language? Not only is travelling super fun, you will meet some amazing people and see what life outside your home country is like. Is that not enough of a reason? How about the fact that it will look amazing on your CV and it gives you something interesting to talk about in the interviews you will have in the future. Also, knowing additional languages will give you some serious brownie points and will open a whole set of doors that wouldn’t otherwise be open to you.

You can find out more about travelling and working abroad here-

There are various other platforms which you can find by doing a simple Google search, where you can find country specific roles.

Get a head start on next semester’s modules

Yes, we know, this is not the most fun way to spend your summer holidays! If you are aiming for a first or a high 2:1 but did not manage to get it for any reason, it is crucial that you start preparing for the next few semester well in advance because you will need to get high firsts to make up your average. Get in touch with your personal tutors to get more information about this. Also, contact the module leaders of the modules you are thinking about taking next year and ask them what you can do to get a head start.

If none of the above appeals to you, why don’t you let us give you a

call and we can tell you a bit more about our international internship programmes? It combines a lot of the above and the best thing, we will arrange everything for you.

It’s not a stretch to say internships have become indispensable. The competition for jobs has never been stiffer. When making hiring decisions, Capital Placement notes, employers will lean heavily towards students who have at least some internship experience under their belts. 

So, what does an intern do exactly?

Contrary to popular belief, completing an internship isn’t easy. If you think internships are about fetching coffee for everyone and generally riding on the team’s coattails, toss your expectations out the window. Modern intern roles – even the support kind – are as taxing and responsibility-ridden as full-time jobs!

It’s important you enter your internship with the right mindset. If you don’t know what to expect from your internship role, you’ll be better prepared and know what you need to do to succeed. Also, carrying out your intern responsibilities successfully will assist you in building up a potent skillset. 

What is an intern? 

An intern is a trainee who has signed on with an organization for a brief period. An intern’s goal is to gain work experience, occasionally some university credit, and always an overall feel for the industry they’re interning in. 

Internships may be paid, partially paid, or unpaid. The engagement period may range from a handful of weeks up to 2 years. With longer-term internships, you’ll almost always be compensated in some way. The compensation may include a monthly wage, accommodation, travel expenses, and a food allowance. 

Many companies require you to complete an internship with them before they even consider you for a full-time role.     

What does an intern do?

So what does an intern do exactly? That depends on the industry in question and the kind of internship you’ve signed up for. Research internships come with a different set of roles and responsibilities than, say, an internship geared toward easing you into a full-time role. 

An intern is primarily a support role – at least in the beginning. When you join up, your main job will be to assist, learn, and grow. After you’ve settled in, you’ll be expected to pull your own weight. 

Here’s a general overview of the work you can expect to do as an intern:     

1. Assist in day-to-day tasks

As an intern, don’t expect to spearhead a critical project anytime soon. But that’s by no means a bad thing. You’ll be groomed to spearhead projects in the future. Your boss will give you general errands to educate you on to the ins-and-outs of the organisation, to gauge your general skill set, and also to bring your skills up to par.

Here are some day-to-day intern roles and their responsibilities:   

  • Performing clerical duties: It’s almost a guarantee you’ll be taking memos, maintaining files, organising, sorting, creating PowerPoint presentations, drafting reports, and the like.
  • Managing social media and emails: You may be asked to handle the company’s social media accounts, write emails to customers, talk to clients on the phone, and similar duties. 
  • Event handling: Interns are often asked to oversee the scheduling of appointments, organising conference rooms, and taking care of the food and drink.   
  • Research: Interns fresh from a university education have a great deal of up-to-date knowledge. Your organisation may put this knowledge to good use by placing you in a research role. You may be asked to assist in streamlining an organisation’s work process in some way.

2. Learn and gain experience 

You’ll be expected to learn as much as you possibly can while you work, regardless of the kind of internship you’ve signed up for. What kind of learning will you be doing? It can be broken down into two main areas:  

  • Picking up hard skills: Hard skills are the technical skills you need to carry out your intern responsibilities, and eventually job duties, successfully. Examples include learning how to operate a computer program, drafting a company report, handling the company inventory, and maintaining the company database.    
  • Brushing up on your soft skills: Soft skills are as important as hard skills. Soft skills are all about your ability to relate to people and building mutually-beneficial relationships. Examples are talking, listening, conflict handling, time management, and development of empathy. You need soft skills to manage clients, not to mention get along with your bosses and colleagues.   

3. Job shadow

Job shadowing has become the norm recently. As the name suggests, the practice involves “shadowing” someone as they perform their daily duties, observing their activities, and learning what the role entails via indirect experience. This is an especially popular practice in hands-on fields like engineering and healthcare.  

How does this work exactly? When you join the organisation, you may be assigned a mentor. The first few weeks, you may be tasked with following them around. They’ll show you the ropes while they work. You may be asked to assist with light tasks here and there. You’ll be encouraged to ask questions. Eventually, you’ll be trained to take over the position and of intern roles.  

4. Take on an increasing amount of responsibility 

As time goes by, expect to shoulder an increasing amount of responsibility. Initially, they’ll gauge your current skill set and reliability with “grunt” work. As you prove yourself to your colleagues and bosses, you’ll be entrusted with more crucial tasks. The better you perform, the more the responsibilities you’ll be given. 

When you join as an intern, it’s always smart to give it your all. The work may feel uninspiring initially. That’s understandable. But if you can demonstrate enthusiasm and perform without complaining, you’ll slowly but surely work your way to the good stuff. 

Interns who really impress their bosses can expect glowing recommendations, if not an offer for full-time work.   

5. Network 

While networking isn’t an official requirement as such, it might as well be. Networking involves building relationships with your bosses, colleagues, and customers and clients. You’ll need the backing and support of people in places to build a successful career. Also, building good relationships with customers is always good for the organisation.

Here are some examples of the kind of networking interns do: 

  • Finding a mentor: Mentors act as anchor roles for interns. If you find a good one, you can follow in their footsteps and build a successful career just like your mentor. 
  • Forming a peer support group: Interning is hard. Finding a peer support group who is going through all the ups and downs with you will make it much more enjoyable for everyone involved. 
  • Getting in with bosses and coworkers: Interns who can build strong individual bonds with their coworkers and bosses become a part of the “family”. You’re much more likely to be offered a full-time role at the company down the road. 

6. Make a career call 

Finally, usually at the tail-end of your internship, you have to make a career-defining decision: continue in the field you interned in or try your hand at something else entirely. 

You got a taste of what working in your industry full-time would be like. Did you love the experience and can’t wait to dive back in again? Or do you feel you’d be happier doing something else?

Final Thoughts

Internships are usually short-term. They’re smaller investments in time and energy than full-time jobs. Consequently, they’re perfect opportunities to explore your options. You deserve work that’s fulfilling. If necessary, you can sign up for a different but related internship role elsewhere to see if you’re happier there. 

Your internship is going to shape the course of your career. It’ll assist you in acquiring the skills you need to perform up-to-par when you’re hired full-time. It’s essential you use your internship as the training opportunity it represents. 

You’re sure to have a bright future if you work hard, build positive relationships, and remain grateful for the internship opportunity. Capital Placement can assist you in securing a life-changing internship opportunity abroad, in line with your talents, skill-set, and career goals. Reach out to us now!   

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Vinay

Vinay

Co-founder and CEO of Capital Placement, a London based global internship programme provider, making international internships easier and more accessible for university students and recent graduates.

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