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Another semester in Polytechnic is about to end, but you still have not secured an internship.
At this point of time, I figure you must be panicking, knowing how important internships are.
They provide opportunities for students like you to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations in the workplace.
Additionally, you will also be able to gain practical experience that you would not be able to obtain in a classroom setting.
But you may be wondering, “How do I ensure I secure my internship?” Well, here are some tips to help you along your journey!
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This is where having connections comes in very handy. In this competitive industry, it is an essential skill to have. Knowing a lot of people will aid your scouting of internships, and you can also ask them for help if needed.
Whether it be your teacher, a classmate, or even your family and friends, everyone knows someone.
There are also Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counselors in schools who are there to recommend the best for you and help you every step of the way.
Who knows? You may even gain more knowledge and insights about the different industries in the working world through the conversations you have with them.
Having them say good things about you also improves the first impression of you, be it online on social media or offline.
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Social media has become an integral part of our lives in this day and age as it provides so many benefits to mankind.
One of them being we are able to search for anything we want to know more about at any time we want to, so your chances of getting internships would definitely increase.
A lot of people use LinkedIn to search for internships, but other sites such as InternSG and Glassdoor are also very good! I personally used InternSG and got replies very fast and secured my internship from there
Additionally, it is also a platform to present yourself to the whole world. Let’s not forget that employers will also use social media to find potential interns suitable for their company.
Therefore, having good, clean, and presentable social media pages will give them a good impression of you and increase your employability.
Resume and Portfolio
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Impress future employers with your resume and portfolio! Having a resume is a must-have as it showcases your hard and soft skills, your achievements, your experiences, etcetera.
Having an impressive portfolio is also recommended, as it showcases all of the incredible works and projects you have completed throughout your schooling years.
It shows the employers your capabilities and they will understand better how you work.
Including your co-curricular activities and what role you play in them shows that you also have many other skills aside from just academics.
Remember to highlight your role and what you did in the group projects showcased, and don’t be shy to also include personal projects that you have worked on or are currently working on!
Do also ensure that both your portfolio and resume are visually pleasing. There are many online resume templates that you can use from platforms such as Microsoft Word and Canva. Personally, I used Canva as there are more options to choose from!
Lastly, in this competitive industry, make sure you stand out among your peers as I’m sure you have worked on very similar projects with them in your courses.
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An interview is the best opportunity for you to give your all to them and show them how good you are for the position.
Researching the company is essential, as you will understand better what their values are and what they do. You will then be able to answer confidently if the interviewers ask about it!
Remember to highlight your passion and interest in wanting to work for their company. This will also help them determine how long you will be interested in working during your internship and how long you will last.
Most importantly, practice! Keep practicing numerous times and having someone like a friend do a mock interview would help you identify what areas you are lacking in.
On the day itself, prepare to take some notes as well as come prepared with some questions of your own to ask them at the end of the interview.
Some Things for You to Note:
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It’s best to look for internships nearer to where you stay so you do not have to spend so much time commuting. If not, you will be drained just from commuting.
For example, my internship was 4 stops away from my nearest MRT station.
Do look out for how the working culture will be like and don’t be afraid to ask the interviewers during the interview.
This can help determine if your working style suits it or if it needs improvement.
Think about what you want to achieve during your internship, and if the company can help fulfil your goals.
Take note of when your Polytechnic allows you to start and end your internship, then find suitable internships that can cater to your commitment period.
This is always a sensitive question to ask in interviews, so be sure to only ask politely at the end of the interview.
It’s best if you already know how much the stipend will be before the interview.
(Unsplash – Joshua Tsu)
Finding and securing an internship may seem scary, but it will be less so with these tips.
A final note: confidence is key! Do not be discouraged if something does not go as planned on your journey; simply pick yourself up and continue to give your all in everything you do.
We wish you all the best in your endeavours!