The Internship – From Clueless Wannabe To Landing A Job


Internships are hugely popular in Ireland yet many people are still sceptical of them due to the bad reputation they get – “interns are taken advantage of as free labour” seems to be a very common opinion nationwide however, speaking as someone who undertook a 3 month unpaid internship and secured a full-time paid position at the end, I can only speak highly of the experience I had.


Looking back, the reason I undertook an internship was to test the water. I wasn’t 100% sure of my abilities or what career direction I wanted to take and my internship with Sigmar Recruitment gave me the opportunity to try out the business world. I was also in the typical young person seeking job scenario where each job advertisement I saw featured that sentence ‘1-2 years’ experience required’, something I didn’t have. An internship was an opportunity for me to gain this experience and it also gave me a chance to prove myself for a position that I would not have qualified for, had the role been advertised.


Now I’m not going to lie, an internship is not easy. I wasn’t getting paid and to top matters off I wasn’t working close to home, in fact I was travelling from Kilkenny to Dublin each day. But in saying that, the on-the-job experience I gained was invaluable. Yes there were times I was stuck doing monotonous tasks but there were also times I was involved in fascinating projects. Being completely honest I didn’t know exactly what I was doing half the time but that’s the purpose of an internship: to learn!! So how did I go from clueless wannabe to landing a job I love? Here’s how:


Take it serious

The best way to describe an internship is that it’s an extended job interview so adjust your attitude accordingly. No matter how small a task you’re asked to do, do it well. Never act as though a task is too pointless or tedious, it’s all experience that you can add to your CV at the end of the day. And once you’re seen to be competent with the smaller tasks you’ll gradually be given more and more important tasks.


Work hard

Might seem like an obvious one but genuinely work you socks off. When given a deadline – try and beat it. When given a project – go above and beyond. Exceed expectations wherever possible and leave your manager with a positive impression of you as a worker.


Take on as much as you can

It’s simple the more you do, the more you have to show for your internship. If at points you find yourself idle, don’t just sit there and wait for your manager to give you tasks, ask for them. Also if you hear of projects taking place that you are interested in, ask if you can help out.


Ask Questions

Finally don’t be afraid of asking questions! You’re new to the working world and you’re not expected to know everything. If you’re unsure of how to do something, ask for help – how else will you learn?

Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager Sigmar on 28 November 2017

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