If you’ve decided that undertaking an internship is the right step for you during your time studying in Australia, the next part is to find and apply for the right work placement. Like searching for jobs, the process of searching for an internship can seem a little daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of the best places to look for internship opportunities.
One of the most effective ways to find internships is to search online. Websites such as Seek, Indeed and Jora are great catch-all websites that advertise available positions across multiple industries. The website Pedestrian Jobs has a slightly narrower scope (for example, you probably won’t find engineering internships there), but it does offer the ability to limit your search to just internships. Similarly, GradConnection allows you specifically to search for internships (as well as entry-level and graduate jobs) across almost any industry.
Conveniently, many online advertisements will allow you to apply electronically by submitting your CV and cover letter directly through the website. Often, you’ll be able to create a profile containing your existing CV that you can then use to apply for multiple positions.
University Job Boards
Your university is likely to offer both physical and digital job boards. Here, you’ll find postings from various companies who are actively searching for university students to apply for internships. Ask your university’s help desk for information on locating any physical job boards on-campus, and ensure you make good use of your student portal by accessing the digital job board.
The benefit of using a job board is that you already know that the employer is specifically looking for students from your university. This will give you a bit of an advantage before you’ve even applied.
University Facebook Groups
Similar to your university’s online job board, some course coordinators set up Facebook groups for their students. In these groups, you can connect with coordinators, as well as other students, who may share information about internship opportunities. Check with your course coordinator to see if this is an option.
Some large organisations partner with particular universities on yearly internship programs. These arrangements can be found across several faculties and industries, and are often long-established alliances that have a solid history of producing quality internships.
In many cases, companies that partner with universities are able to create programs that are highly tailored to study outcomes. For example, you may be able to implement some of the theory you’ve learned in a real-life workplace. These placements may also be eligible for course credit, which means that you can fulfil an internship’s requirements in place of a standard subject. Check with your course coordinator to see if this is the case.
To find out if your university partners with any internship providers, it’s best to contact your faculty’s staff directly.
Approaching Companies Directly
If there is a company that you’re particularly interested in working for, you can easily contact them directly. Contacting a company yourself shows that you’re eager to learn and helps get your name out to potential employers (this will definitely come in handy when you’re ready to apply for jobs).
It’s worth doing some research to find the best contact within the company to whom you can send your CV – this might be someone in human resources or even the manager of the department you’d like to work in. Prove how keen you are by showing your enthusiasm for the company and your desire to work for them. Even if a company doesn’t have any current vacancies, they are likely to keep your details and CV on file to review when a position does become available.
One of the best ways to keep an ear out for potential vacancies is to ask around, whether by asking friends who are currently undertaking internships, or seeing if your lecturer has connections within your desired industry. You never know – you may happen to ask about an upcoming position at just the right time and, as a consequence, get your application in ahead of other candidates. This process offers the added benefit of making valuable contacts and forming a network that may pay off when you decide to embark on your career.
Universities often host career fairs that include stalls hosted by industry professionals and companies of all sizes. At each fair, you’ll be given the opportunity to network with stallholders while discovering potential career opportunities during and after the completion of your studies. You may find that various stallholders are actively advertising internship and graduate positions at the fair, making these events invaluable resources when it comes to kickstarting your career.
Many employers use these fairs as a means of screening potential interns and employees, so for the best results, be sure to dress to impress and have your introduction and business card or contact details ready (after all, first impressions are everything!).
If you’re struggling to find an internship on your own or you feel that you could benefit from a bit of guidance, you could opt to approach an internship operator. Internship operators act as a third party that connects internship-seekers with companies.
Internships in Australia, Australian Internships and Premium Graduate are among the services offered in Australia, but your university might have access to several more. It’s important to note that these services usually come at a cost, so if you’re considering connecting with an internship operator, make sure undertaking an internship is the right path for you.
Once you’ve found your dream internship, it’s time to apply. Treat your application much like you would for a job and put effort into updating your CV, preparing for the interview, and doing the right research. Check out our handy guide to getting a job in Australia for more information.