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  1. Internships David Henderson Durham University Careers Advisory Service

  2. Content • What is an Internship? • Why should I consider an Internship? • Getting Started! • Where are Internships advertised? • How do I apply? • What are the alternatives to an Internship?

  3. What is an Internship? a structured programme of work experience often salaried but not always! normally lasting between four and twelve weeks usually offered by companies which take on large numbers of graduates (e.g. retailers, investment banks, accountants, professional services, IT firms…)

  4. What is an Internship? employers offer internships as part of their overall graduate recruitment strategy. primarily for penultimate year students the application process is normally the same as for a graduate position and they are highly competitive. generally advertised from November until March although some have closing dates as early as November/December.

  5. What is an Internship? Opportunities exist in a range of job roles and sectors: Finance Marketing Sales Engineering Property Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism Scientific Research & Development Political, Social & Economic Research IT HR Logistics Procurement Administration Retail Public Sector

  6. Who offers Internships? • usually offered by companies which take on large numbers of graduates (e.g. retailers, investment banks, accountants, professional services, management consultants, IT firms, FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Engineering etc) • Law Firms (Vacation Schemes) • Internships also available in other sectors of employment but not always salaried (e.g. Media organisations, NGOs, Marketing & Advertising Agencies, Publishers) • It is possible to have an internship with an SME

  7. Who offers Internships? Accenture – Consultancy BAE Systems – Engineering Centrica – Utility Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Car rental company IBM – IT & Consultancy Lidl – Retail Marks & Spencers – Retail Matchtech – Recruitment Nestle – Food & Beverage PWC – Professional Services Proctor & Gamble – Household & Personal Goods JP Morgan – Investment Banking

  8. What will I do? • typically, the employer identifies a project similar to the sort of work you would do if you joined as a graduate trainee • deliver presentations to clients/senior management • work alongside professionals/graduate trainees

  9. Why Should I consider an Internship? • A degree is not enough • Overcrowded graduate job market – need to stand out • Evidence of transferable skills • Specific career experience • Commercial experience

  10. Why Should I consider an Internship? • Insight/Career research • Opportunity to do something different • References • Networking/Contacts • Confidence – Personal Development & Self Awareness • Route to a graduate job • Necessary…Banking?

  11. Where to start? • What do I want to get out of it? e.g. develop particular skills/make a contribution/enhance graduate prospects/specific career experience • Career focus? • Sector Focus? e.g. Voluntary sector, Public sector, Finance, Publishing etc • Employer Focus? • Opportunity Focus?

  12. Where are Internships advertised? • Opportunities are advertised on Employer websites – use employer directories (e.g. Times 100/Best Companies/Yellow Pages) or professional organisations to identify companies that reflect your career interests • Careers Advisory Service website ( • • Graduate employment websites (finance, law, science, business focus) ( / • Career Fairs • Networking/Contacts • Direct Approach- speculative application!

  13. How do I apply? Normally online application form but you also may be asked to upload your CV • Competency based questions • Company specific questions • Career specific questions CV & Covering letter • 1 or 2 page CV • Covering letter should clearly address your interest in the internship (career) and the organisation as well as your suitability

  14. How do I apply? Key points! • Research is the key to success:too easy to rephrase company literature (attend presentations, speak to alumni, read journals/financial press) • Find out as much as you can about the nature of the internship and the career opportunities available • When answering competency questions be as analytical as possible: avoid narrative, briefly outline situation but focus on what you did (how you did it) and the outcome of your action • Do not refer to we, particularly in the context of team questions: they want to know specifically about your contribution • Draw upon a range of experiences • Answer the question fully (particularly multi-faceted questions) • Get someone else to read through your application form or covering letter: support from the Careers Advisory Service!

  15. How do I apply? • Why are you interested in an internship with...? • What do you expect to do as an Intern? • Why are you interested in a career in audit/marketing/HR/sales...? • What is your greatest achievement and why? • When have you been part of a succesful team? What was your role and what contribution did you make? • What has been your most difficult decision? How did you arrive at a decision?

  16. What happens next? Selection process echoes that of graduate recruitment: • Online assessment (numerical/verbal reasoning test) • Telephone interview • First round interview • Assessment Centre (group exercise, case studies, psychometric tests) • Interview(s) – Competency, technical/commercial

  17. What are the alternatives to Internships? Internships are highly competitive but they are not the only means by which to obtain highly valuable experience: • Work Experience • Work Shadowing/Work Tasters • Voluntary Work • Part-time and Casual Work • Working Holidays

  18. Work Experience • Often unpaid but not always • Expenses at least usually covered • Length of opportunity dependent on employer • Opportunity to develop sector specific experience • Opportunity to develop transferable skills • Refer to careers/recruitment section of employer websites • Speculative applications most common means of arranging work experience

  19. Work Experience • Structured work experience schemes e.g. BBC, Civil Service • Advertised work experience opportunities e.g. CAS website • Professional Bodies/Sector specific recruitment sites e.g. Refer to Prospects website ( • Self-arranged opportunities e.g. work shadowing/work placements

