Read Jessica Tu's story on her internship experience.
Introduce yourself - Which course are you on? What year?
I'm Jessica Tu, a Planning and Real Estate student (third year!)
Which company have you recently been involved with as either intern/job/work-experience? And for how long?
Recently, I've been working as an intern for CBRE for four weeks in June, followed by Cushman and Wakefield for six weeks from July to August.
How was the application process?
In terms of application, CBRE definitely stood out to me - it was simply a five minute YouTube video. I'd definitely advise watching other applications first to get a feel of it, along with making your own video private! There was no other process involved.
For Cushman, it was more formal - there were a few verbal and numerical tests to begin with, but these were quite simple and should be passed quite easily. Next, I had a Skype interview - this was more focused around why I wanted to work for the firm and general interests with someone in HR.
After this, I was invited to an assessment centre day where I met a few other applicants. I begun with another interview, this time with two individuals from Cushman, followed by a group exercise with the other interns.
How much has your current university education prepared you for your recent work/internship? Have any modules stood out as preparation for professional work?
To be honest, I feel that university and professional work are completely different. I think that uni has prepared me in that it's made me more confident and curious in how I think, rather than being more useful content-wise. Equally, if you're reading up on current legislation for university work, that definitely helps in interviews.
"If you have no idea where you want to go to in the future, don't panic!"
Has your work-experience enhanced or changed your view of where your career aspirations lie?
Definitely - more than anything, I think it's crucial you try and make your own opportunities within the firm. I set out to CBRE with very little idea of what I wanted to do in the future, and so I actively asked other members of my team if they could help me set up brief coffee chats with other sectors to get a general feel of the industry.
Following this, when I went to Cushman I had a vague idea of my interest (valuation!) and so again, I set up meetings with individuals in that department, specifically looking to talk to graduates and see how they found their career.
Don't be embarrassed to look on the company website either and email the head of department! I did this for planning, and I was put in touch with a Planning graduate. She mentioned that it was really positive that I was actively seeking out new connections, and encouraged me to do so.
Just to note though - if you have no idea where you want to go to in the future, don't panic! Most people are still quite unsure right up to the point of starting their graduate job! I think it's more important to find a company that fits your expectations and that you're comfortable with, rather than trying to find out career aspirations so soon.
Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn and ask her any other questions you have in mind.