"Be so good they can't ignore you." -Steve Martin

If you're a university graduate enjoying a gap year before entering the workforce, near the end of secondary school, or receiving academic training via online training, an internship project should be strongly considered by all. Many use an internship as a platform to gain experience in the sector they wish to pursue as a career.

Anyway, looking for the perfect internship, writing a brilliant letter of introduction or application as some call it, making a report of the overall internship, or finding an internship agreement can take a lot of time and energy; helpful tips from experienced ones are a godsend!

Some questions from concerned ones include, How do I find an internship? What are my rights as an intern? Can I travel abroad to complete an internship? The previously posed questions will be answered by the Superprof experts in today's insightful article.

How to Find a Company to Complete Your Internship?

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Before accepting an internship it is essential to analyse the job tasks expected from you; making photocopies all day is not effective training! (Source: pixabay)

The process of finding an internship is a complicated step for students. Whether you want to complete an internship during the summer months while attending university or a graduation internship to gain relevant work experience, finding a reputable company that meets your expectations and that accepts trainees is a real obstacle course in today's world.

And you thought it would be easy! 

To find the ideal internship, several steps are required to be completed. Firstly, it is highly recommended to ask for help from university professors since they may know a friend who knows a friend; you know how it goes, it's all about connections! Also, your teachers are experts in the sector you wish to start a career in; therefore, they know what internship programme would be best to hone your skills.

Secondly, contacting past alumni is a brilliant idea since they are an excellent source of information regarding internships in your desired field. They can give you the names of companies and employers that are likely to recruit trainees looking for work experience. Also, by contacting past students that you made the acquaintance of during your first years of study allows you to discuss training and future work opportunities.

Thirdly, to find an internship in the UK, Europe or other areas abroad, it is beneficial to make constant applications on recommended sites such as Indeed or Linkedin. Some also go through social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter. However, it would be wise to consider revising the e4s (employment four students) website to search for internships by company, location, or sector; we highly recommended them! The site provides recent graduates and students with a wealth of internships, industrial placements, and work experience options from a wide variety of professional sectors in the UK.

It is important to remember that you need to apply well in advance to give internship recruiters time to analyse your application. 

Fourthly, consider the option of making spontaneous applications at companies near your place of residence. The businesses around you may not be looking for any interns but, after considerable thought and a stellar cover letter, they may begin to think of you as indispensable and necessary to their company.

While the four previously mentioned tips are essential to finding the perfect internship, remember to analyse the job tasks that the company expects from you to avoid six months of only making photocopies and fetching coffee for your superiors. Be sure that the standard functions are varied and that you have specific responsibilities that are linked to your degree.

Being trained is the purpose of your internship, not being someone's slave!

Before concluding this section, it is essential to state that word of mouth works wonders. Let people know you are looking for an internship and the position will find you!

Our Best Advice for Writing an Excellent Internship Report!

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Writing a clear, organized, and concise internship report is necessary after completion of the internship. (Source: pixabay)

Once the internship has come to an end, a well-written and concise internship report must be written in some cases to receive school credits. A report must include three key components: the basic outline and information about the company you did your internship for, the summary of the work done, and specific aspects of the placement that were relevant to your field.

The following questions are must be answered on an internship report:

  • Why did you choose this type of internship?
  • How will this internship help you in your professional life?
  • After this internship, how do you imagine your future career?

The previously mentioned questions are favourites among professors and academic advisors since they help the graduate reflect on their place in the programme or company, an explication of skills acquired, and difficulties encountered.

To complete the internship report, several categories of necessary information must be taken into consideration; for example, in addition to a cover page, information pages, and bibliographies, the trainee must organise his internship report to represent the company, its environment, its organisation methods, and other vital information.

An excellent internship report must include a section that is devoted to the descriptions of the missions carried out by the trainee. The tasks entrusted, the daily responsibilities that were carried out, and an honest self-evaluation needs to be completed to identify the functions that were carried out with ease and those that were more difficult.

The report should be well-organised featuring a strong introduction, understandable body paragraphs, and a powerful conclusion that includes words of thanks; these steps are vital since they are often the only parts read. 

To not rush things last minute, it is highly recommended to take notes during the entire internship programme. A log book that is completed after each day helps record essential information needed to write the best final report.

