Many people have asked us how to secure internships in their first year, so here are some tips to help you!
Internships are the best way to get work experience, become better prepared for work after university, and understand more about yourself and your future goals. Unfortunately, most firms will only offer summer internships for second-year students, which can discourage a lot of first-year undergraduates from applying. That's not to say all firms follow this rule- it's important to always be on the lookout for new opportunities and most importantly, don't doubt yourself. Your experience is more important than what year of university are you in.
Lucky for you, we have put together a list of companies that accept applications from first-year undergraduate students for their summer internships.
- Google (check the STEP program)
- ARM - Accenture
- M&G Investments
- Freshlook Banking (Women only)
- JP Morgan Winning Women's Autumn programme
- Cancer research (Research programme)
- Wellcome Summer Placement (Yes- Welcome with a double 'L'!)
- Tata Steel
- AECOM (With chances for degree sponsorship!)
But the most important thing is, don't stick to just these options. Apply to as many companies as possible, even if you feel you don't have enough experience. You will get incredible feedback and interview experience. Don't stick to any lists. Just go to Linkedin's job section or other job opportunities websites and start searching for summer Software Engineering internships or to the company's' direct websites and APPLY!
One of the most important things to keep in mind when applying for any internship is to start applying early! Most firms open job applications in early Autumn and accept students on a rolling basis. So sometimes, even if you apply before the deadline, you might not get it because positions are all filled up.
Contrary to popular belief, applying for an internship is not a lengthy process, and is pretty straight forward if you have a CV prepared. If you are successful through the CV screening process, you will possibly have an HR interview. We will be posting more blogs to give you an in-depth insight into the job application process; from perfecting your CV, to interview preparation- so keep a lookout on our website!
Another alternative to first-year internships is to apply for Spring Week programs. Spring Week internships are a great way to gain insight into working for a particular firm, and maybe even get fast-tracked to second-year summer internships. We will also be posting blogs to help with all things Spring Week- so make sure you keep up to date with these!
Didn't manage to secure a first-year internship over summer? No problem!
Having an internship secured for your summer in the first year isn't the end at all! There are so many other ways which you can make the best use of your time, to help enhance your CV and just generally develop your skills- here are some alternatives below;
Work on a summer project
This can range from enrolling on an introductory programming course to maybe even starting your own website or mobile app! The opportunities are endless, and with so many online courses to help you and all the free time in the world, there are absolutely no excuses (*cry*).
Again, we will be writing more blog posts on free courses to enroll on, and ideas for projects to start over summer in order to keep yourself busy- so you know the drill; keep posted!
There are a huge range of online resources to help you use your skills for the greater good. You can, for example, volunteer to contribute to open source (check www.AnitaB.org), or even pro-bono work (check out www.reachvolunteering.org.uk) you can tutor children that need help with programming classes, or any other nice things.
Participate in Hackathons
The MLH summer League started, so there is a hackathon happening every weekend and how convenient that now you can join any hackathon virtually.
Prepare for your next year's interviews. Brush your coding skills.
We will have blog posts on how to prepare for interviews, but for now, check Leetcode. They have daily challenges that are not supposed to take you more than half an hour a day.
Get a head-start on your second-year modules
Yep- that's right.
Studying in the summer? Who would have thought!
Over the next few weeks, we will be posting about more opportunities and events for students to get involved in during this period; ranging from firm-sponsored competitions to projects hosted by various students across the UK.
Make sure you keep updated on our blog to make the most of your free time over summer!
All in all, the things that I will certainly keep in mind from my first year is, apply early, apply to more companies so that you get more interview experience and don't risk not getting any internship, not being afraid and prepare more.