Applying for Internships and Grad Jobs
So, I am well underway in trying to enter the ‘adult world’ and get myself a graduate job. It’s a scary thought that university is almost over but I’m also very excited to get into the world of work. The first thing to remember is that you don’t have to stay within your degree field, I am leaving Life Sciences for consulting and operations. Lots of Internships are still open and some more graduate opportunities open in January (some close in November though). I originally wanted to teach but couldn’t imagine myself doing it for 50 years and I only really have two years to apply for graduate jobs and gain industry experience so, teaching is on hold.
My first recommendation is research. I mainly used TotalJobs, the Times top 100 Graduate Employers, and Save the Graduate. These list most of the graduate employers and most can be ordered by closing date (bar the Times). This means you can prioritise those that end soonest. When deciding if you want to apply to a company you need to look at the length of the grad scheme, I’ve seen 10 months to 30 months. Look at the structure of the rotations and where they are. You could be based in one area of the company or you may get to experience lots of different parts. Location is important too, I don’t want to work in London others may want to stay closer to home. Salary is also important, you need to ensure that it is enough to live off and usually they are.
When actually applying. The core questions are your education (so you need to know what you are predicted), previous work experience and supporting experience e.g. exec work or volunteering. However, there may be some competency questions where you are asked to identify a time when you showed a particular skill. Also, a common question is why do you want to work for that company. Don’t use generic statements, make it personal so, they can see the effort you have put in. Read through your CV. Does it show skills? If not, then add them. Does it show you have transferable experience? If not, you can usually apply your previous experience or volunteer to gain some more. But never lie!
Tests. These are usually before the employer has even seen your application. There are three main tests: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and situational judgement. The reasoning tests can be practised and tests can be found easily online. Situational judgement tests are fairly easy, it’s just how you react to situations and are used to see if you are right for the company. Also, practise identifying patterns to figure out the next in a sequence. Video interviews usually follow. A lot are competency questions or specific questions about the company. Finally, an assessment centre or face to face interview. Do your research! Look at the company and what could affect them in the future. There may be competency questions so brush up on some common ones too.
But good luck! Don’t worry if you commit you are likely to get a job or internship!