Guest blog from a 4th year Commerce and Law student.
When it comes to summer work, an internship is on the top of every student’s wish list. Paid holiday and clothing allowance in some cases, networking opportunities and the fact it looks great on your CV constitute only a few of the benefits of attaining summer internships at many of the larger firms in New Zealand. As a student myself going into my penultimate year of University, it’s time to get my CV prepped, cover letters drafted and professional clothing dusted off ready for the fast approaching application period.
In previous years, half-hearted efforts have been made where I’d scrabble together a ‘dusty’ application containing a mass-produced cover letter and send it to as many organisations as possible. This approach, while it may seem effective, can lead to your application looking rather superficial. After coming to the Careers Service, I have learned that targeting employers that have cultures and beliefs that align with my own is especially important in constructing a genuine application. By searching through CareerHub I have been able to find those opportunities that really appeal and resonate with me – also looking at expired internships gives you an idea of what may come up this year.
Another aspect of the application process that I find daunting is the psychometric testing (or aptitude tests). This presents you with another hurdle to overcome before advancing to the interview stage and tests your verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning under a time restraint. Some people are naturally gifted and for them, practice/study is not required. However if you are like me and struggle with these things, then there are workshops, books and info on online tests available from Careers and Employment to help you prepare. Just like anything; practice makes perfect.
If broken down, the application process to getting an internship isn’t actually that bad. It may seem like it at first but if you prepare well in advance you will be in a strong position to do well.
As Benjamin Franklin once exclaimed:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
The Victoria University Careers and Employment main office is at Hunter 120, Kelburn, and appointments are available there and at Pipitea campus. Check out http://www.victoria.ac.nz/careers and http://www.victoria.ac.nz/careerhub