We know that it can be hard to know where to look to find your dream opportunity. Here at Developing a Student, we believe that graduate internships can be a great thing to do after university. Have a read below as to why, and where to find one that suits you.
What is an internship?
An internship is a fixed period of work experience offered by employers to support interested individuals gain experience, get involved with the company, and/or work on a particular project. Internships are usually available to students, graduates, young people and those early on in their career; however, this is not always the case. Internships have no specific time parameters. Each employer decides how long they want the interns working for them, this can be anywhere between two weeks and a year.
While some companies advertise for unpaid interns, you must know your rights and ensure an employer never exploits you. There are very few scenarios in which a business can hire a student or graduate for an active role and not pay them the national minimum wage. The national minimum wage currently stands at £8.20 per hour for those aged 21-24, and £6.45 an hour for those aged 18-20. For more information on the minimum wage and unpaid work, visit the government website. [https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates]
Why do an internship after graduating?
The period after graduating can be challenging. Not only are you leaving behind the structure and comfort of university, but you are also trying to work out what you want to do in the future. Some people have a career path in mind and can use an internship to get a foot in the door of a business. However, for most people, the future is less clear. Given their short-term nature, internships are an excellent way to try out some different industries to see what you enjoy the most. They can help you to build up the experience you might need before applying to a full-time job. As well as offering you valuable insight into the world of work.
Internships usually run over a summer period, especially if they are shorter than a year. This means they are great for those who have just left education. Equally, suppose you have not yet graduated and are between years of studying. In that case, internships can help you to prepare for your next year at university and will help build up your experience once you do graduate.
Where can I find graduate internships?
We are so proud to be able to showcase some fantastic internships from some of the UK’s most well-known businesses. Our network of employers are committed to supporting early careers and providing opportunities for young people. We are continually adding new jobs and opportunities, so keep an eye out over the coming weeks, you might find your dream internship.
Please have a look at our internships with PwC and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
2. University Careers Service
Even if you have already graduated from university, you will still be able to access your university careers services. Whether you want to speak to an advisor who can help you explore what graduate career path might be best for you, or you wish to browse internships and other opportunities on their jobs boards, careers services are a great way to find your next steps. Usually, you can find them on your universities website under ‘Careers services’.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that functions as a social media platform. People can connect with other people in their industry, share experiences, showcase jobs and opportunities, and promote themselves. It can be a great way to find internships as employees in a company often share opportunities to their feed. You may discover internships this way that you would never have searched for. You can then find out a bit about the people that work there already, and start to build a network which will be useful later in your career.
For more information on gaining experience, have a read of our pages on work experience, volunteering and work placements.