University life is an exciting – and at times exhausting – combination of course work, societies, lectures, gym classes regularly being postponed, assignments, group work, Netflix-based procastination, and night study sessions. But, do you know what students find even more stressful than essay deadlines? Internships!
Spending hours and hours in front of your computer endlessly playing with key words on the job search bar to find the position that best fits your career aspirations, is a scenario that almost every student in his/her penultimate or ultimate year at university is very well familiar with.
As a third-year student myself, trying to secure an internship for the summer, I know the struggle that an internship application process comes with. At the same time, as the official EY Brand Ambassador on campus, I started to look at the process from employers’ perspective too and got some insights about what companies – and especially EY – are looking for! So, I thought I would share with you some of my best tips and tricks on how to approach the application process and eventually secure the internship you have been dreaming of for so long.
Know them: Read as much as you can about the company you will potentially work for. The company website, or LinkedIn page if they have one, are usually the best way to learn about them before applying. Know their values, their vision, and their mission, and find out how these align with your personal goals and values.
Know yourself: Knowing all about the company will help you understand whether working with them is right for you but knowing yourself is crucial to help them realise you are the candidate they are looking for. Do your research on what area of the business you could be best suited to. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, highlight your skills and in particular those needed to fit the role you are applying to.
Know the world you live in: Hopefully the first two tips will have gotten you an interview with the recruiter. What will be of great help at this point is commercial awareness. That means, being able to keep up to date with current affairs and business news. Show you are curious and actively interested in what goes on around you.
Not just knowledge: Alongside with the extensive research about the company, yourself, and the current reality, most companies will invite you to seat a number of online tests. Practise practise practise online tests, from numerical to verbal reasoning, from psychometrics to situational judgement tests. Get familiar with the different formats and time limits and keep practising.
Make your ‘début’: Go to an in-person event to make yourself known to student recruitment and people from the office. Events and career fairs are a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have and listen to first-hand experiences of those who have been there and done that.
If you are not yet at the application process stage because you are still trying to figure out what option might be best for you, visit the EY Careers page to discover student opportunities available.
You can also sign up to receive a stream of four emails with more details on the stages included in the application process.
I hope you found the tips above helpful and will keep them in mind during your next application process. Best of luck to all of you or – I might say – all of us!