Finding work experience or internships in London
Unless it is for a trainee or entry-level position, every job advert will ask for some experience in the field in which you are looking for employment. Frequently, finding internships in London is the answer.
Even if experience is not required it will often be preferred, so it will greatly help your application if you took some time to ensure you secured work experience for yourself, and preferably before you finish your course.
The very act of searching for an internship is a skill that employers will prize, so here are some clues on where you might begin looking for opportunities.
What’s the difference between an internship and work experience?
There is little difference between a work experience placement and an internship. Both are voluntary and offer little, if any, payment aside from funds to cover out of pocket and essential expenses.
An internship will often pay you an income that covers a bit more than just your travel and lunch expenses, but will be significantly less than a salary for someone qualified for the role.
Also, whereas work experience can be general, an internship is more likely to be offered in connection with a specific role or industry, so for example, a digital marketing internship, journalism internship or advertising internship.
The aim of an internship is to provide you with work experience in your chosen career area.
About finding internships in London
Just as many people come to London to find work, many graduates come to find internships in London. Opportunities for internships in London is greater than many other places in the UK and so an increase your chances of finding what you want. However, if you have your eyes on the City then you need to consider other disadvantages, such as costs, relocating and generally working hard to prepare yourself for the tough competition.
Okay, let’s look at some ideas of where to find the best internships.
Searching for an internship online
You can use the vast wealth of internet tools available to carry out your search for work experience. Set aside an afternoon and begin your search for websites that will give you lists of companies offering work experience placements.
You can use a search engine for this, with search terms like ‘advertising companies work experience’ or ‘list advertising placements’. A search like this will also show official search engines, such as the IPA’s placement search.
Some services are offered to help graduates find work experience in specialist areas, such as finance internships, media internships or marketing internships.
Graduate Coach offers an Internship Programme for people interested in digital marketing, but also provides help to find an internship in London for other industries in general.
Using job sites to find work experience
It’s also a good idea to check for placements on job sites, through which large companies often advertise work experience and internships. Many companies now advertise for interns among adverts for permanent roles, making it easier to find a placement related to a specific job role.
University placement schemes
Many universities have placement schemes set up with companies that are designed for students and graduates. This is a brilliant way to get work experience and you won’t usually have to compete to get a place. The drawback is that placement schemes are usually run in conjunction with specific courses and only students enrolled on these can apply.
If you are on a course that has industry link-ups for internships, you will already know about it through your lecturers. However, if you want a placement that is not associated with your own course, it is worth asking around at your university. If you speak to the right people, they might let you apply through a course even though you don’t do it.
Finding work experience or an internship is possible with just a little bit of thinking outside of the box. Find out how to approach a company to apply for an internship here.