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Summer internships as a student

Hello all! As we are getting to the end of semester two, apart from preparing for the exams, many students are also applying for internships for the summer, especially second-year students. I am fortunate to be selected as an audit intern at PwC in Manchester. Therefore, in this blog, I would like to share with you my experiences of applying for internships, the application process and some tips. Hopefully, by the end, you will have a better understanding and be more confident to land an internship!

Businesses today are more connected to students than ever; they have put a lot of emphasis on reaching out to current students. There are a lot of opportunities and events for students to take part in and gain more specific knowledge about the company or the industry. This is a great starting point if you are in doubt. Through these events, you are able to chat and connect with employees and other students who have similar interests as you. You can start building your network.

Once you have a clear direction in mind, you can then start applying. The most important element in the early stage is to have an impressive CV. It is fine if you don’t have a lot of professional experience, the businesses don’t expect the university students to know everything right from the start! You only need to put down things that would really show your character in a simplistic but effective way. Let the company get to know you better. Don’t be afraid to put down personal hobbies such as sports. It is also a great way to show that you are a genuine person.

If you pass the CV check, you will then be moving on to the online tests. Depending on the company, this usually includes numerical and verbal reasoning questions. There are many useful websites that you can use to practice. For instance, the University of Manchester has partnered with multiple test providers, so that students can access the enormous question banks (even specific to each company) for free. There is no shortcut here, the only way to pass is to practice until you are confident.

Lastly, if you make it to the interview stage, this might be a video interview (recorded) or an in-person interview. The idea is the same, be prepared for surprises! Although you can try to predict the questions, it is almost certain that there will be questions that you have never seen before. Therefore, it is more important to be flexible and smart rather than remember all the answers. With that said, some topics almost always come up in interviews. Such as the company culture, your motivations for the company and the role, and your knowledge about the line of service.

Finally, don’t lose confidence if you have been rejected. No one gets there in one go. Sometimes you get to the interview stage, sometimes only the online tests. However, these are also valuable experiences that will help you improve in the next application. Good luck!