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1 Internships, vacation work and work experience Dave Carter UCL Careers Service.

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1 1 Internships, vacation work and work experience Dave Carter UCL Careers Service

2 2 today we’ll look at….. what is... –an internship –the point of doing one? where… –are they advertised? –else can I try? how… –does the selection process work? –do I make the most of it? what if... –employers I’m interested in don’t offer internships –I don’t get a place?

3 3 what is an internship? structured and often project-based usually paid mainly offered over summer (lasting from 2 weeks to much longer)… –but sometimes available in christmas/ easter vacation usually aimed at penultimate year students… –but also finalists going on to postgraduate study –increasingly open to 1 st years and in some cases Postgrads a key part of an employer’s recruitment strategy

4 4 why are they so popular ? gain valuable (sometimes essential) experience develop transferable skills experience provides good examples to use for CVs, application forms and Interviews route to full-time employment/ make useful contacts earn money

5 5 who offers internships? mainly available in certain sectors, typically large graduate recruiters commercial –finance, (inc. banking, accountancy & tax), –law, management consultancy, marketing –engineering –Graduate management schemes other sectors –public sector: Civil Service fast stream, local Government –Int’l organisations: UN/ World Bank –NGO’s –research – think-tanks/ politics

6 6 Where do i find advertised internships? Prospects/ Target/ Hobsons work experience guides and employer directories/ Real World Events: employer presentations and fairs –UCL internships fair – Tue 20th November 5.30 – 7.45pm (ticket only) – register at –Presentations: UCL events programme –Careers Group Finalist Directory The Careers Group ‘vacation opportunities’ booklet/ UCL alert - careers/ Online & elsewhere – see ‘Internships, vacation work and work experience’ handout

7 7 The Careers group – Vacation opportunities 07/08 all opportunities available online shortly at booklet available from UCL Careers Service early December

8 8 How Does The Selection Process Work? typically employers receive many applications closing dates mainly Nov - Mar (especially finance). Some companies have open closing dates selection process often the same as for graduate training schemes CV/ covering letter/ application form (often online) one or more interviews/ aptitude tests/ assessment centres

9 9 Pre-assessment centre Self Assessment –realistic job preview questionnaire –numerical/ verbal reasoning Q’s complete online application form (20K) online reasoning and competencies testing (10K) test centre e-tray (3K) Assessment centre: (1K) written exercise – policy recommendation group exercise – role play briefing exercise competency-based interview (350 successful candidates) Public sector recruitment process

10 10 How Can I Apply Successfully? research specific employer and internship. target information provided in CV application form: –show you’ve researched the company, –know what they’re looking for –don’t just list skills, give evidence

11 11 What Are Employers Looking for? communication skills teamwork skills enthusiasm, drive & motivation organisational and time management skills good interpersonal skills commercial awareness flexibility and adaptability initiative independence problem-solving skills

12 12 Transforming your evidence Example CV - work experience….. Part-time student union bar worker 2005-present Took orders Pulled pints Made small talk with customers

13 13 Work Experience example University of London union (UoL) bar2003-date Part-time bar worker – (approx 9 hrs/ week term time) The union bar is open to students from the diverse colleges of UoL providing live entertainment, food and drinks to over 5000 customers per week. My responsibilities include: taking orders and payments, co-ordinating with kitchen staff and restocking supplies; liaising with the union events team to ensure live entertainment bookings run smoothly. Skills gained: teamwork: working with up to 8 bar staff under pressure especially during periods when the bar is under-resourced; persuasion: dealing tactfully but firmly with difficult customers especially at closing time; stamina: working on physically demanding shifts of up to 8 hours.

14 14 How to make the most of the experience ? consider what you want to get from the experience. research the company and the industry so that you come across as informed and enthusiastic. be professional (punctuality, dress etc). take the initiative and ask questions. be observant - do you like the working environment? keep an accurate record of what you’ve done (this will help with future applications). write letter of thanks and keep in touch to: –nurture contacts/ learn of any suitable vacancies that arise

15 15 What If Employers I’m Interested In Don’t Offer Internships? internships are only offered by a relatively small proportion of employers. organisations in many sectors might offer work experience, so check websites for details. use the hidden job market – see handout scenarios

16 16 Where will I find vacancies? Sources of vacancies Source: National Office of Statistics

17 17 The hidden job market…speculative applications the approach –send CV and covering letter –to have chance of success need to be well researched & targeted to job type within organisation –try to send to named person in relevant department (contact switchboard). find employers through: –career directories: Prospects/ Hobsons/ GTI target series –business directories (e.g. KOMPASS)/ professional bodies –lists of local employers (libraries, town halls etc..)

18 18 The hidden job market – employer events research in advance, consider questions you want answers to get there early – employers will be at their freshest go it alone – approach staff as an individual rather than on mass. first impressions count – treat interactions as informal interviews remember names/ take business cards – perhaps use to follow-up take copy of your CV but don’t offer unless requested review experiences, make short notes between interactions

19 19 The hidden job market - networking… ‘The art of forming contacts through informal and formal social meetings’ friends and family neighbours university lecturers careers staff employers/ events societies university Alumni (LINX) hobbies YOU!

20 20 Hidden job market – information interviewing Beforehand send letter/email to named contact state want advice about area of work –not asking for job suggest you will contact them by phone in a few days to arrange appointment good to mention where you got contact’s name be flexible and arrange appointment around them On the day what is a typical day like? what are the most / least enjoyable aspects? how did they get the job? (what courses / experience required)? what skills are most relevant? where are these jobs advertised? leave at the very least with names of 3 other named contacts

21 21 What If I don’t get anything? sign on with a recruitment consultancy offering temping work in your chosen area. –See The Careers Group Recruitment Consultancies Booklet and The Recruitment & Employment Federation website at even if you do casual work to earn money you can use it in applications and interview as evidence of relevant transferable skills. consider voluntary work

22 22 What’s coming up… –Internships Fair (ticket only) Tuesday 20th November 2007: 5.30pm-7.45pm –Practice Aptitude Test Wednesday 21 November 2007: 10am-12.15pm –What to expect at an assessment centre (Accenture) Wednesday 21 November 2007: 2.00pm - 4.30pm –Barclays Capital Technology Presentation Wednesday 21st November 2007, 5.30pm –Building Commercial Relationships Skills Workshop (L’Oreal) Thursday 29 November 2007: 5.30pm - 8.00pm

23 23 How Can The Careers Service Help? take-away and reference information on CVs, covering letters, application forms, aptitude tests, interviews and assessment centres. Quick Query - get your CV, covering letter or application form checked or discuss any career concerns. –Monday - Thursday 10 - 12 & 2 - 4.30. –Morning: walk-in service –Afternoon: Pre-Book by calling 0207866 3600 practice aptitude tests and interviews. CV and Interview workshops - details on website.

24 24 UCL Careers Service : 4th floor ULU Building Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY telephone: 0207 866 3600 Email: Opening times (term & vacation): Mon - Thurs 9:30 -17:00 Friday 11:00 - 17:00

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