Work Placements and Internships
If you want to get ahead into a career in the professions you should consider doing work placements or internships within the sector you are interested in. It's a good idea to start early - don't wait until you graduate to gain experience: the jobs market is competitive and by showing your commitment as soon as you can, you will stand out.
Work placements and internships give you the opportunity to develop relevant skills, knowledge and experience while getting firsthand experience of life in a real working environment.
Be creative when thinking about work placements - use your contacts; take a look at the professional body for your sector, and see what opportunities they offer; use your holidays wisely by putting some time aside for gaining experience as well as enjoying time off.
- Attention has recently been given to rights for interns, as many internships have traditionally been unpaid. Intern Aware campaigns for fair internships and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has put together guidance for employers providing internships.
Have a look at these tips for applying to graduate schemes.
The Association of Graduate Recruiters site contains advice, events listings and research results. The AGR run a bi-annual survey of the graduate jobs market, the results of which are published in the papers.
The National Council for Work Experience is another great place to start.
Step has over 10 years of experience in developing some of the UK’s most highly regarded, and paid, placement programmes. They have strong links with a variety of employers – from small businesses to multinational corporations - all operating across a multitude of sectors. Check out their website for further information. Interested? View the success stories.
Here we list some other useful sites to help you kick-start your search…
- The Graduate - schemes searchable by area with salaries shown and jobs categorised by sector and location.
- Graduate Recruitment Bureau - includes section for Graduate Schemes.
- Guardian Jobs - browse schemes and sort by location, salary etc.
- Inside Careers - graduate careers advice and listings for placements.
- Inspiring Interns - specialising in London based internships, also see guide on top right of this page.
- Just4graduates - job searches for positions suitable for graduates, which claims to have new jobs added each day. Can also monitor interest in your CV and help you get recognised for unadvertised jobs.
- Milkround - searchable schemes, advice, job searches and links to companies, most of whom are large, e.g. Barclays.
- Total Professions' jobs board - graduate placements, internships and other opportunities. Set up a jobs email alert, submit your CV and get tips for interviews.
Here is a list of major companies and organisations who offer graduate schemes in the following sectors: Accountancy, Business, Engineering, Finance, HR, IT, Law, Not for Profit, PR/Advertising,Public sector, Retail and Teaching.
Also take a look at our career sectors to get more guidance on getting into these professional careers.
- Barclays/ Barclays Capital
- Bank of England
- BOC / The Linde Group
- Fidelity International
- Financial Services Authority
- Goldman Sachs
- JP Morgan
- Lloyds TSB
- Standard Bank
- Thomson Reuters
- Cancer Research
- Charity Works - partnership of charities, 2 year placement working for 3 major charities
These schemes often close early, so make sure you apply asap!
- Armed Forces
- Civil Service
- DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)
- Foreign Office
- Government Finance
- HM Revenue and Customs
- National Graduate Development Programme - local government management training scheme
- Royal Mail
- UNESCO - Young Professional Programme
- UN - Internship Programme at Head Office in New York, Geneva,Vienna, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut or Santiago.