MSc student, Morgane Horreard, was having the same challenging internship search experience as most hospitality students in 2020. But then she took control, shifted focus, and made her dream role a reality. Now, she explains how she did it.
“I am currently a legal intern at French startup, Kiro”, she says. “Kiro operates in the healthcare and clinical biology market, working with data science, AI and machine learning experts, software engineers, business managers, and healthcare professionals.
“Because of the current situation, I felt demotivated due to the lack of offers in the internship market. I searched for a lot of internship positions on many websites, such as LinkedIn or Simplicity, but nothing caught my mind. So I thought “If it doesn’t exist, make it”.
5 steps to securing an internship in challenging times
If you want something enough and are prepared to work to get it, anything’s possible. For Morgane, perseverance, thinking outside the box and focusing on what she truly wanted – rather than what was on offer – made all the difference. Here’s how she secured her dream internship:
- Build your experience – During lockdown I enrolled as a volunteer for a local elderly association. After that, during all summer, I decided to help on the legal and communication side of a hospital creation because no one knew how to do it. Also, I attended guest speaker presentations and online courses hosted by Glion, providing an opportunity to learn quickly about new things.
- Go direct – After applying the normal way, I quickly changed my approach from applying for internship offers to going direct to companies I truly like, no matter if they posted internships offers or not.
- Focus on what you really want – I searched online for the perfect company in the field I wanted to work in, healthcare, and located in France, because of the covid situation. Remember, some companies don’t post their job or internship offers online, so even if you can’t see an opportunity, it could still exist.
- Look beyond hospitality – Glion advised us to start looking in others sectors and I strongly believe that you can have a hospitality component in a lot of jobs.
- Tailor your application – Once I’d identified the companies I wanted to work with, I contacted them. It takes a lot of time and requires organisation, making sure you are sending the right cover letter to the right company, detailing what you like about them and why should they hire you and not someone else. But, bingo! After many interviews with Kiro, I joined the team at the beginning of September.
Tips to keep persevering
While Morgane took inspiration from a number of resources to keep her focused on finding an internship, one factor in particular proved particularly powerful.
“I found inspiration in series, podcasts, YouTube videos, but mostly through my friends”, she says. “We were searching for internships at the same time, and even if we were not applying in the same industry, it really motivated me to be surrounded by people with the same goals.
“We did internship research sessions, CV and cover letter reviews, it really helped. Having a positive environment with a proactive mindset is crucial, especially in difficult times.”
“Go talk to people, ask questions, try, try and try again.”
Morgane had clear advice for students currently looking for an internship, or indeed their first role after graduation.
“Go for it, don’t stop! Don’t be scared about the company not answering to you. And if you can’t find something already existing that fits your aspirations, create it. Go talk to people, ask questions, try, try and try again.
“Don’t accept something ‘average’ just because of the current situation. Be aware of what you are worth, what you want, and keep going.”