Volunteering and internships are two jobs paths to consider. While they tend not to be paid, they do allow you to spend time practising your English skills in an English-speaking environment, and also give you some valuable work experience that will help you find a paid job.
In Dublin, volunteer programmes are usually with charity organisations and might involve organising clothes and other items in a shop, feeding the homeless or helping out with administration of campaigns in a charity’s offices. Internships tend to be more formal with a specific role in a commercial business.
Where can I find volunteer work?
There is a wide variety of volunteer jobs out there. Here is a list of places that you could possibly try.
There are many charity shops not far from the school. There are a few in Rathmines and along Camden Street, which are literally no more 5 minutes from the school. These shops tend to sell second hand items such as clothes, furniture and other household items.
The Volunteer Ireland website also has lots of volunteer job opportunities that you might be interested in. These jobs range from taking food to old and homeless people to working with the disadvantaged. Go here to find possible work in Dublin
There are a wide variety of different volunteer opportunities online. Google ‘Volunteer Dublin’ and you see what’s there.
Where can I find an internship?
Internships may be a little trickier to find as you might be more limited in what you can apply for. It will usually have to be something more specifically related to your qualifications and work history. Here are a few places that we would recommend looking into.
Indeed is the biggest online recruitment agency in the world right now. If you google ‘Indeed internships Dublin’ you will be able to see what’s there. You could then make use of their advanced job search to find something closer to your career.
This is a website that specifically provides a variety of different internship opportunities in Ireland.
Similar to indeed, jobs.ie is more focused on the Irish market. You may find what you’re looking for if you go straight to their internship page: http://www.jobs.ie/work_experience_internship_jobs.aspx
Lastly, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always apply directly to companies to see if they have an already existing programme and / or would like to hire an intern. For example, if you are an architect, why not send your CV and a cover letter enquiring about the possibility of doing an internship with that company.
What should I be careful of?
Even though volunteer programmes and internships are great ways to get work experience and improve your English, you still have to be cautious when choosing the right one. Here is a list of what you should watch out for:
- Make sure you are not taken advantage of. If you work for free, you need to make sure that you are happy with the hours you work and the work you are doing. There are sometimes cases of employers working their volunteers too hard. Don’t be exploited.
- Visa requirements. Does your visa allow you to work as a volunteer or intern? You really need to check this out.
- Don’t work with any business that is not recognised or doesn’t have a well-developed, clear internship programme. Anyone could potentially pretend to look for volunteers and take advantage of them so make sure you a signing up to a reputable company that has a well-defined internship programme.
If you’re thinking about volunteer work or becoming an intern, draw up an action plan of things that you are going to do in the next week to find out more about the options available.
Further subjects that are covered in our Job Shop session are:
Have a look at our resources and feel free to contact us.
Come to Atlas Job Shop and pass on your job-hunting experiences to other students. Is networking the best way to find a job? The job market in Dublin is always changing so let us know what has worked for you.