The temperature is getting higher, the sky has the loveliest shade of blue and everybody is having fun. It goes without saying that to many student the perfect thing to do during summer is… an internship.
Well, maybe it is not THAT obvious. But if you care about your career and would like to get an insight into the industry, this might be a good way to spend your summer break. And if you choose to do one in different city, or even different country – you can enjoy 2 in 1 – summer vacation included! I packed my suitcases on the day of my thesis defence and a couple of days later I was already travelling to spend 10 weeks in a major design agency.
What to expect from a summer internship? It’s almost like a job. You may enjoy the perks of summer in a city over the weekends, but don’t be misguided – it is not holidays. You will probably work normal hours in the office like everybody else. Most importantly – you will learn. You will learn and grow and gather experience and understand yourself better. During an internship you can figure out what do you need from a job, what are your strengths and how much do you still need to learn (spoiler alert: a lot).
The one thing you are probably interested in is the money. Yes, it is possible to get a paid internship. No, you don’t have to settle for an unpaid one. The major companies would probably not offer an unpaid internship (or would they? Maybe it is only my hope, but to be honest I never had to even consider an unpaid work). Others can admit you on a basis of ERASMUS+ program. The money you will get will probably be nowhere near the salary you would get for a long-term job, but it should be enough to cover the living expenses.
The most important thing about the internship is learning. Make sure that you choose a place that would be actually interested in teaching you, rather than you making coffee (unless you are training to be a barista). Ask about your responsibilities during the internship. Ask whether you would be a part of some team. Having a designated mentor is a plus! And once you are there – give 100% of yourself. And observe. See how other people in company work – this is an experience you will never get in school.
Lastly: THE SEARCH. Landing a summer internship is not easy and can be quite a long process. I started looking around already in November. Depending on the industry, I would say that the world-famous companies may gather applications between January and March, while local companies will probably do it later, up to a month before summer vacation. If you are looking into internships that are a part of Erasmus+ program, check your university’s website for a designated timeline. For my current internship I applied in the middle of January. There are several ways of finding (and getting!) and internship. If you would like to read a designated post about how to find an internship in Sweden and abroad – let me know in the comments.
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Feel free to post any questions about summer internships in the comments.
Featured image source: GIPHy