Are you in the same position that our Agency Life students Amy, Imogen and Diana are in? Do you not know whether to apply for an internship or not? Amy's blog focuses on why you should apply for placement years/internships.
Undergraduate Sandwich Courses
When you're choosing which marketing degree to study, a four year sandwich course may seem like a long time but being in the final weeks of my second year, I can remember the day I first started Uni and how quick it has gone. I had my heart set on an internship from the beginning as I believed that it's the best was to enhance your CV and build on your degree, especially if you aren't very academic like myself.
It has been suggested that the downfall to these internships is that you will usually be doing the duties that you would be doing when you graduate, but for a less of a wage. However the experience gained could easily give you a step on the ladder and take you that one step further to achieving a better job after graduation, which will end up benefitting you more in the future.
Whether it's one day a week, a couple of weeks or a month of experience, it is valuable experience under your belt. A report from Forbes.com stated that 'experience outweighs educational pedigree for internship candidates' therefore with any sort of experience you are a step ahead of students with no experience. This is something I've experienced first-hand whilst attending highly competitive work placement assessment days. My undergraduate, marking industry work experience was of strong interest to my interviewees and something I would definitely attribute my success in securing a 1 year placement with one of the world's biggest brands.
Although attending a regular internship could be time spent revising for exams or assignments for your degree, real life work experience is the opportunity to apply what you've learnt and put the theory into practice.
Employers are looking for candidates who will fit in the quickest, with experience under your belt you require less training and are assumed to be more reliable and able to take on greater responsibilities. The skills and experience internships give you are transferable and generally fit any job such as communication/interpersonal skills, computer proficiency and team work which are huge parts of how to make a company/agency work successfully.
When walking into an interview you can feel more relaxed and confident as you will have gained experience and have greater knowledge in the areas you may be asked on, making you ahead of the rest, also making your interview go smoothly and successfully making you feel calm and be able to come across the best you can.
For example I recently achieved my dream internship job role at Walt Disney in London, without the help of my Agency Life year I believe I wouldn't of had a look in without it, the experience I have gained put me miles ahead of the rest as many students going for the role didn't have the experience or the confidence when it came to completing tasks and interviewing.
Money Money Money
Many internships now offer payment for your hard work whether it's a glowing reference or a wage, all of these are beneficial and will help you in the future. By having a paid internship you can ditch that boring part time job and spend the time working in the sector you love and wish to have a future in - a win, win situation if you ask me.
It's all about who you know. As a student intern, you are surrounded by professionals in the industry that you are seeking access to. It's more than just about getting a grade, earning credit, or making money. This is an opportunity to learn from everyone around you, ask questions, and impress them with your eagerness. These people can be your future colleagues or can be the connection to your first job.
I believe work experience is crucial and my experience at The Candidate for Agency Life has defiantly helped me bag my dream year internship, so if you are reading my blog thinking what to do next... Take a look at a site I found useful RateMyPlacement which gives you advice when applying for placements as well as great opportunities with job reviews written by the interns doing the job. I would definatly advise anyone to make sure they have gained as much experience possible and more importantly if you are an MMU student to take the Agency Life route and apply at The Candidate as the expert team can teach you great transferable skills that could be the make or break point to bag your dream career.