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Welcome to what is supposed to be my final thoughts. Except it’s not, really, because thanks to a flurry of projects all launching around the same time, my contract is being extended and I’ve become slightly less temporary. So, these are my final thoughts before I take some unpaid leave and come back as a part time staff member for September.
It’s been a rather hectic week at the office. We’re just about to launch The Card, which will be rolling out on the 2nd. That means, for me, stuffing envelopes and moving boxes around until every business has the right number of cards delivered to them. That hasn’t left me with a lot of time to contemplate the end of my internship (sort of), but luckily, I’ve had plenty of time this bank holiday to really get my head together.
What I want to say is this: if you’re a student, try out for internships you’re interested in, not necessarily the ones you think you’re perfectly qualified for. Sure, you might get a few Nos, and it’s probably not a good idea to oversell yourself too much, but a lot of internships already know you won’t be perfectly qualified and will consider you anyway. Also, use CV resources- literally any that are available to you but preferably the one that’s linked to your university because they know what they’re talking about. And DO YOUR RESEARCH before your interview. Don’t be the candidate who has to ask what the business does when you should already know. Googling is not hard.
And for the businesses out there: Pay your interns! I really cannot stress this enough. You might be under the impression that paying interns is a bit ridiculous as it is you who is imparting the knowledge. This may be true- but allow me to show you another side. By advertising an internship as unpaid, you could easily be missing out on extremely qualified candidates, who cannot afford to take on an unpaid internship. If you’re looking for someone who values the work that they do, perhaps you should value the work they do as well. If you’re an SME who can’t afford an intern but really needs an extra hand- have a look at the Santander SME Internship Scheme in your area- you may be able to get partial or full funding if you have a local university included in the scheme.
Being a part of FOR Cardiff has really allowed me to assess the work that I do and discover what kind of work I value. I’ve learnt new things, as well as being trusted to put the skills I do have into practice. I came to this job feeling completely unprepared for working life. While I can’t say I feel totally ready (who is, really?), I’m certainly far more at ease with myself, and my capabilities. I have been both encouraged and humbled by the process. But most importantly, I’ve had a great time. And I’ll continue to have a great time, because losing a whole staff member right now is terrible logistics for the company and they need me to stay on. See how this whole ‘demonstrating value’ thing works? Maybe it’ll work for you too.
See you all in September.