9 August 2017
One of the UK's fastest growing payday lenders, 247Moneybox.com, today announced the launch of their summer 2017 internship programme.
The firm has a long history of running summer internships with the first scheme in 2012. The 4 positions will be available in their central London HQ and run from August to September.
As with most internships in the fintech space, competition is extremely tough with the scheme aimed at students in their last or penultimate year of their university studies. The programme has been designed to allow interns to supplement their study with real hands-on experience.
Successful interns will rotate around 3 departments at the payday lender, those being corporate finance, engineering and marketing. With the rotation, interns will be able to get a feel for the types of work that is carried out there and get stuck into real projects that contribute to the output of that department. The firm hopes that the interns will then be able to form a better understanding of what different jobs and careers offer and in turn be able to make an informed choice of what to do post-graduation.
With its ongoing commitment to training the next generation, the payday lender is looking to offer a key component lacking from a young job seekers CV, that of experience. There has been much made in the press recently about how tough the labour market for new graduates has become and getting some much sought-after experience can really help get a leg up on the competition.
Applications are now open. If you are interested in applying, the lender asks if you could send a CV and a covering letter to the firm. Contact details can be found on the Questions page.
A key distinction between a 247Moneybox internship and many others out there, is that the interns can be expected to be paid. Not just a free coffee or lunch here and there but cold, hard, well-earned cash. The firm feels that, regardless of the role, work deserves to be financially compensated. It might be the case that some roles are suitable for being unpaid, such as those in a NGO for example, but an internship in their eyes is not just a mechanism to avoid paying a wage.
However, it is not always that simple, as many students would consider working unpaid to get that crucial bit of experience on their CV, learn new transferable skills, get new references and pave the way to a permanent graduate position.
There are rules and guidelines out there on what constitutes a fair unpaid internship:
With that in mind there are distinct benefits to being paid to be an intern but an unpaid internship also has its upside:
Breaking it down experience is a key commodity a future employer is looking for when looking to make an investment in their business by hiring. For entry level positions, it is unlikely that the prospective hire will be able to bring a set of clients with them or indeed much in the way of offsetting the initial outlay required to train them up. With that in mind, employers are looking for real life industry specific skills which may reduce some of the dead time a new hire spends in the business. The quicker a new starter gets up the curve and can start actually adding value the more likely they are to be hired. So as the intern, make sure you soak up as much as you can from all those around you, be sure to try as many tasks as possible and ask questions, take notes and add new skills to your CV.
Still as true as it always has been, knowing the right people is still very important. As an intern, the best thing you can do is to make new contacts in your chosen industry. Remember it's a small world even if it feels a big organisation. The people you are mixing with, be they fellow interns, your supervisor or clients, are all subjects to add to your professional network. Work and grow these relationships as they can lead to references or "good words" for positions at the firm you are interning with, other firms or job offers elsewhere. Remember these contacts are for the long term, they may not bear fruit immediately but can become useful months or even years down the line.
Ok so you may not be getting paid but there may be other ways that you are feeling the benefit of an unpaid internship. Some firms give their interns subsided meals be they breakfast lunch or dinner. It's also not uncommon to find cheap or free access to gym or wellness centres. Less common but not unheard of are the chances to join employer organised trips and sports tours. If you have an internship mentor, you may be able to get help and input on your university work. Other perks can include use of company equipment and facilities, tickets or entry to events, or free uniforms and stationery.
Industries where unpaid internships are common are listed below.The theme with all of these industries are that they are in high demand. Simple demand and supply theory logically dictates that the price (wages) is where the market clears. Given the high demand and extremely limited supply (of jobs) the wages are pushed so low as to be free. It could even be said that interns would actually pay to work.
A notoriously difficult industry to penetrate. Can be characterised by an incredibly pointy pyramid where only the very best are successful. Experience and who you know counts as perception is everything in this dog eat dog world.
Highly coveted positions attracting a large number of talented socially conscious applicants. It's often said that given the charitable nature of the work, compensation in monetary terms does not seem to be appropriate as the good deeds done should be reward in and of itself.
Getting a break in this tough industry is also hard to come by and many fall by the way side whilst waiting to make it good. With such few opportunities and a low churn rate, it's no wonder internships in media are unpaid.
Similar to an NGO in that the done thing is to be rewarded by the work and not the cash. Many see internships in politics, probably as some sort of researcher to an MP is an investment in your own pollical career.
Do the DD and make sure you know what's expected of you before accepting. The horror stories of basically being an unpaid skivvy fetching dry cleaning and coffee are not fiction. Make sure the role is worth your time and the opportunity cost. As well as making sure you know what the role entails, ensure the firm knows what you expect from them. Ask yourself questions like:
There may be a way to get exposure to the industry but in a different way and get paid as well. This is a bonus if you need the cash for rent etc. For example, you may desire the bulge investment bank summer internship, however why not consider working in the back office in data input or finance. Yes, these roles might lack the glamour but they may be a better foot in the door than the more obvious internship.
This may only be applicable to certain industries as you may need equipment or expertise that is out of your reach however freelancing, even for free, for a very particular piece of work or project might be a good way of getting that all-important experience. There are plenty of sites online that you can set up your profile and display your skills for firms and individuals to engage you. Make sure to collect testimonials from satisfied clients and then present them in your CV.
It may be quite an "out there" suggestion but if you really want to break into an industry and it's just not happening for you, why not start your own firm? Say you want to get into banking, it might be an idea to start your own website comparing banking products. It's not identical but it's close and you will be able to learn about the industry from the inside. Plus, you may even be able to monetise your efforts but at the very least you will have something very credible to talk about in an interview.
We are fully aware of how tough it is at the moment to land those coveted roles be that an internship or indeed any entry level role. One reason could be the fast-changing technological landscape that means that supply is lagging demand by a greater degree than ever before. For example, back to banking again, if the desire to work in investment banking was reaching those in doing their GCSEs around the dot com boom of the late 90s it would be another 6-7 years before they would hit the job market just as the time of the Credit Crunch when firms were shedding jobs. Similarly, with the rise of the tech giants there may now be a glut of programmers and engineers that are unable to secure a job.
Overall make sure to stay positive and keep looking and a position will come up and the search will have been worth it. Putting a positive spin on things, the more difficult the search may prove to be a blessing as you will appreciate the position more when you land it and also you will be sure that you really want to do it rather than thinking that you ought to be doing it. Good luck!