Student blog post

How I got a paid internship after first year

Stephanie details her search for an internship

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It is common knowledge that first years DO NOT get internships but I was quite determined to prove that wrong. With the help of the Careers Service and quite a lot of free time, my application process started. I must admit, I started quite late as application season starts in September and this was December. Nonetheless, I did not let this deter me; I was still on the hunt for summer internships and insight programs. My Christmas holiday was mostly applications for insight programs and networking events. I applied for three British Petroleum Early Starters programs and got into two of those: the BP Mixed Engineering Discovery Day in Dyce, Aberdeen and the BP Shadow Day in Leatherhead, Surrey. These were both really exciting opportunities!

I was very grateful for what I had already gotten. However, it seemed to me that I was either rejected or never gotten back to. I kept a list of most of my applications.

It was now the second week in May and I still had not secured an internship. I did not want to accept what seemed to be happening, but what really were the chances? Still, I persisted with applications, some of which were never responded to despite the amount of effort that went into them. At one point, my face was so commonplace at the ‘Careers Service Quick Query’ that I had met with all their advisors at least twice! Still, I persisted.

I was good friends with a girl I had met at an Equate Scotland Networking Conference. She was in her fourth year and was the combination of a good friend and a mentor. She had worked with a company called BEAR Scotland for six months in her third year and worked with them once a week till she graduated from Uni. As she was graduating, they needed a replacement for her. To my absolute pleasure, she recommended me. I sent my CV and cover letter and got invited for an interview the following day. I got the job on the spot!

It was quite ironic. After applying to various companies and waiting weeks and months for a response, the internship I got was the one where the application process was no more than three days. What this really showed me is how important it is to know people. So, my advice for you is, regardless of what you do, get to know people. Get connected, that’s how opportunities come your way.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. Keep your eyes out for a post about this internship.

Stephanie Anani

Mechanical Engineering student, graduated in 2020

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Student voice category Careers, Internships