So you want to find a summer internship? Here’s our top tips for securing the perfect placement.

28 Jun 2023 | Property Needs You

Ah, summer. Long, sunny days of freedom, away from studying, away from stress, away from the burden of responsibility.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? It might seem that way right now, but what if we told you there’s a way you can get your foot in the door of the next step, without

giving up too many picnics in the park?

“What’s the solution?” you eagerly ask.

Why, a summer internship, of course! Experience the world of work, learn new skills, get your foot in the door and make connections, all without the pressure of a long-te

rm commitment – unless you want that.

Then go back to school or uni with a clearer understanding of the property sector and what the various areas do. Winning.

In this blog post, we’ll outline what a summer internship is, what the benefits are, and how you go about getting one for next year (as most applications have already closed for this summer).

What is a summer internship?

Funnily enough, it’s an internship that takes place during the summer holidays. And an internship itself is just a posh word for a longer work experience placement like the one you might have done at school – but this time it’s organised by the business rather than by the student. You just have to apply.

Why do a summer internship?

In the past, unpaid summer internships were the norm, but, nowadays, a lot of organisations pay you something for your time. For example, Savills’ summer internship is paid; aimed at university students in the year before they graduate, it’s called their ‘Summer Scheme’. By the way, they don’t just have undergraduate summer internships: they have a range of different placements, including an autumn one for students who’ve just finished their A Levels – that one’s called their Apprentice Insight Programme.

There can often be job opportunities at the end of one, but even if not, a summer internship is a fantastic way of getting a feel for the industry you’re interested in. It means that you can work out whether the career you thought you wanted to go into is up your street, or whether you need to have a rethink. Sort of like a ‘try before you buy’ type vibe.

And don’t forget, money and employment aren’t the only reward in life. Gaining new skills, meeting new people and becoming more independent (but with the safety net of it only being a certain number of weeks) also are great benefits of a summer internship.

So, where do I find one and how do I apply?

First off – and we’re biased here, but – take a look at the Property Needs You website and socials. We have a load of information on different job profiles and even a handy career quiz to help you figure out what route you fancy. From there, you’ll have a better idea on what summer internships might be right for you.

There are a lot of different options out there. For example, a Knight Frank summer internship is currently either a 4 week commitment or they have a 12 week work placement.

The first is based in London with either the commercial or residential side. The second is your choice of over 30 locations across the country, working with either Residential Sales or Lettings.

Both of these open for application around February and close around March, so whilst this year isn’t available anymore, you’ll know for 2024. Get the date in your diary now!

Or take a look at Carter Jonas’ ‘Early Careers’ page; there you’ll find a range of varied placements, for different stages of your life. They also have a ‘Choose your path’ resource on there to help you consider the route most suited to your current needs.

Most property businesses have a page where you can register for updates or alerts, so that you’ll get notified when a summer internship or work experience placement becomes available. Here’s one from Avison Young so that you can see what it looks like.

Or you can just email a business’ Early Careers team directly, like at the bottom of this page from Cushman Wakefield.

In terms of applying for a summer internship, a lot of bigger companies have a specific portal where you have to create an account and apply online. Some, like Lambert Smith Hampton, however, are currently asking for you to email them a copy of your CV with a covering letter outlining why you want to join a summer placement with them and any areas of particular interest in property.

Any internship application tips?

    • Make sure you’ve read what’s required carefully. A lot of these internships are purely for undergraduates, and often in a specific year of their studies. There are some places offering work experience placements and summer programmes for school leavers though- like the small number Allsop have at certain times of the year – so it’s just a case of checking you’re the right age and stage of your career.

    • Do you meet the requirements? Check the criteria carefully, because if it’s asking for a specific level at GCSE or a course being studied, then chances are you need to have them. If you’re not sure – maybe you have some other relevant qualifications or experience – just email them and ask.

    • Get your diary out! Make sure you have a clear focus on the opening date and deadline.

    • Give yourself plenty of time to complete the application well – it’s not a great idea to rush it in case you make a mistake or leave something out.

    • Read the questions a few times over to be sure you’ve covered them fully.

    • Let your personality shine through – although you need to be professional and fairly formal, you can afford to show them a little of who you are. They’ll see quite a few applications, so you want to stand out somehow.

    • Why them? Be clear about what you think you’ll get out of working with their company in particular. Where do you want it to take you?
    • Check it through really carefully – maybe ask someone to look over it with a fresh pair of eyes.

    • Make sure you include any relevant attachments or evidence that they’ve asked for. You don’t want to fall at the final hurdle!

    • Press send!

And voilà! Your summer internship application is complete. You’re welcome.

So that’s next year sorted. But if you want to find work experience placements or a holiday job to get some experience this year, your best bet is to ring up, email, or – bit of a brave one – go into their office and ask.

Final tip of the day: it’s a good idea to have an up-to-date CV with you. If you’re not sure what to put in, there are loads of templates like this one on the good old internet, and walkthroughs like this on YouTube.

Want more information and ideas on routes into property? Follow Property Needs You on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. We’ve even bunged in the links there to make it easy for you. Fist bump.

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