Like I promised before, it’s time for some tips and my own experiences on how to get an internship. This is essential to everyone.
Don’t think just because you are an A-level student, you don’t have to think about internship, because you should too. There are several firms offering school-leavers opportunities to try out some new jobs before the start of university. So look out for those. The experiences you gain through this would definitely look good on your CV and would help you greatly in finding an internship/work placement later at university. During my A-level, I always went back home for the whole summer. For the first summer home, I spent 2 weeks to shadow in a mobile banking department of a bank in Vietnam. This doesn’t sound like much but it makes a great impression on my CV. When I’m planning to apply for a finance course and to work in the financial industry, experience in the industry is the basic thing employers look for. And while waiting for my A-level results during the 2nd summer, I worked part-time at a hospital as a receptionist. It might not relate to economics or finance field, but it does show my involvement, my development in skills. So like I said before, just do something. Even voluntary works would be great, because it shows that you are an enthusiastic student who has a wide range of skills and are not afraid to try new things.
For your first year at university, the work load might not be significant because most of the first year grades are not counted towards your final credit. So don’t just have fun only. This is a chance for you to do researches into what career opportunities are available. Most companies nowadays offer first-year internship/ insight days or academic days… I attended one of those with PwC. This is your first step to get a full-time summer internship later on. All students attend PwC Academy Days are fast-tracked for an internship.
The process of getting into those insight days includes online application, online tests and interview. Most people get through the online application stage, unless your CV is really empty and you have done nothing to prove that you are interested in the company/ the job field. The online testing stage is where most people get rejected. There are various tests that companies can choose from, but there are two that always appear: numerical reasoning and logical reasoning. Numerical reasoning is to test your mathematical ability with charts and graphs interpretation. You normally have a time limit of 20 minutes for about 20 questions. The second test is like a quick IQ test, where you find what shape is missing from the picture… and you only have 30-40 seconds per question. Besides those two tests there’s often the third one. PwC tests your psychological reasoning skill whereas Deloitte asks you to do an e-tray test. I’m not going into details on how these tests are like. You can find more details on here
Lastly, it’s the interview stage. You should be asked questions about the job, the role and the company. That’s the basic questions. You should also expect questions about the current issues that might affect the company, the industry you are applying to. My suggestion: Read BBC news. Another type of questions you should also prepare for is about your experiences. Something along the line of “Could you tell me a time where you have demonstrated your leadership skill?” My advice for this type of question is to look on the company’s website, find out what they are looking for in the candidates and prepare a situation to demonstrate each of these skills.
I’m currently on my first week of the internship. It has been … stressful but very rewarding at the same time. I will definitely post a blog about my experience during these 6 weeks later on. And I just found out that only 350 students actually get an internship out of 8000 applicants for PwC so… I guess if you really want it, you have to work hard for it.
So there you go, all my tips on how to get an internship. If you have anything to add to this, please feel free to comment below.
Good luck to you all!