March has been a particularly busy month for summer internships and these are mostly targeted to ‘penultimate year’ students. Many students are unclear about what this means.
Your penultimate year is the second last year of study before you graduate.
• If you are completing a 3-year degree, your penultimate year is your 2nd year of study.
• If you are completing a 4-year degree, then your penultimate year is your 3rd year of study.
If you are in your final year of study but seriously contemplating further study, for example an Honours year, then you could still consider this as a ‘penultimate year’ and apply for summer internships. If you don’t, and find yourself staying an additional year, you will have missed valuable opportunities for internships.
The most important thing to remember is that your penultimate year is a vital time for your career planning and gaining valuable work experience. You need to ‘get involved’ by starting to develop links with employers by attending career expos and employer presentations, networking events and ‘Careers in Focus’ evenings. You can find details for all of these by logging into Victoria CareerHub. The internship recruitment process starts a lot earlier than you think (applications for several law and accounting internships have already closed this week) and places are competitive.
Internships give you the opportunity to decide whether a company or industry is right for you and can also lead to securing a graduate role with the same company. With some careful planning, you can put yourself in the best possible position when it comes to applying for jobs. The ‘icing on the cake’ is that if all goes well, you can relax a bit in your final year, confident of your employment prospects and keep your focus on completing and enjoying your studies.