Do not hesitate to include photos and company infographics in your report to show the mission of the business or organisation you completed an internship at; these small visual breaks allow the reader to digest the information slowly without becoming too overwhelmed. 

Finally, do not forget to proofread and correct any grammar mistakes before handing your report in; you want them to think you're professional, not a fourth grader!

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter?

"The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future." -Joyce Lain Kennedy 

The importance of a cover letter cannot be stressed enough. To convince internship recruiters to have an interview with you, your cover letter needs to be well-written, precise, impressive, and irresistible to receive the job. But, how do I write the perfect cover letter?

The motivation or cover letter must have several paragraphs without ever exceeding a single page. It must be concise and clear; recruiters need to be taken seriously, and they do not like an uninspiring cover letter. Each sentence must have an original idea that brings you closer to the internship of your dreams!

Start the cover letter by soliciting a position as an intern at the business in question and then include essential information that proves you deserve the job, such as your academic qualifications and alma mater. Also, it is necessary to mention how long you wish to intern for and the expected payment method; whether you are willing to complete an unpaid internship or you expect compensation.

Including personal information such as stating if you are a young graduate or not is of the utmost importance since it highlights the recruiter your previous experience and energy levels.  

Information in the middle paragraphs should inform the company as to why you have decided to solicit a position at the specific company you have applied. Therefore, it is necessary to explain the work tasks you expect to complete and the experience you hope to gain.

Also, explain your strengths and skills that could prove to be valuable at the host company.

In the concluding paragraphs, let the employer know that you are open to a potential interview and don't forget the courtesy terms when addressing someone that could potentially become your superior.

It is of vital importance to respect the layout and show that you are motivated. Although in many situations you are expected to complete an internship, avoid generic statements such as "I must find an internship..., or, "I need to complete an internship to continue furthering my education..." Instead, make it clear with well-chosen words that this internship is your personal choice and not an obligation.

Remember to proofread your letter before submission to avoid any spelling errors.

How to Create an Internship Agreement?

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By creating an internship agreement both parties are protected. (Source: pixabay)

In the UK, an internship is not a formal contractual agreement that needs to be signed. Nevertheless, to protect the rights of both employers and trainees, many businesses issue an internship agreement to demonstrate to the internees that they are committed to providing a professional placement that meets the expectations of both parties involved.

Internship agreements relieve the stress of employers and internees since they serve as a commitment of trust. 

An internship agreement makes it possible, among other things, to define working hours, the experienced trainers selected to guide the trainee, the place of training, the compensation, the benefits, the social security etc. It must be signed by the company of the recruiter where the internship will take place.

Nevertheless, it is essential to state that getting an internship agreement made is easier said than done. 

In many cases, students ask professionals from their university to help them obtain the documents needed.

After being accepted to attend a compulsory or internship of your choice, it is necessary to ask the company for the internship agreement before starting. An internship agreement should not be too complicated to obtain; however, it may take some weeks to receive the adequately signed internship agreement. Before signing, thoroughly read through the terms and conditions established by the company to see if you are still in negotiation.

It is essential to state that when you are no longer a student, and now a university graduate, finding a company that is willing to accept you as an intern and provide you with an internship agreement becomes more difficult since there is no longer an academic institution backing your qualifications and skills.

For many UK citizens, it is possible to complete an internship abroad. An internship agreement with an overseas company is a brilliant way to extend your wings and get a unique work experience that looks fantastic on resumes for future employers. Before accepting an overseas internship, it is crucial to consider the language and culture of the country, accepting you as an intern, and if you will require a visa.

Some students consider government entities such as agency central to find a recruitment agency that will fit their specific needs; the sky is the limit! Other people choose to go through organisations offering an internship-for-payment agreement. This solution is widely controversial in the workplace and not accepted by the morally conscious; therefore, some companies even refuse to accept trainees going through such structures since it is viewed as unethical.

In conclusion, to correctly recognise an internship agreement and create one, the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) provides employers with a sample internship agreement that should be followed to have a peaceful settlement between both parties; it is essential to make two copies in case any documents are rebutted or lost.

Remember to be careful and not be willing to do just anything for an internship; the time will come when you get a call from a recruiter offering you the placement of your dreams!

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