A lot of internship opportunities are never advertised, or might only get created after a speculative contact to an organisation. This is especially true if you are interested in working at a smaller employer who won’t have the more formal organised internships schemes that larger organisations have.
So how do you get these opportunities if they are never advertised? You’ll need to take a speculative approach and seek out employers to target. In this post we’ll take you through how to find organisations to approach. Look out for part two where we’ll cover how to craft your speculative application to the organisations you find!
A great place to start is doing a bit of networking. This can be as simple as asking around your friends to see if anyone has any connections to any organisations that might be worth approaching. Or talking to people on your course who might have already done an internship and can recommend an organisation for you to approach.
You can also try online networking through Bath Connection and LinkedIn. Bath Connection is an alumni networking platform specifically for Bath alumni and students. On here you can search through alumni experts who are on the site because they are happy to be contacted by students. Try searching for graduates working in the areas you want to gain experience with and start connecting! We’d recommend not going straight in with asking about internships though, have a chat first. Even if this doesn’t lead to work experience, these chats can still give you interesting insights and future connections.
Try some searches
Another approach is to try searching for organisations of interest.
Organisations on MyFuture
An easy way to start is by using the Organisations tab on MyFuture. Here you can find a directory of every single employer who has ever advertised on MyFuture. Most of the time, employers register directly with us on MyFuture because they want to target Bath students. So if you find them in the Organisation list there is a good chance that at some point they were interested in Bath students.
By searching through organisations on here, you can find companies to further explore and potentially contact.
From the Organisations tab you can also see the vacancies companies have advertised with us previously, even if they aren’t advertising anything now. This can give you ideas of what internships they may have advertised previously and help you target a speculative application as it will give you an idea of the skills they value.
Using the FAME database
Another great way to search is using the FAME database available via the library (current students only). FAME is a directory of every company in the UK and Ireland and you can search it based on different criteria. This includes things like sector, location, number of employees and more.
By using FAME and narrowing down your criteria you can very quickly get a “hit list” of companies in your area of interest to work through. This is a great way of finding smaller companies and companies specific to a particular area that you may not have come across otherwise.
Be flexible and open
Our final tip for finding employers for internships that might not be advertised is to keep an open mind. Being open to exploring your career option and networking is not always going to lead to a formal internship but it may help to inform your career options and give you useful future connections.
Additionally, when seeking out opportunities you may get offered work experience, work shadowing or a careers chat. Even though this isn’t the paid internship you were hoping for – these opportunities can still give you useful insights and lead to opportunities in future. So don’t discount them!
Hopefully this gives you some ideas for finding employers to target who may not advertise internships. You can find more information on MyFuture:
Look out for part two where we will discuss how to write a speculative application for the organisations you find.