Perhaps you’ve just signed on the dotted line and practically thrown your dissertation at the admin team at University, or maybe you’re on the verge of completing exams for the summer – either way, the first inklings of the summer mean you’re likely to be free for a few months. What next?
I have a string of around six or seven internships under my belt as we speak today. Starting from my first ‘University summer’ and ending about a month after I packed my tiny Uni room up to move back home, I took every opportunity that I could – time and money permitting – and soaked up as much experience as humanly possible.
Ranging from nationwide magazines to in-house beauty PR, assisting for jewellery designers and finally penning my own words for a collaborative website/blog at a major publishing house, every internship I’ve had has left me with a wealth of hard-hitting knowledge.
Internships are super to easy to find today, a quick Google search is a pretty substandard place to start, or you could delve deeper and enquire at places that you know you’d like to try out. Go into an internship with an open mind, willingness to try and persevere and a dollop of common sense.
Nabbing that coveted first job
If you’ve just completed your degree, then firstly, a huge congratulations from Aesthetic House! You’re probably going through the exact same help-I-don’t-know-what’s-next stage that I went through 365 days ago. Contrary to popular belief, don’t apply for absolutely everything in sight. Be selective and think about the steps you want to take to reach your career goal.
Sadly quite often, junior positions are few and far between, but start the job hunt by making a list of your best attributes, transferable skills and achievements. Slot these into your CV, and then begin sifting through vacancies. Once you’ve found a position that you want, take time to print the spec out. Highlight the qualities, roles and responsibilities and refer back to them when tailoring your cover letter. Oh, and never ever (ever) send blanket cover letters. Not good. Put your skills and achievements above experience and education on your CV too.
Manage your free time
If your post-degree summer is anything like mine, you’ll have a fair amount of free time between internships and searching for a job. Be productive and embrace the spare time. I visited new cities, organised my old/new life back at home, sent job applications, interned, volunteered and continued to blog. Go into new tasks, opportunities and occasions with a mindset of it enriching your future career/life.
Start a blog
Okay, so we’re a little biased, but if you’re a homebody like us, why not start a blog? You could document your post-degree life, your summer travels, your style, or a mix of all of the above. Blogging brings great transferable skills to one fun hobby, and it could be invaluable if you’re considering a career in the media, journalism, beauty or fashion industries, not to mention it’s fun and constantly evolving.
Michelle Chai is a self-confessed colour avoider, avid coffee enthusiast, multi-tasker extraordinaire and, by night, a regular fashion blogger at Daisybutter. She edits Aesthetic (both online and print) and really enjoys her ongoing quest for the perfect knit. FYI, this one came close to nabbing the title.