I have always been wondering how students get a job at our university. It seemed to be a privilege and an out of touch experience. Earlier this year I began scrolling through the university website and came across the InternPlus programme. I could immediately see myself in multiple positions. In fact, I became quite overwhelmed with the opportunities that opened up to us, students. I decided to apply for GoAbroad Intern programme because I consider international student experience enriching and significant for personal and professional development. I wanted to make a difference and help the GoAbroad team promote inclusivity and diversity.
I started the application process with revising my CV. I believe it is the number one thing everyone should do when applying for a new position. I left out all the irrelevant past jobs and activities and focused on those that gave me the skills I could use for this internship. From there, I began working on my cover letter. In order to write a good cover letter, I knew I had to study in detail the job and person specifications. Having done my research, I based my cover letter on the necessary skills and experience highlighting the reasons why I was a suitable candidate. Moreover, I tried to involve the motivation behind my application and predictions about what I would take away from the internship. I believe it is important to show not only your relevant skills and qualities, but also point out what made you click on that heading and apply for a job or an internship. I found it useful to ask for help or guidance when I was going through this process for the first time. The Careers and Employability Service or your mentor, if you have one, will give you useful tips and recommendations.
I was very lucky to have had a virtual interview where my interviewers made me feel comfortable and it was easy for me to relax and speak to the point once I knew the atmosphere was pleasant. My mentor last year taught me to use the STARR approach. Therefore, I always intend to circle my answers around a specific problem or a situation I have been through and swiftly describe it using STARR. I find it helpful in many ways, but most importantly it makes you focus your answer on what the interviewers are interested in a lot of times.
"I believe that you do not need a job experience to be a successful internship candidate, there are situations at university that you can use as an example of showing your skills."
During the interview, I was asked a variety of questions. I found questions about my own persona the most difficult to answer because there are thousands of things I would like to say about myself, but there is only a short time to answer. Thus, I try to prepare the answer in advance depending on the position I am applying for. When the interviewers asked me about my skills, I used examples from my previous positions where I had to actively use those skills. However, I believe that you do not need a job experience to be a successful internship candidate, there are situations at university that you can use as an example of showing your skills. Lastly, I was asked about my motivation, which is a question I like because I can really show my interest. I intend to show my passion and perhaps how useful the internship can be in the future. After the interview I felt like I did a very good job because I did my best to show that I was the right candidate. At the end of the day, your best is all that you can do.