Internships are a type of work experience often lasting several weeks or months and are usually undertaken over the summer. They provide you with an opportunity to try a job or career to see if this is something that you want to do. Internships help you gain relevant experience and skills in a particular role so it is a great way to bolster your CV. Internships can often lead to permanent employment with the employer.
As an intern you are treated as a member of the team and really get to know the company you work for and take on responsibilities such as leading on project or piece of work.
Benefits of internships:
- gain valuable skills and knowledge
- opportunity to try out a job or career for a set period
- great opportunity to develop you own network of key contacts in the sector
- insight into how the organisation works and how your role fits into this
- provide practical experience of working
You can find internship opportunities by looking at job websites, such as:
Internships can also be found on more generic job sites, such as:
You could contact companies directly to see if they have any upcoming opportunities. Many companies have a dedicated website page for internships – one example being the RSPB.
If you are at college or university, then speak with your careers service team on opportunities available.
You could also reach out to family, friends, previous work colleagues to see if they have any connections or aware of any opportunities.
Graduate schemes are very similar to internships and may be found in the same way. However, graduate schemes take place after you have graduated from university.
They are structured training programmes lasting one or two years and are organised and delivered by employers to help them develop future staff.
The may involve a focus on one role or you may be rotated into a variety of roles and teams providing you and the employer an opportunity to understand which role you would be best suited for.
Graduate schemes are very popular and competition for places can be high so it is important that you are aware of when scheme open and what is required. Often you can apply towards the end of your second year of university with view of starting after you have graduated.
In addition to the ways in which you can find an internship, you can find a graduate scheme by attending career fairs, and open days and recruitment events organised by the employer.