Hey there genYOUers!
My name is Irina, and currently I’m Bright’s events assistant. I’m completing a dual degree of Business and Media and Communications. My goal? Ideally, to have everything together while owning my own PR company. But hey, we all know life goes in the craziest directions, so who the hell knows where I’ll end up career wise.
I’ve realised one thing while completing my second year of university; it can be difficult, and honestly, I take my hat off to anyone completing a degree.
Managing your studies and maintaining a job (which many uni students do) is a job in itself, let alone trying to find an internship in your field of choice. And if you don’t think you’ll struggle at any point, then honey, you’ve got a big storm coming. On top of all of this we want to gain as many skills as we possibly can before venturing into the “real world” (*insert gasp here*), and internships can be just as challenging to find.
Luckily, as someone who has been surrounded with individuals who have been in this position, and as I’m currently going through it myself, I’ve put together some advice which will help you walk into the “real world” with charisma and swag:
1 // Get out, have some fun.
Now you’re probably thinking, “this girl is supposed to inform me of good career wisdom, and she tells me THIS!?”
If you’re wondering, the reason I’m saying this is because meeting new people (especially those in your field) is pivotal. Whether you meet people at a networking event (definitely recommend going to those, despite how daunting they may be) or by making new friends at the next uni ball, you would be surprised by the people you meet who have connections which could benefit you.
Talking to industry professionals as well as lecturers and tutors who are in your field can be extremely useful in finding internships. By maintaining contact with these individuals, there’s a good chance they know someone in the industry who need students for internship roles… and this is where YOU come in.
2 // Get noticed, brand yourself.
I know this sounds cliché coming from a business and communications student but using your online and live brand is essential. Using profile accounts such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook are critical in lifting your professional career. It helps you connect with industry professionals and allows you to build a profile of yourself, where you can choose how you want people to perceive you.
Volunteering for industry-associated events will help you stand out when employers look at your resume. As goody-two-shoes as it sounds, making an effort to participate will not only give you the chance to make a good first impression, it gives you the opportunity for hands-on experiences which will help you develop the skills you need for your start in the industry.
3 // Apply EVERYWHERE.
Competition in every field nowadays is fierce, which is why you need to be on the ball when finding and applying for internships. Regardless of where the job may be, if it is in your field I HIGHLY encourage you to apply. Even if it’s not exactly what you wanted, any opportunity can lead you to your desired destination. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my (short) career thus far, it is that regardless of what internship or job you apply for they without a doubt will teach you lessons which will be extremely important in your future career.
Anyone who has studied and looked for an internship will tell you that it’s not easy. There are heaps of competitors out there. At the end of the day, it will be your determination and persistence which will make you a stand out to your competitors. Meet new people, ask a lot of questions, make a name for yourself, get out there and be the hustler that you are!