Avoid Career Free-Fall and Land That First Internship

By Isaac Garcia

First year was a whirl, second year was a party, and suddenly you realise you’re up to your last year and the word ‘career’ is so dang foreign to you. You’ve adopted a jealousy for those go-getter types who’ve been climbing the career ladder since their fetus days in first year. But where do YOU start? Are you forever destined to be chasing after opportunities long-gone that you might as well give up and drown in the career listings that all seem to require ridiculous amounts of experience for an entry role/internship? Well not quite. Because here are my top 5 tips on how you can start to snatch your FIRST (or any) internship.

Join a Society. Club. Team

I mean this wholeheartedly: find something you can be passionate about – gaming, sport or even your faculty degree. Join it, embrace it, and soon you’ll find yourself in an executive position you love and all you’ve done is host parties  and/or  have fun.  Didn’t compromise on anything, but woah! suddenly, you have all these skills. BAM: Hired.

Ask your Tutor!

Sometimes your best resource is standing right there in front of you. In fact, they usually stand in front of you, but you’d only know that if you’d attended those 9am lectures, which (if you’re anything like me) I’m guessing you decided to selectively miss for completely valid reasons. But when you do drop-by, have a short chat with your tutor/lecturer and maybe mention that you’re on the hunt for an internship. And most of the time, that initiative will be enough to convince them to scour through their contacts to net you one. Feeling too awkward or even a little nervous? It’s second-best, but a politely typed email can go a long way as well.

Make an online portfolio & build on it

If you’re in a creative industry, start making a portfolio. There are so many easy-to-use tools to make one: Wix, Squarespace, Behance, WordPress. Just throw in your passion-projects. Made an invitation design that one time for a mate’s 21st? Or have you shot a short clip of the ocean because you wanted to try colour-grading for the first time? Write for small-time blogs, your UTS magazines (Vertigo, Insider, Newsroom, etc) or even start your own Instagram food blog!

Employers value knowing your limits and seeing what you can do!  I started vlogging my last year of uni, just for the mems (and the memes), but I learned so much about video-editing I threw it in the mix as well!

Volunteering

This is perhaps the easiest and most sure-fire way of getting noticed. Start volunteering for things.  Uni has them: peer networking, sprouts, open-day helpers, etc. Keen to get into the music industry? Volunteer for Splendour in the Grass, Vivid, Field Day, Red Cross (SAM Festival Crew), anything around events.  Fancy a bit of numbers? Then handle the fundraisers for your local Rugby under 12’s league (if you can’t kick, you might as well count). Put your hand up, not for Detroit, but for TEDxYouth, Jeans for Genes Day or whatever it is you’re passionate about.  Trust me, I never worked a day in retail (I wasn’t strong enough :’(  ) so all of my references were volunteer positions, and I scored an internship!

(Find Volunteering Opps on CareerHub)

 

Networking

You know those networking events that you always manage to avoid? Try actually going to them, and for one night, be brave. Swallow your pride and talk to at least three people, and I can guarantee you, you will find someone who will have a connection to finding you an internship. Even better, find a networking event that has people from the companies you want to work for! They were in your position once too, so they’ll completely understand!

Which also leads me to this: get LinkedIn. People who are looking to hire aren’t gonna find you if you’re not out there! And between you and me, would you rather them find you through Facebook? #realtalk

 

…And those are my five! I’ve been lucky enough to find myself opportunities using all five of these tips, so hopefully they’ll help you land yours. Happy hunting!

 


Isaac Garcia: Social Media Intern, amateur baker, hater of Sydney Public Transport, and a future star on the Bachelor. 

Isaac spends most of his working day sitting at his desk scrolling through Facebook.

When not at work, he likes to spend most of his day sitting at his desk and scrolling through Facebook.​


Featured image courtesy of Pexels.

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