GUEST BLOG: Internships

Guest blog written by Anthony Chui, Analyst | Indirect Tax, Deloitte LLP

I’m Anthony and I studied Economics at York. I completed Deloitte’s Summer Vacation Scheme (SVS) in the summer of 2014 and began my graduate role full time in September UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green2015. My SVS scheme was in Indirect Tax Consultancy and Private Client Services. During the scheme I was given a huge array of responsibility – for example drafting client correspondence, researching potential opportunities to existing clients, and attending client meetings. I worked on different projects with a variety of people. The SVS scheme gave me great insight into the culture within Deloitte and what a full time role would be like after university.

I would wholeheartedly recommend that every student apply for an internship, be it with Deloitte, or any other organisation.

Importance of a summer internship

The question no one likes to hear – “what are you doing after university?”. Of the students graduating in my year, many didn’t have any idea as to what they would be doing after graduation. With tuition fees being £9,000, and the cost of attaining a degree more expensive than ever, pressure has never mounted so high on students to have “something lined up” after departing from their studies.

For me and any of my friends who completed internships, we all knew what we would be doing. As you may be aware, the majority of internships offer a “conversion” scheme, offering the intern a full time graduate job conditional on them completing their studies.

Generally, internships are completed by students in their penultimate year (in the summer before they are due to start their final year of university). Internships are invaluable for students getting experience, and offering them the chance to find out what working in a particular industry or company is like. As I said, many students end up “converting” their internship into a full time graduate job!

Maximising your chances of getting an internship with a top employer

As you can imagine, places for internships (especially with top employers!) are very competitive. However there are many ways to maximise your chances of getting an internship.

For me, getting early applications in as soon as possible was absolutely crucial. Obviously when applications open varies from employer to employer. Therefore being organised is an absolute must! Ensure you research the organisation for each internship you are applying for, to understand how the process works and see when the deadlines are.

Careers at the University of York was an invaluable resource for me and my friends who secured internships. Careers offers interview advice and preparation, booklets on many sectors of particular industries (for example, audit, tax, corporate finance, consulting etc.), and practice psychometric tests. Careers offers free copies of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers – this gave me great insight into the organisations which would be good to apply to for internships.

Do not underestimate psychometric tests – many candidates fall at this first hurdle! Careers offers countless practice numerical and verbal reasoning tests – make sure you use them!

It is also important that you make use of your time at university. Employers do not expect you to have first-hand experience in the sector you are applying for; however they will be interested in what you have been doing at university. Ensure you get involved with sports, societies, volunteering or any other extra-curricular activities. For example, being in the committee for a society or holding a college JCRC position shows great skills which employers look for. These include the ability to delegate, organisation, communication and leadership. Many societies, such as the Investment and Finance Society run networking events with alumni who may have been in a similar position as yourself! Ensure you speak and network with as many people as you can.

Finally, don’t worry about your particular degree holding you back. For the majority of internships, no specific degree is actually required. If anything, if you are studying a degree which isn’t typical of other applicants in the sector you could differentiate yourself from others!

Best of luck!

Anthony Chui