Internship Applications: My Story

Did I manage to get an Internship?

Here’s a timeline of how I finally secured my Second Year Summer Internship at one of my favourite companies.

August – It’s all about the CV

A year in advance I found myself sitting in the waiting area of an empty careers service getting my CV checked. I would throughly recommend using the service over summer before they become extremely busy in October again. The careers service was able to not only identify key experiences I should include in my CV but also suggested some structural ideas. Whilst I know loads of people who LaTeX their CVs (overkill IMO) I think that you can make a perfectly good CV on Word. (I even know someone who made theirs on PowerPoint!!)

October – Get the ball rolling on applications

Whilst researching industries, I soon realised that I had this strong inclination to work in transport. Weird, I know, especially for a maths student. Unfortunately I could only find a few internships that fit the transport bill so I also applied for other management consulting internships mainly in finance.

Soon I was getting used to the endless cycle of online applications, cover letter writing and online tests. (See my last post for more details on these parts of the process). I even started to get some replies and then finally an invitation to a telephone interview from Nomura. With its excellent reputation and a fantastic summer intern programme, I was extremely excited to have this opportunity.

November & December – Dealing with the first rejections

Although I felt that the telephone interview had gone well, unfortunately I was rejected a few weeks later. At first this felt like a major set back. However with the sound advice of friends around me, I soon realised that rejection isn’t something personal. It just means that company had a particular person in mind for the role and you might not have matched it perfectly. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t progress further in that application process as it probably wasn’t a role that was very well suited to me, and I wasn’t overly passionate about it anyway.

But it wasn’t all bad. Aside from the rejections I also completed a number of video interviews and continued to submit more applications. I started to get the hang of it and applying almost became quite addictive really. In hind sight I probably spent too long on applications, but I just wanted to be sure that I would get something for the summer.

January Part 1- Interviews

This was probably the busiest month in my internship cycle. I was giving up hope on finding an opportunity so started emailing smaller companies and start ups. Finally a 3D printing company responded and invited me in for an interview for a data analytics role. It was my first in-person interview for an internship role and although the role wasn’t well paid, I went in with an open mind. After 25 minutes of questions about my CV and relevant past experiences I was offered the role! I didn’t accept it then and there, because I knew I still had some companies that hadn’t responded to me yet.

Meanwhile I discovered that Imperial College Netball Club’s Sponsor MThree, was advertising an internship for Computing and Maths students. It was heavily tech based, something I lacked skill wise, but I thought why not and applied. After completing a numerical and coding test I was invited in for a first round interview. Even though I lacked computing skills, they decided to take me through to the next round (an assessment centre at their client Natwest Markets) given my enthusiasm for the role and eagerness to learn. This showed me how even if you’re not perfect for a role you can still bluff your way through.

January Part 2- Atkins!

Finally I got the email I had been eagerly waiting for, from Atkins, a civil engineering company. My first choice internship which specialised in consulting within the transport industry. It was good news and I was invited in for an interview. I found this interview the easiest to prepare for as I was most passionate about the industry. My interview with Atkins was almost fun. I enjoyed talking extensively about my experiences with MathSoc, rail fares!! and why I was passionate about transport. (very easy for me to answer). I came out of the interview positively buzzing.

The next morning I woke up and whilst still slightly dazed I got the email offering me the role! It was such an amazing feeling to have got an internship in something I was really passionate about. And finally it meant I could stop worrying about this massive part of my second year.

I am really looking forward to sharing my about my experience working at Atkins this summer so stay tuned for more posts!



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