At Pearson College London, we believe that industry knowledge doesn’t, and shouldn’t end in the classroom and getting hands-on experience is a great way to boost your CV and make yourself stand out from other grads when applying for jobs in your final year. Of course, your academic success is really important, but take it from us when we say that employers are interested in the “other things” you did to grow and develop yourself while at university: attending industry days, competing in business challenges, volunteering and direct work experience such as internships. We call this the “second syllabus” and we know from Pearson College alumni that this is just as important as the degree itself in getting a great job once you graduate.
To date, our students have completed internships at a range of organisations from global brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Accenture; to public organisations and charities such as the Civil Service and Oxfam; to SMEs such as The Access Platform and Learnetal.
Your career journey at Pearson College London
So, how does the internship fit in with your learning experience at Pearson College London? Let’s think of it as building blocks, with each year getting you one step closer to landing that perfect job opportunity after you graduate.
In your first year, you are transitioning into higher education and it’s a great year to explore all the industry opportunities that we offer at Pearson College. We really want to encourage you to attend industry days, participate in business challenges and actively engage with our Talent Development Centre, a new platform that you can find on the student portal. All the information you need can be found here, from upcoming industry events to how you can build a great CV, and you also have access to lots of videos that will help with interview techniques and much more.
Year two is about giving it a go and starting to think about the right career path for you, and one excellent way to test the water is by completing an internship. All the great industry activities you’ve been involved with in your first year will help to increase the impact of your CV and will provide plenty of material for you to speak about in your interviews with employers. Keep going to industry events during this year, employers love to see you have been proactive in developing yourself outside of the classroom! Year three is the real thing and it’s time to get serious now.
This final year is all about consolidating your experiences and thinking about how they can help shape your professional profile. Most importantly, it’s time to start actively applying for roles. Most applications for graduate schemes start early, but this isn’t the only way to find a good job - here at Pearson College we provide evenings with alumni to help you understand the different ways to approach job hunting, and the endless range of different jobs and industries that may suit you as a graduate.
Why do we promote Internships?
- Develop your soft skills ready for full-time employment in the future
Time-management, organisation, communication and team-work may be skills you’re using now, but once you’re in a work environment they’re skills that become entirely different. From managing multiple projects with conflicting deadlines, to arranging and attending meeting with internal and external stakeholders to liaising with colleagues all over the world who may be working on the same project. These are the skills employers are looking for, and by gaining these during an internship ahead of graduation, you’re already taking the step to make yourself stand out from your peers.
- Give you an insight to different industries and sectors
Most of you will attend at least one Open Day, Taster Day or Professional Workshop before deciding on where to study so that you can get a feel for what it’s like and to see if it is the right choice for you - and choosing your career is no different. Our Guaranteed Internship scheme gives students a chance to try out a role or an industry to see if it’s what they want to do - they may realise it’s their dream job or that it’s not what they thought it would be at all. This experience may then help to shape module selections later on in the course.
- Networking and making connections
Most graduates don’t start making connections until they start their first job, but by getting that experience early on as a student, you’ll make connections that you may be able to utilise when you’re looking for a full-time role. If you really impress your managers whilst interning, they may consider you for a placement year or even future roles - so it’s always a good idea to connect and stay in touch.
- CV gold
This one is self-explanatory. The more experience you can add to your CV whilst studying, the better. This will show employers you’re committed and already have a good idea of office culture and the key soft skills for roles.
As well as our Guaranteed Internship scheme, we also offer students the opportunity to take an industry placement for between 10 - 15 months in between your second and third year. This gives students an opportunity to get some excellent experience within an organisation before returning for your final year of studying.
Amy Butcher is currently taking part in a Industry Placement with L’Oreal - hear what she has to say about her placement: