All students are realising they need experience, but how do they find good opportunities? And how do they make sure these opportunities are right for them? Before Milaana was founded, students were forced to trawl through pages and pages of charity lists and sites to locate internships that also benefit the community. It was often a tedious and frustrating process. Milaana has sought to make this easier by becoming a one-stop, go-to site for students looking for internships that matter! The creation of Milaana has taken a little bit of the stress out of finding an internship but it can still be a tricky thing to “get right”. So here are a few extra little tips and tricks.
It is important when looking for an internship that you spend a short amount of time asking yourself some vital questions. First of all,
- What drives you?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What are your dreams made of?
If you know this, well then you know where to start. Second of all,
- What do you hope to gain from an internship?
- What kind of position are you looking for
- What skills do you want to develop?
Asking yourself these first few questions helps you to find a direction. While your search might take you a little off track every once in a while, you can always go back to the start and ask yourself these first few questions again.
Now comes the searching part. You have found the perfect website – Milaana! So what do you do when you get there?
1. Look for what interests you – When scouring a page of available internships, it is natural that some of the vacancies will just jump off the screen at you. Trust your gut instinct! People are good at what they love so don’t think you have to settle for anything less.
2. Search for key words and skills that relate to your degree – The Milaana website makes this all so much easier with the little filter bar on the left of the webpage that helps you to chose key skills that you are interested in. This filters out all the jobs that may not be so appropriate for you. If your search doesn’t come up straight away then don’t fret. Try a few different options and play around with it for a bit. You might just be surprised what you find!
3. Pick an organisation that you respect – Great things happen when you are passionate and dedicated to the organisation that you are working for. If you find an internship that looks interesting, take a good look at the organisation’s websites for key words and themes. What are their mission and goals? Do they align with your own morals?
4. Utilise your networks – If you can’t seem to find an internship online then start using your networks and asking people you know. This can lead you on the way to many different, exciting tasks. Never underestimate the value of your fellow students and friends. They might just know someone too! After all, your friends at university are quickly going to become colleagues and networks once you graduate and enter the workforce.
5. Show initiative – Your dream job isn’t advertised so what do you do? Why not email the organisation anyway? There is a possibility that something might be available and if not, then you have just showed an interest and established contact. Chances are that they will think of you next time a position does pop up. If you find a great org, direct them to Milaana so they can use our tools to scope out a great project and position outline and then have access to all our support materials as well! We have a free 30 day trial so if they do all this and you apply straight away then the scoping process will have been free!
So you’ve found your dream internship, now you have to try and impress them.
Top Tips for Writing a Killer Cover Letter
- Make sure your cover letter is custom and unique to the job you are applying for – Nobody likes a standard, I-sent-this-to-twenty-different-organisations cover letter. If this is your dream internship, then put in some effort and take your time. It will make a difference!
- Research the organisation and display your knowledge through a thoughtfully written cover letter – This can be as simple as researching the organisations key mission and principles and relaying these keywords throughout your cover letter. It shows that you’ve taken the time to learn something about the organisation and that you can relate their key principles to your own morals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Writing a cover letter can be difficult to get your head around and can be a whole new ballgame for someone who hasn’t done it before. Universities often have wonderful services that provide seminars and one-on-one help when it comes time to writing a cover letter and CV. Ask around and see if your university offers these services. If not, the good old internet definitely provides some wonderful resources in terms of information and templates.
Making Your CV Stand Out
It is hard to make your CV stand out to employers, especially when they are receiving huge amounts of applicants. Just like a cover letter, you should tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. This might be as simple as moving the most relevant information to the top of the page or inserting some key words and skills. The first page of your CV is intended to grab the attention of the employer so make sure your front page is your best work. Use a professional format that is easy to read and make sure you edit, edit and edit! There is nothing worse than an unfortunate spelling mistake.
Rocking a Squeaky Clean Online Presence
You might think that your Facebook profile and Twitter account are none of your employer’s business but trust me; they are definitely doing internet searches to find out more about you. This means you have to work at making your online presence as professional as possible. When you put your name into a Google search, what are the first few pages that come up? An Instagram photo of you at a nightclub? A drunk Facebook status you made on the weekend? Maybe even your LinkedIn profile? Your online presence is a snapshot of the kind of person you are so if it isn’t the person that you want to portray then it might be time to change a few things.
Milaana believes that university students have SO much to offer community projects and are dedicated to helping you on every step of the journey. If you have any questions then please feel free to comment below.