HOW DO I FILL OUT MY APPLICATION MATERIALS TO SHOWCASE MY SKILLS?
Once you have been accepted to the FIE Study and Internship Program, you will be provided with links to our online MyInternship portal. It is important to thoroughly read our Realities of Working in London section before completing your internship materials.
Step 1: Read the Materials Carefully
Proper preparation is key to your success in your internship. Make sure you have carefully read about the Realities of Working in London and FIE Internship Areas so that you know what internships are typically available to students and so you can follow instructions closely. Your materials are your first opportunity to demonstrate your attitude and commitment to your Internship Mentor, who will be organizing your placement on your behalf. Make a good first impression! Your care and attention to detail will help your Mentor present you as a strong candidate for potential internships in London.
Step 2: Select your Three Internship Placement Choices
Take a look through all of the available Industry Areas and select three areas of interest with which you have had significant experience or that relate to your academic studies. Potential internship placements are looking for students with professional or academic experience in the given area, or at a minimum, a demonstrated passion and desire to learn. Make sure you can justify each of your choices.
- On the MyInternship form, you should select three different main industry choices. Provided that students have the relevant skills and experience, we endeavor to place every student in an internship which is as close to their original requests as possible. However, please keep in mind that while we will try to place you within your first choice area, we will utilize second and third choices if and when necessary, and will often use a combination of all three.
An example of an internship choice selection:
- Business and Economics
- Accountancy and Finance
- You may also request sub-areas so we have a better idea what you are looking for. However, please keep in mind that while we will try to accommodate your requested sub-areas, an exact match cannot be guaranteed. Sub-areas must come from the available choices in the Internship Areas.
Here are two additional examples:
- Fashion – Marketing and PR
- Business and Economics – Entrepreneurial Companies
- Social Welfare and Non-Profit – Youth and Children's Issues
- Education – Educational Programs
Requesting the same industry – differing only by sub-area – is not permitted. Students must select three different main industry choices.
The following would not be accepted:
Fashion – Labels and Boutiques Fashion – Design Fashion – PR and Marketing
We would recommend the student above change the choices to:
- Fashion – Labels and Boutiques
- IT & Multimedia – Graphic Design
- Communications – Marketing and PR
- Please do not write specific company names or choices that are too narrow, as it is important to be open to a variety of areas within your fields of interest. Any named placements or sub-areas not listed in the FIE Internship Areas will automatically be reclassified to fit available choices.
- No particular placement can be guaranteed to be available for an individual student during the short time the student is available to work in London. While you won’t have the opportunity to choose the particular company or organization where you will be working, you will benefit from FIE’s years of experience in organizing quality internships for foreign undergraduate students.
Step 3: Complete your online MyInternship Form
All students seeking internships must complete the online MyInternship Form. These questions ask you to define your objectives, career goals and expectations for your internship.
You should take the time to craft thoughtful responses to each question. You won’t have the opportunity to meet your Internship Mentor in person until you arrive in London, so this is your chance to really communicate who you are and what you hope to achieve to the person who will be working to translate your goals into the reality of your placement.
Your answers can also provide cues about your ability to follow instructions, your writing skills, and your attitude and commitment to the international internship experience. It is important for you to demonstrate you have carefully read and considered the <Realities of Working in London> guide – this will show your Mentor you are a strong candidate for a London internship.
Step 4: Write your CV (résumé)
|You will upload your CV to the MyInternship online form. Your CV must be in Word Document format.|
A Curriculum Vitae, or CV, (known in America as a résumé) is Latin and literally means “the course of one’s life or career.” The purpose of a CV is to represent you, telling the reader what to expect and what you are hoping to achieve. A CV creates the all-important first impression and should persuade an organization to interview you. You may think that because this is an unpaid experience or because you might have participated in internship work in the past that organizations are not concerned about who you are but are just looking for “an extra pair of hands.” This could not be further from the truth. Placement organizations are looking for hard-working, motivated young people to actively participate in their work. Providing a placement for a student requires a commitment of valuable time and effort for site supervisors. Moreover, most organizations receive many inquiries for placements and are therefore selective.
The information contained in your CV must be presented in a clear, concise manner. Take into consideration:
- Order of information: The top third of the page is your prime space and should contain your most important, relevant information to ensure the reader remains interested. The order of your CV should be logical and interesting.
- Content: Make sure spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct. Avoid long sentences and paragraphs. Opt for bullet points and use positive phrases and words.
- Font: Choose a clear, easy to read font such as Times New Roman or Arial using 10 or 12 point. Ensure there is continuity throughout your CV.
- Format: Your CV should be a Microsoft Word document (other formats, including PDF, are not accepted). Refrain from using elaborate graphics or imagery as it may not be compatible with readers’ computers or devices.
- Headings: Use clear headings to define topics and ensure information is easy to find.
- Margins: Ensure your CV is clearly presented, visually pleasing and not too cluttered.
- Length: The CV for a traditional-aged college student should not be any longer than two pages. Make sure it only contains relevant information, and if possible condensed to one page rather than try and fill two sheets.
It is important that your CV is targeted to your intended reader – in this instance, a prospective employer and the FIE Internship Team. It must be accurate, up-to-date and interesting. The reader is looking for relevant information. It is always tempting to compose a chronological account of your life to date but this is not necessary; organizations appreciate you are a full-time student and so do not expect you to have an extensive work background. The content of your CV will consist of your education, relevant work experience, interests, skills and placement objective. We recommend using the following sections to organize your CV.