  20. Work Experience • Politics / • Advertising (list of companies offering work experience) • Science (search for summer opportunities) • Health Care NHS Local Champions • Environment • General Opportunities Refer to CAS website

  21. Work Experience CAS contacts – Alumni & Local Employers Networking – Employer Presentations/Career Fairs/Skills Sessions Personal/Family contacts

  22. Internships/Work Experience • • • • • • • • • •

  23. Other Types of Work Experience Salaried Opportunities: Summer Programmes - STEP Casual Work/Agency Work Work & Travel

  24. STEP Shell Technology Enterprise Programme UK-wide programme offering undergraduates project-based work experience in SMEs Penultimate year students Available throughout the UK 8 week paid project (£190 per week) involving a variety of work areas Apply via

  25. Agency Work/Casual Work Temporary paid work experience/employment Local jobs papers/Student Job Shops/Speculative Usually need prior work experience Contact recruitment agencies Internet job sites e.g. - general - specific Working in a bar, factory or a shop a useful source of evidence when documenting transferable skills!

  26. Part-time/Casual Employment • • • • • • • • •

  27. Paid Work – International • Schemes facilitating overseas employment e.g. BUNAC • Teaching e.g. British Council • Holiday employment e.g. Tourism Industry, Agriculture, Au Pair • Agencies e.g. • Summer Camps e.g. Camp America

  28. Working Holidays/Working Abroad • / • • • • • • • • • • • •

  29. Volunteering Further source of relevant work experience but also opportunity to undertake specific role and/or work in a particular capacity Develop transferable skills and personal qualities Contribution to the welfare and development of others Make a tangible difference Work at your pace/convenience

  30. Volunteering • Volunteering Organisations e.g. CSV, SCA, Volunteer England • Specific Charities refer to Voluntary Agencies Directory • Employers/Organisations that rely on voluntary support e.g. Health Trusts, Local Authorities • Experience crucial if considering opportunities in the not for profit sector • Support employment/postgraduate study prospects e.g. Health sector, Teaching, Public Sector, Social Care etc

  31. Volunteering Vast range of opportunities… • Youth & Community work e.g. Local Authority • Environment/Conservation e.g. National Trust/Wildlife Trust • Health Sector e.g. Care Homes, Charities (Cancer Research, Mind) Heritage/Museum Work e.g. English Heritage – Education Volunteers

  32. Volunteering • • • • • • • (Student Community Action)

  33. Volunteering - Internationally GAP year projects: • Travellers Worldwide, Greenforce, Raleigh International • Combination of travel & project based activities • Wide variety of opportunities e.g. conservation, community work, teaching, journalism • Financial implications – 10 weeks Raleigh International £2995

  34. Volunteering – Internationally Volunteer Organisations/NGOs • Amnesty International, Red Cross, Merlin, WWF • Project/cause specific • Relevant skills and experience but not always e.g. Development in Action recruiting for a 2 month voluntary placement in India. No specific experience required. • Domestic opportunities with NGOs e.g. research internships, administration, information management

  35. Volunteering – Internationally • • • • • • • • • • •

  36. Final thoughts… Once you have decided on the manner in which you would like to make the most of your vacations: • Identify relevant employers/organisations/public bodies etc (use resources within CAS e.g. Summer Jobs Britain, check employer/organisation/professional body websites, use generic websites identified in this talk, CAS website) • Be aware of early closing dates • Research opportunities and application process (online, CV & Covering Letter etc) • Speculative approach – CV, Friends & Family, Networking • Access support available through CAS

  37. Final thoughts… • Document your activities • Relate activities to transferable skills demonstrated e.g. teamwork, problem solving, communication, initiative etc • Reflection – what motivated/excited you. Learning outcomes. • Marketing your experience to employers

  38. …and don’t forget • Any experience, no matter how small, is useful • It is okay to mix and match your experiences e.g. volunteering and work tasters • And is okay to have fun during your summer too! Happy Holidays!

  39. How Can CAS Help Some sources of information AGCAS publications – ‘Working Abroad’, ‘Voluntary Sector’ NCVO – Voluntary Agencies Directory Charities Digest International Development Directory International Directory of Voluntary Work, Victoria Pybus Working in Development Teaching English Abroad Working Your Way Around the World Summer Jobs Britain Summer Jobs Abroad World Wide Volunteering database Vacancy Service/Employer files & contacts Job Shop Opportunities Fair - June Insight Into Management 2008

  40. How Can CAS Help Advice & Guidance Publications Careers information Employer information Information on work & study abroad Information on postgraduate study Information and advice on job search Employer presentations Employer fairs Computer aided help – Prospects Planner Careers talks/workshops

  41. Careers Advisory Service University of Durham 49 New Elvet Durham DH1 3PF Tel: 0191 334 1430 DUO Careers Tab Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm (term time) 10am – 1pm and 2.15pm – 5pm (vacations)

  42. Questions?