So, good news — you’re at Warwick, you’re clever.

Bad news…if you want that top job at Goldman Sachs, it’s not enough!

We’re nearing the end of term one and many of us are knee-deep into internship applications. We’re realising our prized degrees are the bare minimum for a career in 2018.

Internships are crazily competitive. Your coursemates are applying. Everyone is applying. It’s spooky. Without an awesome CV, stocked with experience, you probably won’t have a shot.

But maybe you’re a first-year, still freshly hungover from Kasbah and asking, “What can I do? Graduation is ages away.” You might see freshers year as a year to waste, and that’s fine. After all, it probably won’t count towards your degree anyway.

Except for one thing…It’ll be over soon, and there’s a long gap between 1st and 2nd year, that Twilight Zone of nothing. Most spend these weeks recovering from the onslaught of first-year exams. I went travelling; honestly, I still regret not doing a Spring Week.

Spring Weeks are insight programmes that liven your CV and, if the company likes you, can mean an automatic internship offer for next Summer. They’re targeted at freshers in particular and are a huge advantage. Speaking of that: Sign-up to myAdvantage, a careers website connecting you to employers recruiting specifically from Warwick. There’s also UniTemps, another Warwick-connected company, great for getting quick, part-time experience.

If you’re a penultimate-year student, graduating in 2020, you’ll be applying to internships. You might run into the torturous issue of needing a CV to get an interview. That is, needing experience to get experience. Well, that’s what UniTemps is for. Also, there are so many societies around campus, and charities too — like Marrow, a bone-marrow and stem-cell Anthony Nolan organisation — which look great on your CV (and are a chance to do good).

Here’s how the process normally goes:

  1. Apply online

  2. Do online tests (Numerical Reasoning; Critical Reasoning; Maybe an IQ test, though that’s rare)

  3. Phone interview! Be interesting. List your extracurriculars. When telling an impressive story, think about STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

  4. Assessment centres. You’ll head to London for an interview and group activity

In short: Get going; if you’re a first-year, think ahead by applying ASAP to Spring Weeks; and if you’re a penultimate-year, use myAdvantage and Unitemps to build up a decent CV and start your career with an internship. November is quite late in the year but plenty of companies are still recruiting, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Hopefully you’ve found something here useful. If you’re still reading, thanks, and good luck!