3 ways to get work experience
Internships are engulfed in mystery. They come in a variety of
forms and each one is usually totally different to the next one.
Graduates and students that get themselves on internship programmes
are set miles apart from the competition in terms of experience,
passion for the industry and commitment to learning more about the
sector. Internships are one of the best ways to show you are
serious about pursuing a career in a field and even better way of
providing experience alongside that. The question remains though:
is this one right for me?
There are a few questions that you need to ask when you see
Is it a programme? There is a difference between an
internship programme and an internship opportunity. Some companies
run internships as casual affairs and do not provide any structure.
While others are regimented, well oiled machines providing all the
Is it paid? Unpaid internships are illegal, however the laws
surrounding unpaid internships is murky and applicants need to
watch out that they are not being exploited.
How long does it last? When applying, you should look out
for how long the company want to take you on for. This could range
from a couple of weeks to several months over a summer
Finding out the answers to these questions will obviously vary
the amount you will get out of the internship, but no experience is
bad experience. You can learn and move on, or alter your career
2. Hound people
Have an idea of what you want to do for a career? Well take
steps towards it. Get out there talking to the people who can give
you the opportunities in those areas. Whether it be PR managers,
Magazine Editors or Media Strategists, find their email addresses
and find out if they've got any opportunities for work shadowing or
if you can spend time in their office to learn a few things. This
has worked for me in the past and I've managed to secure myself on
internships and work experience which has led onto other internship
and work experience opportunities.
Tips for grabbing their attention:
1. Keep the email snappy - These people are usually busy
people so don't waste their time.
2. Give them a "call to action" - Give them something to do
at the end, whether you ask them some questions or propose
something to them beyond "Have you got any work experience going?"
3. Offer them a beer - This one worked for me and allowed me
to meet an top editor at a national newspaper and learn loads from
them in a short space of time.
If no one is giving you the opportunities - Do it yourself.
While this one is sector specific and might not relate to
everyone's ambitions for a career, think whether you need an
established company to show you the ropes. Most of the time
students and graduates already have the skills to perform their
particular role but just need the opportunity, but if there are
certain fields you want to go in, there's plenty you can do off
your own back, without having to battle for the golden internship
or work experience ticket. Blogging is often an overlooked means to
show employers what you can do and show off your potential.
Wanna work in Finance? Set up a blog looking at Financial
markets and giving your opinion on the movers and shakers in the
field, with your own tips and advice that you would provide.
Wanna work in Advertising? Review the latest adverts with
your critique of where they can be improved or what you might have
done differently. Alternatively, create your own proposals for
products you like or products that you feel are being let down by
their current campaigns.
Wanna work in Journalism? Write, write and write. This is
the advice I have been given from all the professional journalists
I've met and a blog is an excellent, easily accessible way to show
your flair and turn of phrase.
Did you get your work experience or internship in an usual
way? Let us know and Tweet us
There are a few questions that you need to ask when you see one advertised:
Tips for grabbing their attention:1. Keep the email snappy - These people are usually busy people so don't waste their time.
3. Offer them a beer - This one worked for me and allowed me to meet an top editor at a national newspaper and learn loads from them in a short space of time.