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




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

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