How hard is it to find internship independently? Watch

eve_bg
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#1
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The uni I am planning to firm offers a 6-month placement but after the THIRD year, not traditionally after the second year. This really messes with my finances, as I need this year not only because of the work experience I will gain, but because of the money I will earn - I will need to help my parents with the costs, they just wouldn't be able to cope without me working somewhere in the summer. They will be able to cover my first year and probably my second, but from then on I will definitely have to find a summer internship. However, I'm extemely pessimistic about finding an internship independently (not through the uni) because there are thousands of student each year who are promised an year in industry as part of their course and I'm afraid that no one will employ me! If I can't get an intership, I will pretty much have to drop out of uni because I won't have money to pay for accommodation in the third year (ok, my parents won't have money). Working during the academic year is pretty much impossible, the course is hard and I will have a lot of catching up to do as I'm not from the UK.
So basically, has anyone applied for a summer internship independently? How did it go? Any advice will be helpful
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Smack
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It depends what sector you're looking in, and who you know within that sector.

One thing I'll say though is to not be put off by the amount of other students who will also be seeking a summer internship. I've applied to one independently and got through the initial stage to the online assessment, passed those, and am now waiting to hear back about an interview. And that was through the company's careers website - rather than through contacts - which is always a bit of a lottery.

It's more likely that companies will take on students in the later years rather than the first few but don't let that put you off either: loads of first and second years on my course (a five year course) wrote to companies asking for work placements and got them. Even if your university doesn't specifically offer you one as part of the course, or don't do it until later years, the careers department will probably still be glad to help you as having internships/work experience is such a massive boost to your CV that it makes it much easier to find graduate employment, which reflects well on your uni's graduate employment ratings.

Before you start sending off CVs, get your careers department to have a look over it and make any changes/improvements. Learn how to write a good cover letter, and do some research into the company that you're applying to. See if you can get a specific name to write to, too - this helps massively (even more so if this person went to the same university that you go to). Your careers department will probably have a database of names and addresses they contact but they might be reluctant to disclose these, but it's worth a shot.

And lastly, apply in plenty of time. Mid-Feb is cutting it a bit late, so try and start applying in October time when you come to do it for real.
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eve_bg
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The area is chemistry/pharmacology. Do you think the uni will be helpful/supportive/cooperative about this? It is said to have good connections with the industry, I hope that could be of some help
I just feel like this whole thing is a huge gamble
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Smack
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I'm afraid I really have no clue. Although I suspect that the university will be extremely supportive for the reasons already listed.

Best thing to do is apply. If you don't get anything then you know that you wouldn't have gotten anything - better to have tried and failed than never tried. The only negative to applying is that it takes a bit of time.
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angelmxxx
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Even if you don't get an internship, you should be able to find retail/catering/temping office work - if you get 10 weeks of work in over the Summer, then working 30 hours/wk for £5 an hour = £1500.
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Lamasamaka
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I have a few dozen friends who have applied to internships (summer and full-year), and even though the university offers the year in industry, none has received any help in finding their particular placements.

Don't think that universities will actually do anything for you, they just try their best to point you in the right direction.

If you're organised, you'll get it done by yourself. All of my friends and I just googled for companies to work for and went and applied.

Any questions you have you can just ask on here.

Go for it

Also, why don't you consider getting a part time job during uni instead of pinning all your hopes on a lousy internship? They often pay poorly for science-based placements and you'll probably have costs to cover. My placement is going to pay me just enough to live for that year and not a bit more.
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eve_bg
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(Original post by Lamasamaka)
I have a few dozen friends who have applied to internships (summer and full-year), and even though the university offers the year in industry, none has received any help in finding their particular placements.

Don't think that universities will actually do anything for you, they just try their best to point you in the right direction.

If you're organised, you'll get it done by yourself. All of my friends and I just googled for companies to work for and went and applied.

Any questions you have you can just ask on here.

Go for it

Also, why don't you consider getting a part time job during uni instead of pinning all your hopes on a lousy internship? They often pay poorly for science-based placements and you'll probably have costs to cover. My placement is going to pay me just enough to live for that year and not a bit more.
Wow I though since the placement year is part of the course it's 100% guaranteed and the uni does everything for you.. That certainly made me feel a bit better
And about the part-time job, as I said the chances are I won't have any time for a job during uni because I suspect I will be quite behind everyone else and will have huge amounts of studying to do every day.. I will see how it goes, if it's not that hard in the first year I can try and get a part-time job, but I will still need the internship. A friend of mine will be working for a pharmaceutical company this summer and will be payed 1400 pounds/month, which doesn't sounds too bad hah Thanks for the help
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Smack
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(Original post by eve_bg)
Wow I though since the placement year is part of the course it's 100% guaranteed and the uni does everything for you.. That certainly made me feel a bit better
And about the part-time job, as I said the chances are I won't have any time for a job during uni because I suspect I will be quite behind everyone else and will have huge amounts of studying to do every day.. I will see how it goes, if it's not that hard in the first year I can try and get a part-time job, but I will still need the internship. A friend of mine will be working for a pharmaceutical company this summer and will be payed 1400 pounds/month, which doesn't sounds too bad hah Thanks for the help
I think there is a bit more money in the applied fields (pharmacy, computer science, engineering etc.) - more than you'll get in a normal summer job anyway.
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hannah_dru
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I applied for my industrial placement for my year abroad independently as my uni placement team weren't very helpful. I found it a lot better doing myself and I definitely found it useful getting a helper on here to look at my CV and suggest improvements. I was one of the very lucky ones and got an offer for an internship pretty quickly.
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eve_bg
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(Original post by Smack)
I think there is a bit more money in the applied fields (pharmacy, computer science, engineering etc.) - more than you'll get in a normal summer job anyway.
Yes when I said internship I meant one in a pharmaceutical company and that's what makes me worried - nearly every chemistry course in the uk offers the year in industry so there won't be much places left.. I'll go for it though, I have no other choice
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