Need some help climbing the ladder into your chosen field that will also utilise your holiday time? Internships are the key to success.

With school seniors throwing caution and school books to the wind and uni students beginning to dream about the sweet taste of holiday freedom it’s easier to see why the hazy days of summer are on every bodies minds. But unfortunately for these students every minute they spend plotting their holiday plans is also another minute they spend worrying about their future. You see, with job figures on the decline and the career race becoming increasingly competitive the unfortunate truth is that holidays no longer mean free time. For those who want to climb the career ladder, holidays now mean working towards a goal and that means internships.

The good news is that internships and work experience pave the way to dream jobs, and there can be a sweet reward at the end of that long, hard and often unpaid road. History is littered with success stories of people who started their journeys in the trenches. Steven Spielberg snuck into Universal Studios to do unauthorized work experience and Oprah started out as an intern in a Nashville TV station. The topic of internships has become a hot one, with a report from Fair Work Australia entitled Experience or Exploitation? The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia released this year bringing the topic into the spotlight. The report showed that while there are some areas to be wary of when it comes to the world of internships they are beneficial when taken on in a formal study capacity and as many people know they are often the only way to get a foot in the door.

Your first step towards planning your dream career is to break down your goals and expectations and make a plan.

How to get an internship

  • Hone in on the industry you want to work in and which companies would be best suited to your needs.
  • Start the application process, polish up your resume and get in out there.
  • Make sure you’re targeting the right people, do your research and make sure the right people see your application.
  • Be persistent, many people in the workforce receive an overwhelming number of emails each day.  Send out your application and if you don’t hear anything back in two weeks follow up with a polite phone call or email.
  • Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and think outside the box. If your first choice can’t offer you a placement seek an alternative. Look towards smaller companies to enhance your skills or look sideways to a similar field to build up your resume.
  • Put your hand up for extra work when possible, it’s all about gaining experience.

Let us know your work experience or internship stories – both the good and the ugly!