Our tips to find an apprenticeship

07 Nov 2019

An interview with a company

Because it offers many advantages, apprenticeship seduces more and more students nowadays. Obtaining employee status, tuition fees funded by the company, acquisition of professional experience... many arguments that favor apprenticeship for your studies. And since more and more courses are open to apprenticeship, here are some tips for finding a host company to gain experience in the field that you have chosen.


What are the difficulties to find an apprenticeship?


An important thing to know: the investment for the host company is higher when it recruits an apprentice than when it hires an intern who follows his curriculum as initial training. Apprenticeship contracts are very similar to a standard employment contract (permanent or fixed-term contracts). The company supports, beyond the remuneration of the apprentice, his tuition fees. This is why the search for apprenticeship in companies is sometimes similar to looking for a first job. Some applications will remain unanswered, you may miss one or two interviews but most importantly, don’t be discouraged! Keep applying for apprenticeship, be on the lookout for ads and send unsolicited applications to find an apprenticeship contract. By dint of good will, you will end up making your place in the professional environment that suits you.


Some tips for finding an apprenticeship


Once accepted - and if possible even before your admission - in one of the many programmes offering apprenticeship that exist in higher education (BTS, Bachelor, Grande École Programme...), go looking for a company in which you can start an apprenticeship. Here are some tips to read before moving forward.


Adapt your application to each company


You are probably already ready to write a CV and a cover letter quite generalist to answer to a very large number of offers. We don’t recommend it! Always prefer the customisation of your application, and especially the adaptation of your cover letter to each case, when you respond to a job apprenticeship offer. Try hard to build an application that will highlight your personality and interest in the company that will potentially host you for one or two years. Forget the models found on the internet and last thing: an unsolicited application must also be personalised!


Prepare your recruitment interviews


Once your application has been selected: prepare yourself for your job interview. Practice introducing yourself, telling your story, and describing your aspirations or motivations. Some tips to be operational and ready on D-day:

  • Learn about the company: it is obvious but train yourself to answer clearly the question: what do you know about our company? Find out about the activity, the employees, the organisation chart, the news or the values ​​of the company in which you plan to work for.
  • Prepare your arguments: some questions come back at every job interview. What brings you here? What are your qualities and your weaknesses ? Are you able to work under pressure? How do you react to stress? How do you feel about working on a team? Why you rather than another candidate? Learn how to answer these questions in a precise and reasoned way, show that you are confident. These questions are also an opportunity to talk about your professional project and the importance of apprenticeship in your career.
  • Check your interview attire: during an interview, you are also judged by the recruiter, consciously or not, on nonverbal elements like the way you dress, your gestures or the tone of voice. A recruiter doesn’t ask you to be fashionable but rather being presentable, even as an apprentice, for your potential stakeholders (employees of the company, customers, partners, etc.). So adapt your attire to the requirements of the position you will occupy.

Don’t hesitate to send unsolicited applications to companies


It is not because a company doesn’t publish an offer that it does not need you! Send unsolicited applications, sometimes you will create needs from a company. The hiring of an apprentice can also serve as a "test" for the employer who is looking for a long-term employee: if the company is satisfied with your work, it may even sometimes offer you a permanent contract before getting your degree! Put all the odds in your favour: the investment that a company makes by hiring an apprentice can be financially amortized by the help of a training organisation (or a training center) which contributes to the student tuition fees.


Create a professional network


Don’t hesitate to mobilise your personal network (friends, classmates, family, teachers, etc.) when you are looking for an apprenticeship. You are never too young to build a professional network. Later, this one will undoubtedly have an important influence in your professional insertion.


The Career Center of IPAG Business School supports you in your research


At IPAG, our Corporate Relations team can help you find an apprenticeship. With its network of partners, IPAG puts you in contact with companies that recruit apprentice students. Don’t hesitate to contact our Career Center and its teams on the Paris campus (careercenter-paris@ipag.fr) and on the Nice campus (careercenter-nice@ipag.fr).