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3 Alternatives To An Internship To Help Your Career

work on yourself
Written by Faizan Patankar

This post is sponsored by Trud.co.uk

Internships help with giving you some ‘real world’ experience in a mostly academic world till you graduate. It is largely agreed that those who do internships have a better chance of finding a job after graduation. This has mean that finding an internship is no easy task.

Gone are the days when you could write to your newspaper and get an internship with them. They are a lot more sophisticated now, and almost all employers run a dedicated screening and interview process to hire interns. So what about those that don’t find an internship? What can they do?

To answer just that, I spent some time to put together 3 alternatives to an internship  over 12 weeks (a small internship timeline) that will help job seekers improve their career prospects after graduation.

1. Do an online business course

MOOC image

The reason to look for an internship is to learn from the experts and people doing the job. You would also get a feel of the ethos of the workplace and how business is done. By not doing an internship you are missing out on that. But you can to a lesser extent learn about business by doing a course online. You will still learn from an expert and it is still better than not doing anything at all. You can even showcase the course on your resume or LinkedIn profile.

For example, here’s a course on the Foundations of Business Strategy delivered by Michael Lenox, Slover Professor of Business at University of Virginia. Cost? FREE.

If you are slightly more entrepreneurial, you can see this course and this one on Leadership.  How much do these cost? FREE.

There are just 1000s of FREE courses being delivered by leading online courses platforms. Have a look and aim to do at least one over the 12-week period.

2. Offer your service to a small start-up/venture


There are lots of start-ups in the UK springing up now. If you find an interesting one, email them and ask them if they’d like to take you on to help them out for 12 weeks or so. And I am speaking about true start-ups, not businesses that have been there for more than a year, generating hundreds of thousands of pounds and still calling themselves start-ups.

For example, a small online start-up focusing on food delivery or medicine could still do with someone helping on the accounting, social media, some research work, etc. It’s voluntary and you can do it in your own time… of course a business will always expect some deadline for any work it gives you.

I am not suggesting you work for a company that generates thousands of pounds in revenue and doesn’t pay you for work. Instead, look for the ones that aren’t in it for profit, etc… This is one of my favorite alternatives to an internship, if you can’t find one.

Career Geek Blog is looking for bloggers… gain some experience that way, you can always ask me questions and get exposure for your writing.

How much does this cost you? Nothing. Work from home. FREE.

3. Build a personal brand – work on yourself

work on yourself

Personal branding is something we all neglect. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to do with work experience etc, however… if you have some time it’s worth spending it on personal branding. Work on yourself. Find out what you really like and see if you want to learn something new. Would you like to code? Here, take this course on how to code in eight weeks.

Otherwise, here’s something YOU SHOULD DO –

  • Get your resume updated/improved
  • Join LinkedIn and build a damn good profile
  • If you enjoy writing, start a blog
  • Read, read, read… it will help you improve.

This post is sponsored by Trud.co.uk

Hope this helps you. You can also read these 5 Career FAQs. Oh, and this is a presentation you must see – the 3 secrets of highly successful graduates.

About the author

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.