Article by Miruna Tit, 3rd-year student
Searching for an internship can be quite stressful: having to focus on your courses and assignments, but at the same time creating your CV, writing motivational letters, applying to different positions, and having interviews and follow-ups. All within a deadline, finding what you would like to do, but also receiving disappointing rejections. It can affect the motivation of the students, but that is why it is important to set a goal for yourself and to know that you want to get out on an internship.
The perfect internship doesn’t exist, but discovering the perfect place for yourself and your career goals sounds like an easier-to-achieve goal. Continue to read below some of the factors or questions you may want to think about when searching for your internship.
What are your best skills?
Knowing what you are good at can really help to get the internship you want. Not only do you know your best skills, but you can also highlight them in your CV, application or during the interviews with the recruiter. If you had any subjects or projects you were really proud of during your Creative Business years, now it’s time to show them off. A highlight can be put on soft skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, public speaking, professional writing, teamwork, digital literacy, leadership, professional attitude or multicultural communication. These are all skills developed through the different courses in the Year 1 and Year 2 of studies.
What are the skills you want to develop?
It’s no problem if you are not yet too sure about what you are good at. While doing the internship, it’s a great opportunity and environment to try out different tasks and discover what you like. Probably that is the greatest learning of internships. If you have a clear idea of what skills you would like to develop during the internship, it makes the search easier and more accurate. If you felt like something is missing from the knowledge you would like to get out of your studies, now it’s time to try and acquire it. In my case, it was sales and business development. I had never had a sales course or experience in the B2B sector, and that is one of the reasons why I choose to try something new and expand my knowledge. Most of the time companies are happy to teach you new domains if you show your interest and are motivated to learn. In the end, you never know if you are just about to discover your dream job.
Company structure and culture
Another important factor to take into consideration is the company structure and its organizational culture. Are you looking to work for an exciting innovating start-up or do you want to work for a big international company that has worldwide recognition? Both are possible, our students being able to choose from both worlds. So it’s up to you what you prefer, but the experience will look very different. Usually, in a start-up the tasks the intern does are bigger, there is more responsibility and space to discuss the interests of the student and do small changes in the everyday tasks or projects. The start-ups have less hierarchy, fewer employees and the atmosphere is relaxed while ideas could be implemented faster. So if you choose to work for a start-up there is a high chance you will actually see the projects you worked on implemented. When it comes to bigger traditional companies, especially multinational corporations, the role of the intern looks a bit different. It’s always the case that you apply for a given well-predetermined position and tasks with less space to discuss what you like to do. The company culture is also something to look for, it can be usually seen when researching about the company, but it’s always a good idea to ask about how’s it like working there during the interview, as it should be an opportunity for yourself to see if the company is for yourself. Nevertheless, if you choose to do your internship in The Netherlands something that you could expect are Friday after-work drinks where all colleagues gather and socialise.
Does it line up with your career goals?
If you already know in which direction to choose for your career, it’s great if you could choose an internship that will help you. In any case, any work experience it’s good, but maybe if you let’s say have decided to do event management, it could not be the best idea to do an internship focused on digital marketing. Companies value students who are motivated and have their career goals in mind already when choosing the internship.
The experiences you will have during the internship
In the end, the internship will be about the overall experiences: daily tasks, bigger projects, company culture and structure, colleagues, environment or location. These are all up to you to decide and there is an internship out there for every student and interest. And in case your dream internship is still not out there, maybe that is a good sign to send an open application to your favourite company. Even better, you can create the opportunity yourself and find your own start-up, as the Creative Business programme allows you to do that during the third year.
So all these great opportunities, what do you say, did it get you excited for your third year and internship experience already?