Five things to consider before applying for internships

We’re a big fan of interns here at Fuller. Bringing young people into our team who are keen to learn and help in any way they can has an enormously positive impact on our culture.

More often than not, today’s digitally-native students also come with a perspective and skill set that can be put to good use across our integrated range of services. With many of our interns being offered a job within 12 months of their placement with us, it is well worth their while to put their best foot forward. But it also comes down to finding an internship that will draw out their strengths.

We asked our most recent intern, Kat Niesler, to provide her top tips on how students can position themselves for internship success. Here’s what she had to say! – Olivia Fuller, Agency Manager

It’s intern season, which means Adelaide’s trains and buses are jam-packed with career hungry, fresh-faced students, dressed head-to-toe in the shiny new outfits they aspirationally ordered on ASOS the day they got their acceptance email.

While getting real-world experience through an internship is a requisite of many University courses, there are many other reasons why students choose to undertake an internship: to gain experience, to get their foot in the door and improve their career opportunities, to refine their skills, or to find a career path.

This year, I was lucky enough to embark on an internship with FULLER. As well as a requisite for my degree, I had hoped to refine my skill set and find out which specific areas of media and marketing that I enjoy most.

My experience has taught me so much about my career path – what I want to pursue and what I’d prefer not to do – but more importantly, I’ve learned a lot about my chosen career and myself.

If you’re looking for the best internship you can get your hands on, here are the top five things you should consider when applying.

1. Build your professional presence online

Creating and enhancing your digital identity can be the first step to building your professional presence online.

The convergence of your social media accounts is essential to building your digital persona. It’s this online persona that gives you the ability to stand out to employers and will allow you to build your own personal brand. It’s textbook social media strategy really – post content that best reflects your true self. The rest will follow.

2. Networking

Though used to death, the old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” speaks the truth. Regardless of my experience – I owe my internship to networking.

Every day, we inadvertently network and build our connections. Whether it’s with the barista we see daily, through in-depth conversations with our Uber driver at 2 am, or when we follow a friend-of-a-friend on Instagram.

Whether you know it or not, this is networking and it’s important to develop if you want to get ahead.

Strengthen your chances of getting an internship by putting yourself out there. This can be by attending networking events, volunteering with extracurriculars at University, setting up a LinkedIn profile, or contacting alumni with interesting-sounding job titles directly.

Building these connections will help you find out about different sectors and hear about new openings.

When utilised in an authentic way, networking can create exciting connections and open up a world of opportunities.

3. University resources. Use them.

You know the Student Services Amenities fee you pay each year at University? It actually goes toward super helpful services that will help you get ahead. Take advantage of the University resources available to you as they can provide assistance with many things, from legal services and career advice to finding an internship that’s perfect for you.

Visit the following South Australian University web pages to find internship opportunities relevant to your course…

  • University of Adelaide
  • Uni SA
  • Flinders University

4. Have a clear idea of what you want from an internship

An internship can be beneficial in many ways. Whether it’s gaining industry experience or enhancing your transferrable soft skills, it’s important to understand exactly what you want to gain from an internship.

It is essential to refine your specific skill set and interests, for the benefit of both yourself and your employer. Broadly saying that you are interested in “marketing” may limit your opportunities. It may seem like you are keeping all your doors open, but in reality, it’s not specific enough for an employer. They need to know exactly which aspect of marketing you’re interested in: copywriting, public relations, digital marketing, social media marketing, and your specific skill set relating to these areas.

Try not to concentrate on getting a job from your internship – this may happen, but you’ll get so much more out of it if you just focus on learning.

5. One word – Millennial!

In tune employers and business people understand that millennials are the future of every industry. If you use your relevant perspective as a millennial you can provide real value to an employer through your unique point of view.

There are many misconceptions about millennials in the marketplace, the unfair reputation of being lazy and unreliable, but this is not the case. In truth, we are career hungry, we have mastered the art of cultivating relationships, specifically online, and we know technology like the back of our hands.

Use this drive and resilience to fuel your internship hunt and reject the stigma.

It’s true, getting an internship has a lot to do with chance: being at the right place at the right time, but being prepared helps. Have faith in your ability and put yourself out there, you have nothing to lose.

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