Looking for an Internship Position
The process of applying for an internship position may spark many questions. What kinds of positions can I apply for with my background? Where do I look for internship positions? How can I communicate my existing competence to the employer?
Applying for a position is also a part of the practical training process. Contemplating your own competence and goals and becoming more proficient in communicating them creates capabilities for seeking employment after graduation. Weighing possible jobs and employers in the context of the internship phase will help you determine your opportunities after your studies.
Explore your possibilities with courage and curiosity – you might find that you have a much wider range of opportunities than you initially even dared to imagine.
However, always remember to find out about your degree programme’s possible recommendations or requirements regarding the internship position. If you would like to include an internship in your studies, you must obtain approval from your faculty.
What kind of internship position would be suitable for me?
When deciding on the internship position you would like, you can consider your interests and goals for the training period. You can think about the following questions, for example:
- What kinds of work tasks do you find meaningful, what is important to you and what sorts of things would you like to work for?
- How would you like your employer to be?
- Are there any kinds of tasks you would like to learn more about (e.g. communications, carrying out studies and analyses, administrative tasks, customer contact...)?
Interns work in a variety of tasks for a variety of employers
You can also go into more detail in considering the kinds of tasks in which your goals, dreams and competence come together in the best possible way. Interns work in a variety of tasks, which can include the following:
- performing research or analyses
- customer contact
- retrieving, analysing and reporting on information
- producing, editing and proofreading written materials
- producing web content
- planning events and happenings
- planning training
- providing training
- participating in projects
- managing international relations
- or something else...
It should be noted that all these tasks are available from a variety of employers: state departments, municipalities, organisations, associations and private companies.
Describe your competence
Finding an internship position is the same as looking for a job, in that the employer is interested in the applicant’s competence. The internship is often the first work experience gained in the field of study, which is why it is a good idea to take a broad approach to considering the experience and competence you have already accumulated in various areas of life.
You should consider the competences gained through studies as well as recreational interests, hobbies, summer jobs and work for NGOs and volunteer organisations with an open mind and compare them to the job description of your desired internship position: can the competence gained through these experiences be useful for the internship?
You should also remember that you are taking the internship to learn, so you do not need to have the proficiency for every task when applying for the position. The internship period also includes supervision, which is why the employer will assign a supervisor to you for the duration of your training period.
In many cases, the employer is also interested in why the applicant wants to specifically work for the organisation in question. Considering how the internship is linked to your own studies and future plans also helps with conveying your motivations to the employer.
Some sources of information for international students looking for an internship position in Finland
You can also use workbooks like Recognize your possibilities and Job hunting skills to help you to recognize your strenghts and motivation and improve your job-hunting skills.
Guide for Hidden Labour Market -guide by the University of Helsinki can also offer you ideas on how to start looking for your internship position.
Internship positions are available from a variety of sources
- The job board service maintained by the university is used to offer internship positions to students of the University of Tampere. The service is available year-round.
- Some organisations may also release internship listings through their own communication channels, such as their websites. Please note that the state internship positions that require the university internship grant are published on the universities’ own websites – for Tampere University, on the job board service.
- The faculties have long-lasting cooperation relationships and connections with employers, which can help with finding an internship position. Information on internship positions in previous years can be provided by the internship contact person of your degree programme, for example.
- You may also be able to secure an internship position through your own contacts. Remember to consider contacts gained through hobbies, volunteer work and summer jobs, for example. Could the umbrella organisation of your hobby association provide an internship position? Would it be possible for your summer employer of the previous year to have interesting internship opportunities?
- What about your own immediate circle – their tips and experiences: family, friends, acquaintances, fellow students...