Skip to main content

29th October 2020

Top tips for a finding the perfect tech internship

Looking for an internship but don’t know where to start? Zain Alden shares his top tips for finding the perfect tech internship
Top tips for a finding the perfect tech internship
Photo: Matthew Hurst @ Flickr

In any sector finding an internship is a great path to jump-starting your career, so its no surprise that finding one can be a concern for many people. Luckily in almost every discipline – from investment banks to hardware companies to Aerospace – certain fields requires some sort of technical knowledge. There are lots of opportunities out there, so here are some top tips when it comes to finding and applying to the right internship.

It’s not just for second years

Maybe this is the first thing you will hear when starting university. Although you might have a better chance of getting an internship in your second year that doesn’t mean you will not get something at another point. There is a good amount of start-ups looking for people to work for them. Mostly they don’t offer paid experiences but at least you might get good experience.

An advantage of applying in your first year is that you get to know how the process works. What is needed, the process of applying and what most companies look for. Usually companies don’t change their hiring process from year to year so you will know what is needed. Additionally, you get to practice coding questions – something pretty much all tech-related positions usually require.

Apply early

No matter how tempting it seems, don’t put off applying just because the deadline is far away. Deadlines range from company to company. For example, investment banks usually open early in September, whilst others keep their applications coming in until summer (these tend to be smaller companies). There is no one-size-fits-all so make sure you keep on top of important dates.

Photo: CollegeDegrees360

Apply to insights

An insight is an opportunity offered by some companies to help build your experience with the chance of landing an internship upon completion. It is usually a week or two where you spend time training and working on a project for the company, after which they invite you to apply for – or sometimes just grant – an internship. These are usually offered by investment banks and are aimed mainly at first years, but it helps to establish a relationship with the company regardless of your academic year.

Use the University CareersLink

Although frustrating to use it does has some cool opportunities. For example, I found the link for the Bloomberg internship on it before it was publicly available to everyone. Some companies put contact emails in the application so you would have an edge by getting to skip automated checking, and go straight to speaking with a person.

CVs and Cover letters

There is no one way to format a CV. My opinion is to get as many people as you can to take a look at your draft and give you advice. This way you can get multiple opinions on what works, and what doesn’t. Send cover letters if possible, it will help set you apart from those who haven’t bothered. The university guide on CVs and Cover letters has some really helpful tips, as well as advice for interviews and more.

Practice, practice, practice

The first stage of almost every tech internship is some kind of coding exercise, so do coding challenges as much as you can for practice (and maybe fun!). However, try not to overwhelm yourself with how hard some of these will be as some will be deliberately challenging. Just give it your best shot! But of course practice makes perfect.

Below are some links to pages that might help your application process even more, as well as a few internships available currently that I personally found interesting and worth taking a look at. Good luck!

More Coverage

Circadian rhythms of health: Why syncing with the environment is vital to wellbeing

Learn how circadian rhythms are the key to optimise your sleep, improve your mood and ace your exams

Ice, Ice, Maybe? The art of remembering and forgetting, from a roundworm’s ice bath

Love an ice bath? So do roundworms – because they can remember that they’ve just had one. The storing of memory is a complex phenomenon, but a recent study has found that roundworms can delay their forgetting of their memory if they’re placed on ice

What Game Theory reveals about the science of cooperation

Game theory is the science of competition and cooperation. It seeks to reveal the best strategies which bring you maximum gain. What does it show about life and the world around us?

Celebrating 70 years of science at CERN

As the 70th anniversary of CERN approaches, we investigate the origins and history of the organisation whilst asking questions about the future of the laboratory; what’s next? And how can it align its ambition for research with the modern world’s needs for sustainability?