Disclaimer: This post is sponsered by Beyond Academy. All words are my own
With today’s increasingly competitive job market, simply going to uni and getting a degree doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Since degrees have become more and more popular in recent years, employers are looking for candidates who have done something a bit different, and doing an internship is a great way of making your CV stand out amongst the sea of applicants. While a large number of interns choose a placement in their own country, others will opt for somewhere abroad, and what place is better for being an intern than London? As one of the world’s leading financial and business centres, London is fantastic for anyone who wants to kick-start their career whilst immersing themselves in culture and meeting people from all over the world. If you’re considering applying for an internship abroad, I have listed 7 reasons why London should be your top choice below.
So what exactly is an internship?
Before I tell you the perks of doing an internship in London, I’ll briefly explain what an internship is. Internships are fairly similar to work experience in that they both give young people (mainly students who are looking for something to do during their summer holidays and graduates who need to build up their CV) a chance to get a head-start in their career by spending a brief amount of time working for a company in their preferred industry. However, an internship tends to last longer than a work experience placement – anything from a month up to a year – and is much more hands-on. Interns are usually paid too, especially those who are employed by larger companies.
The benefits of doing an internship in London
- You’ll improve your English language skills
If you’re considering doing an internship in London, chances are you probably already have a solid grasp of the English language. Nevertheless, living and working in London will enable you to put your knowledge into practice, and you’ll even be able to pick up some slang during your internship. As of the beginning of the year, there were around 1.35 billion people worldwide who spoke English, either natively or as a second language, so becoming fluent will put you at a huge advantage, regardless of where you choose to live in the future.
- You’ll be able to discover the culture
London is home to so many different museums and galleries, which is ideal if you’re looking for art and design internships in London. You’re bound to have plenty of free time during your internship, so use this to your advantage and check out the latest exhibition at the Tate Modern, see the Rosetta Stone at The British Museum, or attend some of the most important events in London, such as London Fashion Week. Don’t forget about London’s theatres too – you absolutely have to see a production in the West End while you’re in the city. I’d highly recommend Wicked and Matilda, but there are so many other brilliant musicals too.
- London has a superb transport system
As the capital of England, London is well-connected to other parts of the country, as well as the rest of the world. When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can just hop on a train and you’ll be at the seaside or a historical town like Bath, Canterbury or Oxford in no time. London also has 6 major airports, so if you feel homesick it won’t be too much of a hassle to get back to your home country. The Eurostar will take you from the centre of London right to France, Belgium and the Netherlands. London itself has an excellent bus and tube network, and there’s the overground and south London tram network for places that are a little harder to reach.
- London is a diverse city
London draws in people from all over the world and is one the most diverse places to do an internship. With expats making up over 35% of London’s population, you’ll have the chance to get to know people from a range of backgrounds and mingle with other internationals who are in a similar boat to you. The variety of cultures in London will enable you to engage in conversations that will challenge your beliefs and broaden your mindset. There are also various events throughout the year that celebrate the city’s diversity, such as Notting Hill Carnival and the Chinese New Year festivities.
- London has the best cuisine
Foodies are really spoiled for choice in London. Restaurants and markets offer food from all over the world, from local countries like France, Italy and Spain to far-off destinations like Persia, Trinidad and Thailand. Wander down to Borough Market on a Saturday morning and peruse their stalls that sell fresh bread, cheese, fish and meat. Of course you have to try English dishes too when you’re in the city: you can’t beat fish and chips and roast dinner!
- There are endless job opportunities in London
Securing an internship at a top company is a great way of boosting your CV, especially if it’s abroad in a city like London. Industries such as finance, accounting, marketing, fashion, hospitality and engineering are thriving in London, and major global businesses are bound to have an office in London: Vodafone, Thomson Reuters, BP and Google are just a handful of multinational brands with offices in London. By being offered a full-time job at one of these companies after your internship, you’ll have so many benefits (for example free breakfast, extra annual leave, and the option for flexible working). And if you decide to go back into higher education after completing your internship, you’ll have renowned universities like King’s College London, University College London and London School of Economics right on your doorstep.
- You’ll never get bored
London is always thriving no matter what time of day it is, and there are over 3,000 parks: did you know that almost 47% of London is green space? That’s 20% more than in New York and 37.5% more than in Paris! During your internship you can spend your free days hanging out in parks with your new friends and admire the beautiful nature that the city has to offer. Once you’ve explored London’s major parks (like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Richmond Park), be sure to check out some of the lesser-known parts, such as Southwark Park, Holland Park and Golders Hill Park.
So those are the 7 reasons why you should do an internship in London. Moving and working in such a big city can seem daunting at first, but you’ll soon settle in and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won’t regret. With the endless amount of things to do and see in London you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave. Doing an internship in London will enable you to grow as a person and can act as a stepping zone to a full-time job, either within the same industry or in another one. It’s worth taking the plunge.
Have you ever done an internship? Was it abroad or in your own country? Let me knowin the comments!