- Objective: Stating a placement objective at the beginning of your CV highlights your aims and aspirations. It immediately explains to the reader what you are hoping to achieve and it will focus and encourage the reader to continue to read further. However, as your CV may be sent to several prospective placements in different fields, your objective should be very broad.
- Education: State which home institution you attend, your major and minor, and most importantly list the relevant classes you have taken. This will demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen field.
- Work & Volunteer Experience: Starting with most recent first, include any relevant work/volunteer experience you have had. For each item listed, include several bullet points indicating your main responsibilities and tasks.
- Skills: This section demonstrates what you could bring to a position and highlights your transferable skills and industry specific skills. List your computer skills and any languages you speak and with what proficiency.
- Interests and Achievements: Include any organizations or clubs you are a member of and any volunteer work you have participated in. This section provides an excellent opportunity for you to highlight any interests and achievements you have that are relevant to the field in which you wish to have an internship experience.
It may take some time to create your CV, but this is the document that is going to secure your internship interview, so take the time to get it right. Ensure that someone proofreads your CV to check for any mistakes or typos before you submit it to FIE. Your campus Career Center may provide a service to help you develop your CV.
Take a look at these two samples of well-done CVs:
Step 5: Write your Personal Statement
|You will upload your Personal Statement to the MyInternship online form. Your Personal Statement must be in Word Document format.|
A Personal Statement will accompany your CV and is designed to give the reader an insight into you, the type of person you are and your motivations and aspirations. It will introduce you and your CV to the reader long before they have the opportunity to meet you in person. Your personal statement is not an essay on why you want to come to London but rather has a specific focus on the international internship, your goals, and your flexible approach to all three of your industry choices.
Your statement should be one page in length with single spacing or maximum 1.5 spacing. Though you should not feel constrained, we recommend the following structure:
- You should start by focusing on your professional goals and how work experience in London will supplement them.
- Then, you should talk about your previous voluntary and professional experience and your academic studies, emphasizing what skills you could offer a professional employer.
- Your final paragraph should outline the industries you would like to work in as part of your placement in London, pertaining to your three industry choices.
- When writing your Personal Statement, consider who will be reading the document: potential employers (and your Internship Mentor!). You should leave the reader understanding what you are hoping to achieve and why they should want you at their organization. Avoid using negative phrases and terminology. Be careful in using jargon that might be specific to your home country. Keep the information relevant and refer to the details contained within your CV. You can use the Personal Statement to expand on skills, achievements, and experience you have mentioned in your CV.
- The Personal Statement should be professional in tone, avoiding flowery or emotive language. Overly personal or sentimental anecdotes or information are not appropriate. The content of your Personal Statement will be similar to that of a cover letter for a job application. However, please do NOT put your Personal Statement in the form of a letter, as FIE will be writing to potential placements on your behalf.
- Ensure that your Personal Statement is presented in a clear, concise manner, using an easy to read font. Make certain that the information is applicable and that your Personal Statement is no longer than one page. Be sure that your name is clearly displayed at the top of the document.
Take a look at these two samples of well-done personal statements, crafted to match to previous CV examples:
Step 6: Additional Requirements for Certain Industry Choices
For certain industry choices, you will need to provide additional documents.
- Police Check
The UK government requires that all people working with an ‘at risk’ population have a background check, and this includes interns. All Service Internship students and Internship students requesting education, psychology, not-for-profit or legal and justice organizations as any of their three choices are required to bring a Police Check with them to London. Please click here for more information about getting a police check . It may take several weeks to get the checks, so make sure you start the process well in advance of your arrival as you will need to bring it physically with you to London.
- Politics: Political Paragraph
If you listed politics as any of your three choices, you must write a short political paragraph stating with which party in British politics you identify most closely and why. Please also indicate what political issues or policy areas you have a particular interest in. This should be typed into the relevant box on the MyInternship online application form.
- Journalism: Writing Samples
If you listed journalism as any of your three choices, you need to upload a writing sample(s) on your MyInternship online application form. This should be an article or two (it can be one you have already written) that best represents your work and interests.
- Fashion Design, Graphic Design or Creative Arts: Portfolio
For those of you wishing to intern within applied creative arts, fashion design or graphic design, please include examples of your work to us that we can send on to potential placement sites. You can either provide a link to your online portfolio or upload digital photos or other electronic files.
Can I organize my own internship?
In our experience, the typical foreign undergraduate student will not be successful at organizing an internship on their own which is compatible with the specific requirements of the academic program. Even where opportunities are advertised, the company may be unable or unwilling to comply with, for example, the specific dates you are available to work. This is one of the great benefits of studying with FIE – we will organize the internship for you!
However, if you already have a strong personal network of contacts, it may be possible to organize your own internship instead of having FIE arrange the placement for you. If you would like to organize your own internship, you’ll need to email the Experiential Education Team before you submit your application. We’ll be able to advise you if your university permits students to organize their own internships and what the requirements are.
If your home university permits this option, you will be given further information about the requirements (for example, if the placement were to fall through, you’d be responsible for organizing an alternative for yourself) and a specific deadline for confirming the placement. The deadline will be well before your departure date as we must vet the placement, including a visit to the offices where you will be working, a process which can take several months to complete. Please note it is never possible for a student to arrive in London and then start trying to organize their own internship.
What happens next?
Take a look at our After you Arrive section.