I was just thinking that this time last year I was searching and searching for an internship so that I could take a year out of university to get some commercial experience in a working environment. Ideally I would’ve loved to get a placement at a games studio as It’s my goal to get into the games industry but these kind of opportunities are very few and far between especially as I wanted to stay in the East Yorkshire area to stay with my family. I sent off my first batch of CVs and cover letters off to various games companies in York, Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster accepting I’d have to commute everyday which wasn’t a problem. So after 20 applications sent, I received probably with a “Thank you for your application, we’ll get back to you” routine email, after that I heard nothing from anyone. A few weeks later saw me applying to more local software companies again receiving the same kind of email or not getting anything back at all.
After this time you start feeling abit down with no replies or correspondence until I received an email from a gaming company based in Sheffield saying they looked at my CV and followed the URL to some of my work I’m hosting on Media Fire as I they where quite impressed but do not offer internships, but to defiantly contact them in the future. The following day I received a phone call from Nestle asking if I would like to attend an interview at the York office which I was very excited about. These 2 events where really confidence boosting. Unfortuntaly I was unsuccessful with Nestle after two interviews after It was down to myself and a friend on the same course. I called up the day after I received the news for feedback off the interviewers who very kindly went through alot with me. The HR lady said that I was fantastic personality wise and for her part I would’ve been successful, it was down to my lack of knowledge technically as the post was for someone with SQL experience which, my friend who was the other candidate had due to us taking different modules. This was a fair assessment and I took all positives and negatives from this and tried elsewhere. Some days later Nestle called me again for another interview in a different department, I attended again and found that my interviews had recommended me to the business section, I was with 12 other candidates who had been through various online test, assignments and interviews to get there and I’d just been called in. I didn’t get a placement for this job either, nor would I have accepted one as it was more business focused rather than software and programming focused and my interviewers knew they couldn’t offer me that in their department, but still I was immensely proud they thought of me.
I then got word from another friend that a company called Keyfort who where based in the business school where hiring an intern and applied immediately getting a phone call a few days later, two interviews later, technical and personal and I was offered a placement, I was so pleased and still am it’s been a wonderful experience.
Some tips on getting that placement:
– Try not to get to disheartened when you don’t receive correspondence back, people are busy and generally don’t feel a reply is needed, especially larger organizations.
– Create a portfolio – I hosted mine on Media Fire, but I’d now suggest doing a quick 2 minute video on youtube as it’s more access for people to access.
– Make your CV stand out – My CV has my name in very big and bold at the top, it helps people find it in a big stack, it’s been commented on in nearly every interview I’ve had.
– Suit up – Shirt defiantly is a must, I’d recommend a tie aswell. Your supposed to be making that gfirst great impression, your supposed to look your best for an interview.
– research the company – for an interview talk about what projects they are currently working on.
– Don’t make up things – If you don’t know about something such as a certain language, don’t say you do! The interviewer will not ask you if they don’t know about it themselves and they’ll know your blagging.
– They’re not looking for the finished article – Just remember, your there to learn not do everything, listen to what experienced people say.
– Just be yourself – It will put both yourself and the interviewer/s at ease.
Indecently my company are currently looking for a new intern to replace myself for next year when I return to University.
Good luck at finding that placement, I’d seriously recommend it, weather or not its the exact industry you want to be in. Experience is experience.