Global Business School for Health


My journey to landing a summer internship and beyond

3 August 2023

Discover the path to summer internships with GBSH's student ambassador Ran. His latest blog shares his journey and essential tips for securing internships, enriching your university experience, and preparing for future careers.

My journey to landing a summer internship and beyond

Summer internships hold immense potential to enrich your university experience and equip you with valuable industry knowledge for your future career and academic pursuits. They offer a unique opportunity to explore diverse career paths and gain practical insights. In this blog post, I will share my journey and provide essential information about securing a summer internship.

My First Internship at BDO
During my undergraduate studies in economics, I embarked on my first internship at BDO in the Financial Advisory department. It was an exciting opportunity that I secured after submitting numerous internship applications. Typically, the application period for summer internships ranges from September to January of the following year, with some variations depending on the company. Larger companies often adhere to a specific timeline. In my case, I began submitting my applications in October.

Application and Online Test
The application process for a summer internship closely mirrors that of a full-time job. Initially, you need to complete an application form, typically through the company's official website. While some companies accept applications via email, others, like BDO, require online submission. Following the application, the next step involves an online test consisting of written assessments and engaging exercises. These tests may include intriguing games, personality assessments, and logical reasoning tasks. While some companies might require applicants to write essays, my experience with BDO's summer internship in finance and consulting did not involve such a requirement. It's important to note that many multinational companies only accept applications once a year globally. This means you can apply for a specific position in a particular city within a company. Hence, careful planning and tailoring your resume accordingly are essential. Seek guidance from your university's career service staff, as they can provide valuable assistance to students who may still be uncertain about their career goals. Engaging in open communication with them might help you discover your true passion.

Video Interview
Video interviews can be a source of significant stress, as many companies conduct pre-recorded interviews using your computer. This means that instead of interacting with a natural person, you will speak into your laptop's webcam. The time constraints of video interviews and the fact that AI assesses some can heighten anxiety. Furthermore, feedback is often not provided immediately. Overcoming these challenges requires practice and exposure to as many video interviews as possible. Becoming familiar with the format will help alleviate tension. Mock interviews offered by UCL Careers Service can be beneficial in this regard. When preparing for a video interview, my advice is to remain authentic to yourself. Rather than obsessing over providing flawless answers, feel accessible to either memorize your responses or answer spontaneously—choose the approach that suits you best. Remember that employers are assessing your skills and evaluating your compatibility with their company. Resist the temptation to adopt a persona that deviates from your true self, as it often becomes apparent and can jeopardize your chances.

Final Interview (Assessment Centre)
Final interviews for many large companies are conducted in assessment centres, which may be completed online or in person. When I applied for my internship, it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus, the assessment centre was an in-person event. On the designated day, I arrived at the company at nine o'clock in the morning. The day began with an employer introduction and a group ice-breaking exercise. Subsequently, we participated in individual tasks and collaborated with a team on business analysis and presentation. Lunch was provided, and in the afternoon, I engaged in case interviews and had the opportunity to be interviewed by senior employees. It was an intense and demanding day that lasted until 5 pm, but I also had the chance to connect with many individuals in my age group, some of whom I still maintain contact with today. I advise the assessment centre to approach it with a relaxed and positive mindset. Avoid becoming overly nervous, as too much extensive preparation might not be feasible due to the unpredictable nature of the day's proceedings. However, explore the company's official website for additional insights that can aid your preparation.

Exploring Other Summer Internships
In addition to my BDO experience, I have undertaken summer internships at other companies. While the assessment methods in the application process may differ, a common thread lies in the importance of understanding yourself and the company. If you are in your first year of university, participating in a spring week program can be a fantastic opportunity to gain insights into your desired companies.

The Profound Impact of Summer Internships
The most significant benefit that summer internships have brought me extends beyond their impact on my subsequent applications for master's programs and jobs. They have also instilled in me a professional mindset, enabling me to approach problem-solving from a business and workplace perspective. This shift in thinking has proven invaluable for my studies and time management at university.

Securing a summer internship can be a transformative experience, providing practical industry exposure and paving the way for future success. By following the application process diligently, preparing for interviews, and embracing the opportunities that arise, you can embark on a rewarding journey that enhances your university years and propels you towards a promising future. Embrace the challenges, stay true to yourself, and let your summer internship be a stepping stone to professional growth.