Regardless of whether you are offered an internship, the application process can be a valuable experience in itself. It gives you a big incentive to begin your research on industries, schemes and companies you might consider applying to and the earlier you are thinking about this, the better!

Companies offer internships for good reasons- it is an opportunity for them to show off what they can offer potential candidates for their graduate positions, and allows employers to see how you operate within the working environment. Employers will look to see if you can work well within a team, and show desire and effort to succeed at the roles you have been given, which could be the difference between you being offered a full time position or not.
By taking on an internship you will gain experience to allow you to answer a number of difficult questions:

•Do I want to work at the company I have done the internship with?
•Would I be happy if my internship role developed into a similar graduate job in that department?
•Is this the right industry for me?

Your experiences make you a more well-informed candidate, and companies value students and graduates who know what they want.

Grad Diary offers a variety of company profiles, insightful articles and interviews to aid students find work. They have also published a list of approaching internship application deadlines and a number of insider interviews on internship experiences.