When you are a student, how to you get a paid internship in the summer (in your field)?
It’s all a matter of starting the process at least three months before the summer. “Companies are usually planning for summer in January,” explains Audrey Moreau-Rousseau, a school and professional information consultant at UQAM.
For the sake of effectiveness, the aim is to target your expectations, the potential companies as well as the tasks related to your skills. “An internship is there to validate the student’s needs and to help him project himself into his future career,” the consultant points out.
A real introduction to his future working life, an internship can also lead to an early career start. About one in five Bachelor’s degree graduates find a job through their internship, according to a 2017 survey from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education on the job situation of graduates.
Activating your network
“You must not hesitate to talk about it to those around you,” recalls Audrey Moreau-Rousseau. Relationships are indeed a crucial factor in searching for an internship, and even for a job. For this, social media is changing the reality of a paid internship and job search.
LinkedIn has become essential, even though certain fields are less suited to it, such as teaching. “For example, due to the many retirements, the City of Montreal has announced that it is investing in recruitment on LinkedIn,” explains the consultant. She recommends completing your profile and following employers and groups that interest them.
A perfect application
When submitting your application, talking about the company from the first paragraph remains crucial. “The employer needs to know if the person has been informed,” says Audrey Moreau-Rousseau. “This is an element that is often forgotten in applications.”
For her, a presentation letter that is mistake-free, clear and concise is mandatory. It demonstrates the applicant’s writing skills, their range of knowledge, their motivation and interests.
The consultant also invites all students to set out their experience such as volunteer activities, academic work that they are proud of or experience abroad. “All experience is good, you just have to know how to showcase it,” she claims.
“It is advisable to be supported by your university or by other organizations,” Audrey Moreau-Rousseau indicates. In the event of confusion or lack of self-confidence, professionals will be able to dissect all the student’s skills in order to maximize his chances of getting a paid internship.
Finally, filling out a log of the steps taken is a powerful tool for organization that can avoid confusion and discomfort. “It has happened to everyone that they were contacted again for an interview and were unsure about which company it was,” notes Audrey Moreau-Rousseau.