My name is Amy Nguyen and I just finished my MSc in Global Marketing at the University of York in September 2017.
Like many other international students in the UK, I know that I want to have UK work experiences on my CV and I always want to explore different industries as soon as I can to see what is the best fit for my long-term career, so an internship is the perfect way for me to do so.
There are many sites for searching internship opportunities online including the Exclusive Opportunities offered by the Student Internship Bureau on the Careers Gateway which I found very helpful, especially when you have so many deadlines and workloads at the time. Being an international student under Tier 4 Visa for one-year Master, there could be some potential issues from employers regarding the right to work in UK during your term time, but as long as you pick the part-time internship (max 20 hours per week) then it should not be a problem.
In my case, I chose to do my three-month part-time internship at TSYS Pre Sales and Relationship Management at the same time as doing my Master dissertation in Summer term. Once you submitted your dissertation and the University confirms you have fully completed your course, like other international students, you are free to apply for full-time roles. Another tip for you is to apply for employers that are on the Tier 2 visa sponsorship list, so potentially you could go into their graduate scheme if your internship goes well.
When I applied for my internship, there were a few rounds to go through. First would be applying online with my CV, including all the usual sections here like your work and education history, the reasons you apply for this role and this firm and so on. The next stage was then a phone interview which should ask you basic questions about competencies, like your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the role, and here it would be great to give examples of times you demonstrated your strengths in the past.
If you pass this round, the final stage is then a face-to-face interview. I was interviewed by the Pre Sales Director and Account Manager who directly supervised me during my internship, so it is really important to create the first impression in the interview. You would expect the final round more challenging in term of the level of difficulties, and more questions regarding the problem solving abilities under time pressure. I would highly recommend you to practice as much as possible at home, with your friends, and with the university mock interviews.
The internship experience had created a valuable and a self-transform opportunity for me. For example, it helped me to learn about new things, meet new people and be friends with, understand the real-world businesss and make myself more employable. More importantly, it created a chance for me to understand myself better, like what are the remaining weaknesses that I need to work on, what are the strengths that I need to develop from. I would encourage all the international students out there who are looking for work or internships in the UK to keep up the optimism and persistent, and I am sure something good will come along for you all! Good luck!