Everyone looks forward to summer! For many people the long summer break can mean a number of things, for some it presents the opportunity to travel or a chance to earn a bit of money and get out of your overdraft. Likewise for some it is simply a time to relax, chill-out and watch as much Wimbledon on TV as possible!
For some proactive students however, the summer can represent an excellent opportunity to enhance your CV, increasing your prospects of getting that elusive ‘Graduate Job’ for when your time at university comes to an end. An internship is an excellent way to develop your CV, whilst broadening your horizons on what careers are available post university.
In my penultimate year of university, I applied for a summer internship at Grant Thornton, which is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. This was an excellent opportunity to build upon my skills and confidence but also experience the firms working culture and what future career prospects the industry held. Some internships even offer the opportunity of a graduate position if you impress them enough whilst you’re there, meaning you can start your final year of university just having to concentrate on exams knowing you have a job to go to when you get through your finals!
Whilst on my internship, I worked on a variety of different clients, at various locations across a spectrum of industries, which really gave me a flavour for the work involved. My typical day involved looking at a balance in the company’s set of accounts, and trying to verify that balance through a mixture of analytical and substantive testing. This was a great experience and really confirmed to me what a career in assurance could hold and what working for a firm like Grant Thornton would be like. I also participated in a corporate responsibility day, where all the other interns from across the country gave a day of their time back to the community and helped refurbish a nursery school in London.
In an increasingly competitive job market, saturated with graduates who have high class degrees, having an internship on your CV definitely increases your employability. It demonstrates a proactive attitude and a real opportunity to build your personal skill set and give you work experience which you can draw on in your future career. And who knows, you may even end up with a job to start the following summer, but act quickly – internships can be as competitive to obtain as most graduate jobs!
Steve McNicol, University of York Alumni, former Grant Thornton intern, now employed on the Graduate programme (www.grant-thornton.co.uk)