How I Landed an Internship

My Snowball Effect

At the beginning of my work placement, I suspected that working on research projects is something that I want to stay involved in.

All the reflection in the world couldn’t have prepared me for what happened next.

Thinking About My Future

Towards the end of my placement, I began to think, ‘what do I want to do after these 30 hours?’, so I looked to the approaching summer, only weeks away. In an ideal world, I knew that a summer research job related to psychology would help me gain experience, which is perfect for an aspiring clinical psychologist.

I thought that such positions are hard to come by and even harder to be considered for. There was no harm in trying. I started hunting for jobs within the university, as this is how I arranged my 30-hour placement. I stumbled upon the university’s internship programs. I found two research internships. Don’t be under any false illusion, I applied on the day of the deadline, so my applications were somewhat rushed.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

A week later, I was offered an interview for both applications! I think considering how rushed my applications were, this was an achievement in itself. The challenge was not over…the two applications required the same interview. I felt that my interviewing skills were nowhere near up to scratch to sell myself well for two jobs at the same time! And yet, I muddled through.

Within hours, I was offered one of the internships.

Time for Reflection

Even though I got the job, I still called my future employer for feedback on my interview. I asked why I was offered the job, I certainly wasn’t expecting it. The response shocked me. It had been my experience and skills that I had learned from my 30-hour placement.

I didn’t understand in the slightest. How could 30 hours of work experience prepare me for an eight week paid internship? But when I thought about it, it clicked. My placement and internship had similar roles:

  • Attending meetings
  • Independent working
  • Data management
  • Transcribing
  • Academic writing
Photo by Tekton on Unsplash

I don’t think I realised that even in 30 hours, I had learnt so many skills, e.g. transcribing and data management. Learning so much in so little time gave me a great sense of achievement. This showed me that even small bits of experience add up, and I should accept any opportunity that comes my way. I’ve previously only valued experience if it lasted for at least a few months.

I feel as though the 30-hour placement snowballed into an eight week paid internship. I am genuinely so excited to see what this will snowball into next! I think this 30-hour placement has put me in an excellent position in terms of employability. It has given me skills I didn’t even know I needed, and I am so grateful.

What’s the next snowball?

Photo by Jeremiah Higgins on Unsplash

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This site is for all BSc Psychology students in their second year of study, taking either of the PSYC21000 Career Management Unit (CMU) or PSYC22000 Short Work Placement (SWP) units.

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Rachel

Rachel

A second-year psychology student at the University of Manchester and an aspiring clinical psychologist

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