My summer internship: boosting my cv
By Nicole Correia,
There ain’t no rest for the wicked they say. Well, I must be very, very wicked. With the end of term having finished in early June, and my second year at uni starting in October, I decided to apply for summer internships to help boost my CV. With news that student work experience/internships are three times more likely to land you a graduate job I was spurred on even more to find one.
After a few interviews I successfully bagged myself an internship with The Black Tomato Agency. I was thrilled; it’s a great opportunity and will keep me busy over the next three months. I was also childishly thrilled because it all looked so cool; the office was the nicest I’ve been in to date; the walls are exposed brick work, painted white and the floorboards are homely-yet-chic, and they have kitchen with a good supply of nibbles and teabags.
I’ve been working for them full-time for two weeks now and I am actually really enjoying it! Internships seem a lot more practical than ‘work experience’ positions, so I definitely recommend students giving internships priority, even if it’s for a few months rather than weeks. I am given responsibility and expected to deliver, which is fulfilling on a daily basis. On most work experience placements that I’ve been on, I’ve felt a little unappreciated - or, at least, that my tea-making skills and photocopying abilities were what they really appreciated most about my time with them. Having said all this, it is work experience of either type which will stand you in good stead for your career prospects on graduating.
The hours are 9 to 5:30 which I’m coping well with, despite not being paid. I won’t deny that there are sacrifices made in having an internship - socially, as you can only realistically go out on the weekend, and financially as you can’t even go out every weekend, especially without the trusty student loan coming in.
Student habits die hard. So, due to desperate times, I’ve also been working at Starbucks for one day of the weekend, to try and save a few quid. It’s as if I’m finally pulling my weight after a kushty first year at university (damn it, karma!) but I confidently believe that it’ll all help me to find a job more quickly once I graduate. My colleagues are friendly and when they socialise outside of the office they are always sure to invite me, which is always quite a laugh, and makes me feel very grown up, I must say! Plus, I’m meeting a lot more people, which is not only fun but great also for building up contacts. Just by chatting with the office staff I have already found four other graduates from the University of Reading that work there - which I’m going to consider a good omen, and ever more proof that it’s a small world!