Summer internships are increasingly popular. They are a great way to get experience working in an industry and make some valuable contacts. If you are studying in an English-speaking country, it’s a great way to practise your business English, too. It can be tough to get an internship, though. If you’re finding it hard, follow these six steps to get the English internship of your dreams.
1. Decide what to focus on
With so many opportunities out there, it’s important to focus. Think about what industry you are most interested in working in and be realistic about what kind of internship you are able to get. Internships for very general positions are likely to get lots of applications and you might end up just doing administrative work. Focus on more specific types of internship to improve your chances of being accepted and to get the most out of your experience.
2. Do your research
Now you’ve decided what kind of internship you want, it’s time to do some research on what’s available. Look at the companies that specialise in this area and focus on the smaller, more specific ones. Putting extra time in to research opportunities other people don’t spot improves your chances of success.
3. Make the most of connections
If you know someone who works at the company, great. Ask them what they usually look for in an intern. If you don’t, find out who did the internships the previous year, ask them about the experience and what they did in their application that particularly impressed the company.
4. Prepare your CV and covering letter
Now you’ve done your research and have an idea of what kind of applicant the company is looking for, it’s time to write your CV. Even if you already have a CV, you should adapt it to make it suitable for the internship for which you are applying. Highlight the areas that meet the needs of the company and spend less time on the areas that aren’t relevant.
Once your CV is ready, write a covering letter stating exactly why you are the best candidate for this internship and how giving the chance to you will benefit the company. Use this as a chance to show off your language skills by writing succinctly but persuasively. Remember to check your letter several times for mistakes before you send it.
5. Follow up but don’t be a pest
When you have sent your application, it’s fine to make a quick phone call and check whether it has been received. Don’t call more than once, though – the idea behind this is just to make sure everything meets the requirements, not to persuade them to give you the internship.
6. Practise for interviews
Don’t wait for a response to start practising for interviews. If you have applied for internships in one of the ways suggested above, much of the language you will need in the interview will be similar. Practise answering general questions on the industry and start reading industry journals to make sure you are up to date on the latest news. That way you will be able to get ahead with your preparation when if you get an interview.
Now you know how to apply for an English internship, what’s stopping you? Get started by deciding what kind of English internship you want to do this summer and, if you’re not feeling confident yet, take some English lessons to help you get ready.