John Zhang

John is currently working as an international student employability intern for the Careers Service through the University of Manchester Student Experience Internship Programme. 



I have the chance to talk with alumni who are working in investment banking or the 'Big 4' and to learn about their career life and how to become more employable.

Course: Actuarial Science and Mathematics (3 yrs) [BSc]

Course dates: 2012-2015

How many internships did you apply for before you were successful?

Actually I applied 7-8 times before I got the opportunity at the Careers Service. I failed the internship with big companies like HSBC, Towers Watson etc.

How do you think the internship has helped you in your degree and future career?

It enables me to view international alumni’s profiles and get in touch with them so that I have the chance to learn more about the job market and career provision in the UK / globally. Also, I have the chance to talk with alumni who are working in investment banks or the Big 4 to learn about their careers and how to become more employable.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying for an internship and what skills/experience do you think are necessary to be successful in your application?

Before you apply, you need to have a good knowledge of both the company and yourself, what they want and what you can offer / what makes you unique. Pay attention to your covering letters, sometimes they are even more important than CVs.

Be confident and motivated, be honest and say what you think and want to achieve.

Is there anything you wish you’d done before the placement to help you prepare for either the application process or the work itself?

I wish I had more work experience.

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