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The University of Kent Careers & Employability Service Summer Vacation Experience - Internships and Beyond. 24th January 2013 The slides from this presentation are available at What is an internship?. Short-term position, usually in summer vacation

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The University of KentCareers & Employability ServiceSummer Vacation Experience - Internships and Beyond

24th January 2013

The slides from this presentation are available

what is an internship
What is an internship?
  • Short-term position, usually in summer vacation
  • Career-related
  • Usually (but not always) restricted to penultimate-year students
  • Structured
  • Aims to give a taste of the work you would be doing as a graduate recruit – and to encourage you to apply in your final year!
why do an internship
Why do an internship?
  • Gives you better idea of career options
  • Increases business awareness
  • Improves your chances of being offered a graduate position with that employer
  • Makes you more attractive to other employers
  • Demonstrates work-related skills
what skills do employers look for in graduates
What skills do employers look for in graduates?


Able to express your ideas clearly and confidently in speech


Work confidently within a group


Understand the commercial realities affecting the organisation.


Gathering information systematically to establish facts & principles and solve problems


Able to act on initiative, identify opportunities & put forward ideas & solutions

do you need to do an internship
Do you need to do an internship?
  • Any work experience can help to develop your people, teamwork or organising skills, or just make your CV more interesting
  • This does not have to be formally designated as an “internship” or be in the field where you hope to work as a graduate
  • For example: work with children; customer service and sales work; work abroad; voluntary work
  • Getting a junior role in an organisation can help you to get a different perspective and make contacts
what will employers think
What will employers think?
  • “Volunteering is well regarded: candidates are given a higher score within the recruitment process if they have done volunteering” (Large accountancy firm)
  • “We are aware that students can’t always afford to spend a month doing unpaid work experience or shadowing, therefore we value other activities like stacking supermarket shelves” (Law firm)
some employers with internships still available most open to students in any subject
Some employers with internships still available (most open to students in any subject)
  • Lloyds Banking Group (General Management, HR)

  • Pricewaterhousecoopers
  • Bloomberg
  • Telefonica
  • HP visit and search reference 1041712 for Sales, 1041715 for Marketing and 1041716 for IT
student experiences
Student experiences …

“The tasks I was able to complete within just a few weeks ranged from running charts, creating and updating quarterly reports and summarising the latest economic and investment research for colleagues”

(Mercer Investment Consulting intern)

student experiences1
Student experiences …

“I did an internship at the branch in Reading and had real responsibilities from day one. In my second week, I was organising team meetings. By the end of my stay there, I had been placed in charge of customer satisfaction”

(HSBC summer intern, now Executive Management trainee)

some employers who offer internships law
Some employers who offer internships: Law

For listings of firms offering law placements, and vacation scheme deadlines, see:

Law Careers Net

Many deadlines coming up at the end of January: others in February or March

Most law firms are keen to recruit graduates in subjects other than law, but non-law students may not be eligible to apply for a vacation scheme until their final year.

student experiences2
Student experiences …
  • “I helped to compile a report for the Competitions Commission and had to do some research on pubs! In the commercial department I helped draft some terms and conditions and attended client meetings .. the work I was given was always appropriate for someone who had not done a law degree”
some employers who offer internships research
Some employers who offer internships : Research
  • Roke Manor Research
  • DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory)
  • Universities, e.g. Birkbeck,Nottingham
  • Biosciences
  • Physics
student experiences3
Student experiences …
  • “In my project, I cloned the Dyt1 gene to make a fusion protein GST, expressed it in bacteria and attempted to purify it. I learnt many new skills, including a formal course in confocal microscopy that will help me directly in the future in a career in science. ”

(Summer student, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK)

some more employers who offer internships or other work experience
Some more employers who offer internships – or other work experience:
  • BBC – all areas, from production to finance
  • Centrica
  • Four Communications
  • Pearson Diversity Summer Internships (Business & Journalism)
  • Penguin Publishing(closing date 15th February)
  • Metaswitch
  • Swire
student experiences4
Student experiences …

“I did a couple of weeks work experience on Dragons' Den while I was still at university and I got the chance to do a variety of things. I dealt with applications, sought free press to advertise we were looking for applicants, looked for new entrepreneurs on the internet, and learned how to use a DV camera to film auditions (something I had never done before because I hadn't done a practical media course). After I graduated, they rang me to come back to do a couple of weeks casual work for Mastermind and this has since been extended “

BBC runner

step classic programme
  • 8 week summer placement programme for 2nd year undergraduates. 
  • Placements in small/medium organisations in all sectors
  • Project work that will help these organisations to develop.
  • Pay: about £217 per week
  • “In 2013 we anticipate a lot of opportunities in science, technology and engineering disciplines. However there will also be opportunities to gain more general business experience”
student experiences5
Student experiences …

“I was placed with a construction company, an industry I would never have considered looking into. The internship was really inspiring; my role involved taking control of a project. I had to carry out market research to identify new business opportunities within the company's business development team, gaining valuable experience and useful industry contacts”

(Environmental Science and International Development student, now running a social enterprise company)

other career areas
Other career areas
  • Not all potential graduate recruiters offer “internships” …
  • … although many do offer career-related work experience
  • … even though this may not be advertised widely (or advertised at all)
  • … and could be unpaid
other employers
Other employers

Summer Visitor Services at Buckingham Palace?

Cancer Research UK

Summer Internships

the creative career search
The Creative Career Search
  • To get work experience in advertising, TV, film, journalism, public relations, etc
  • … you need to make the first approach
  • … and to be persistent
  • See for more advice and information
getting a work placement is just the beginning
Getting a work placement is just the beginning …
  • When you do obtain work experience, be willing to help out no matter how challenging or menial the task.
  • Talk to everyone, and get yourself known so that they remember you.
  • Be yourself, friendly and approachable
finding local employers
Finding Local Employers
  • Employers often prefer local graduates for placements:
    • No accommodation worries
    • May want to work in the area after graduation
  • Kent – includes KentGrads database
  • Elsewhere in the UK

how to apply
How to apply
  • CV and covering letter – speculative applications and small companies.
  • Application form – usually online for major graduate recruiters
  • You need to put as much time and effort into applying for an internship as you would to apply for a permanent position
  • For help see
finding out about internships and other summer work experience
Finding out about internships and other summer work experience
  • Careers & Employability Service Vacancy
  • Speculative applications
  • Graduate directories and websites e.g. Target
  • National Council for Work Experience
  • RateMyPlacement
  • #ratemyplacement
other points
Other points
  • Get actively involved in University life, so that you have evidence of teamwork, organising, leadership etc. skills for your CV
  • Apply soon – there are many closing dates at the end of January!
ask a careers or employability adviser
Ask a careers or employability adviser
  • A Duty Adviser is available to help with queries between 10.30 am - 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. every weekday
  • Quick queries only (up to 15 minutes)
  • No appointment needed - just drop in
  • For longer or more detailed discussions, book an appointment