Student hacks: 3 tips for landing a Summer internship

by Nov 4, 2020

An internship can be one of the most valuable experiences that you can have at university, but this doesn’t mean the process of getting or achieving one is simple. 

The pressure to get industry experience can feel overwhelming, especially when your friends seem to have it on lock. But do not fear. There is an internship out there for every student and it is up to you to grab the opportunity with both hands. 

Rachel Khalef and Kelly Ding are UTS students and podcasters from the UTS Student Hacks Podcast, and understand firsthand how competitive the internship market can be. 

In the latest episode of the UTS Student Hacks Podcast, they spoke to two students who have recently acquired internships: Mariah Taleb, a Biomedical Engineering student, who was an intern at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Connor Boughton, a Mechatronics Engineering student who interned at Jenkins engineering defence systems. Maria and Connor give their advice to students for securing an internship wherever you are in your degree. 

But if podcasts aren’t your thing, here are three tips from the episode to get you started on your internship journey. 


1. Have confidence in your ability 

It is easy to doubt ourselves as undergraduate students and compare ourselves to more professional candidates, but our student perspective can be very appealing to an employer. 

Instead of thinking about what you lack, think about what you can bring to a role as an undergraduate or graduate student; a good work ethic, a fresh perspective, new ideas or ways to approach a project. Interpersonal skills like leadership, problem-solving, and communicating effectively with others are skills that you can hone while you’re at university. 

Remember that technical skills can be developed on the job but a good work ethic is based on how you work as an individual and team member. 

2. Use multiple sources and don’t give up

When looking for an internship, it’s important to be adaptable, broaden your search, and be flexible. 

Applying for jobs that interest you but don’t directly relate to your degree will still give you experience and develop transferable skills that can be used for a variety of roles. While waiting for the perfect role to come up, make sure that you’re ready to apply for other positions and build your interpersonal skills by applying for workshops or attending seminars from industry professionals that inspire you. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your personal network of friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and community groups for advice and industry connections. Virtual networking can also be beneficial, so start with LinkedIn, professional associations, and student societies. The UTS Professional Mentoring Platform can also help students make industry connections and receive advice on resumes, interview strategy, and job opportunities in a casual setting. 

Staying positive and proactive is another important part of securing an internship. There will no doubt be some rejections, but always remember: when one door closes, another opens. Continue applying for jobs and research on different ways to find opportunities in your industry. A job search is like a university project: it requires multiple sources and takes time and effort. 

As with all things, balance is important. Don’t send yourself into overdrive looking for an internship. Stay connected with family and friends, and seek advice from UTS Career advisors who can support you with job search strategies, career direction, and even resumes and cover letters if you’re feeling stuck. 

3. Find an internship that interests and excites you. And make the most of the opportunities that come with your internship role 

An internship is a valuable opportunity to build experience, collaborate with professionals, and get a taste for working in the industry of your dreams. Although not all internships will lead to future work in the same company, take all the opportunities that come with your role. By asking questions, building on key skills in your desired field, and getting out of your comfort zone, you are making the most of the resources and professionals that are available to you. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember that everyone was a student, and even an intern once, and you are capable of more than you think. 

If you want to hear more about Mariah and Connor’s internship experiences make sure to tune into this week’s episode of the Student Hacks Podcast through any of these platforms: 


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Liv Day

Liv Day

Communications Intern | Student Learning Hub

Liv Day is a UTS Communications (Journalism) graduate who loves creative writing, reading and her border collie.