Struggling to Get a Student Internship in Ireland? Here is What To Do


Struggling to Get a Student Internship in Ireland? Here is What To Do.


Struggling to gain an internship somewhere? Losing confidence? Feeling anxious? So, you applied for every possible internship available. You did all your research, got your applications in on time, asked everyone you know if they can help you and yet you still have not managed to secure a coveted internship place this time round. 


And you’re panicking. Naturally of course, because every graduate employer tells you just how important work experience is. It’s frustrating, we know, but setbacks like this can happen. Being an academically strong student, this might even be the first time you have been rejected from something.


The key thing however is not to despair. How you handle such obstacles is key to your own personal development. We promise with a bit of lateral thinking, you can get the experience you need to make your CV stand out. HomeHak has put together a few tips to help you develop professionally and stand out from the crowd. 


Expand your search

Have you only applied to the big names? Consider that there may be plenty of other companies out there that could also offer you a valuable insight into the sector in which you’re interested. Gaining sound work experience at a suitable company, be it big, small or boutique, adds value to your CV at this stage, so do not dismiss this.  


Try freelancing or build your own project

If you have a particular skill, like writing, programming, or design, put out a call to your network or create a profile on sites like Upwork to trade your skills for paid projects. Not only will you hone your skills, but you’ll gain valuable experience meeting real deadlines and delivering real results – all while bringing in some money.


Take up online classes

As another option, you could consider doing a short course or extra educational qualification. Learning a language, learning to code or learning to drive are all extra skills you can put down on your CV. One example is Bright Network Academy. There are plenty of websites offering courses that you can take up online. You can find a huge variety of subjects ranging from business and management to humanities. Explore online courses from websites like FutureLearn, edX, or Coursera to build professional skills. 


Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash


Learn a new language

Depending on the field you’re going into, speaking another language can improve your employability and increase your overall job prospects. You can start by checking out free online language learning platforms like Duolingo and Memrise. 


If you are struggling volunteer for organisations in your areas of interest

Volunteering looks great on your CV. Often you can find volunteering opportunities in something that is relevant or appropriate to you. From volunteering you will gain great transferrable skills and experience. It also demonstrates that your time is spent productively and that you have a humanitarian side to you. 


Expand your professional network

To help your internship or job search in the future, take this time to reach out to people and expand your network. Even if you don’t attend networking events, it is possible to grow your network through LinkedIn


Build your personal brand

Keep building your personal brand through a personal website. If you don’t have one yet, you can easily set it up over the summer. Check out hosts that allow you to build one for free, like WordPress or Wix. A personal website is a great advantage for college students and professionals alike because it allows future employers to view your background and see how well you apply what you know. 




To summarise

Internships aren’t the only way to set yourself up for rewarding full-time opportunities. From building your own projects to learning new skills to networking virtually, you can take charge and be proactive in your professional and personal growth. We hope you enjoyed HomeHak’s top recommendations if you are struggling to get a student internship in Ireland.

For more information on internships in Ireland, check out our other articles:

The Wrong Things- What NOT To Do on Your Irish Student Internship


The Wrong Things – What NOT To Do on Your Irish Student Internship


We are always told what we should do in placements. But what about the things we SHOULD NOT do?  The wrong things? Some may think that it is common sense. But it’s just as important to point out what you should NOT do as it is to point out what students SHOULD do.


Here are HomeHak’s top tips of what NOT to do on your placement.


Photo by Redd on Unsplash

The wrong things? Keep reading.

Do NOT break the dress code

Even if you are comfortable at the company and see other employees wearing jeans or flip flops. A major wrong things to do is dressing down. Unless you are specifically instructed to do so by your internship coordinator/director.


Do NOT park in any spot but where you were assigned to park

The last thing you want is for a security official to have to track you down and have you move your car. You don’t want to block an executive in and be a burden to anyone. Common sense goes hand in hand with doing the wrong things.


Do NOT keep your phone ringer on

Vibrate is not acceptable. Turn your phone completely off. Don’t even get caught pressing the IGNORE button. It should sit in your pocket or purse the entire day and not be touched unless you are on a break or lunch.


Stay away from scrolling social media

Be as focused as you can on your placement. Make sure you are not checking Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc… It is VERY awkward to get caught on there from your boss. 


Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash


Never sit around

Make sure you volunteer yourself when you aren’t doing anything. Many placement coordinators don’t realise that you have completed tasks. Take the initiative to approach them and see if they need help.


Don’t interrupt

Being eager is a wonderful quality as an intern, but don’t interrupt people when they are speaking – even if to ask for help. Wait your turn.


Know your place

Let’s face it, as a placement student, you are starting from the bottom. If important work related conversations are happening, take a step back. At least pretend like you are listening and show the executives/boss your full respect. Don’t give your boss any “great” ideas unless he/she asks for them. Some people might take your ideas and brainstorming as you feeling “more entitled” than others.


Ask before you eat

Make sure you ask if it is ok to eat at your desk before just taking out your lunch and eating. Some companies are very sensitive about food around their computers.


Don’t give a half-effort

Make sure you complete every task to the fullest extent possible. You want to go above and beyond in order to stand out and for people to remember your name and your work.


Don’t use only your first name

 When introducing yourself to people, state your first and last name. You want everyone to remember you. This distinguishes you from other people with the same first name.


Always Ask

Make sure to ask questions. Even if you feel stupid, it is so much better to ask questions than to just do the wrong things. Make sure you know what you are asking and that you are coming across clearly.


Finally to finish on a few last reminders – make clear copies, don’t jam the printer, don’t spill the coffee, don’t mess up the coffee, don’t print on paper with holes unless you are instructed to, don’t use colored pens, don’t speak too loudly, don’t draw too  much attention to yourself with your personality or appearance. Try not to chew gum, use curse words, show up late, or anything that you would have been in trouble for in secondary school.


Too often interns will think they have to do everything by themselves — you don’t! Your managers and teammates are there to help you overcome roadblocks and manage tough questions and issues. Interns should always be open to learning new things and not be afraid to go out of their comfort zones.



To summarise

Your summer internship is ending, and your mission is to turn it into a real job. You are nervous, you don’t want to be rejected, and you don’t know where to start. Check out this article for further tips on things you musn’t do if you want to get a real job.


Make sure you’ve told your supervisor that you are interested in a job at the company. It’s also imperative that you ask that person for advice on how to get jobs at their specific company. Take the time to follow the directions your supervisor provides on how to turn the internship into the job. We hoped you learned from our guide on the wrong things to do on your Irish student internship!

For more information on internships in Ireland, check out our other articles: