Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: internship

How to make the most of your placement or internship!

  , ,

📥  Placements, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

It is that time of the year when I start talking to 2nd years accross the Faculty of Science about how to make the most of their placement year. Looking for a placement or internship is like looking for a graduate job. The whole process is so involved and we know how hard you have worked job hunting alongside the pressures of your academic studies. Walking into the office on your first day, you will more than likely feel nervous and excited all at the same time.  With this in mind, here are some tips to help you get the best out of your internship and we hope a ticket to a great job in the future.

  • Set yourself objectives before you start: It’s good to have a think about what you would also like to get out of your time there (beyond being paid!). What are the skills and competency gaps in your CV? What 2 things do you want to leave the internship or placement having achieved?
  • Be enthusiastic: When you’re on your placement, it is really important to be enthusiastic. Don’t be the intern who sits quietly in the corner waiting to be given something to do. Get involved and learn as much as you can about the company and industry. Get to know your fellow colleagues, ask questions and generally be ‘keen as mustard’
  •  Take on responsibility: Once you have built those all-important relationships and you have gained the managers’ trust, make it known that you would be happy to take on any responsibility they can offer you. Show that you are up for the challenge and want to prove yourself. Do be careful though, you don’t want to come across as cocky or pushy. Earn your stripes by excelling in the mundane, and hopefully more exciting things will be put your way.
  • Manage your workload: Your work may come from multiple people so it’s important to remember to manage your time well, prioritise the most urgent work and manage their expectations. If you’re struggling to meet a deadline, you should be transparent about this and tell people in good time – 5pm on a Friday will not leave a good impression.
  • Build your network: One of the best things about being in an organisation is absorbing its culture and getting to know its people. After all, these might be your future colleagues! While you are there, take the opportunity to get to know your department and pretty much anyone you can. Remember to stay in touch, which you can do through email, Linkedin or by phone.



Is it time to talk about my future?

  , , ,

📥  Advice, Applications, Career Development, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

Today, I had a 1:1 meeting with a Bath graduate, towards the end of our appointment she said "I wish I would have thought about my future much earlier"
Many of you will be excited about coming to Bath, frantically packing and looking ahead to the array of freshers activities. For our returning students, you may well be looking forward to catching up with friends... Now, I know I sound like a party pooper, but you may want to consider giving your future a little thought.

As a first year:

  • If you don’t join a club or society now there is a good chance you won’t have the time or motivation later. You will make new friends and gain the skills that employers want by getting involved and helping out.  By starting in your first year there is a good chance you will be on the committee by your final year and have great experience on your CV.
  • Get a part time job. Earn money, gain skills, learn what it is like to have to manage your time effectively and understand the work place. Many employers complain students are not work ready so prove them wrong.
  • Take notice of the jobs people do, consider if you might like to do that and use the careers support available to help you.

As a 2nd year:

  • Catch up on first year if you missed out!
  • Work towards getting a summer internship – you need to be fast if you are interested in some of the larger companies as they tend to open applications in September.  Smaller organisations tend to recruit a bit later in the year.
  • You could volunteer – more flexibility than a job, but great experience. It can be the ONLY way to get experience in certain sectors.
  • Get a part time job. Earn money, gain skills, learn what it is like to have to manage your time effectively and understand the work place. Many employers complain students are not work ready so prove them wrong.
  • Start planning what you want to do when you leave. Explore and experience as much as you can by attending events and talking to each other, and us if you like 🙂


  • Time to start making applications now for jobs or further study after you graduate.  If that fills you with horror then it’s time to ask for help.
  • It’s not geeky or stupid to use the support and advice around you at the University. Most students won’t own up to being a bit lost, those that do, get help and find their way forward.
 First posted on the University of Manchester Careers Blog.


Make the most of our summer careers fair!

  , , ,

📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Labour Market Intelligence

Did you know we are hosting a Summer Graduate Careers Fair on Tuesday, 28th April from 10am-4pm in Founders Hall? The fair is a great opportunity to explore graduate roles (if you are a finalist) or summer internships / work experience opportunities. You may want to have a look at the fair programme to explore the exhibitor list.

We understand this is a busy time for many of you with project deadlines and exams, so we wanted to share our top tips for making the most of the fair:

  1. Do your research: have a look at the fair programme and explore company websites. This way you won't waste time asking basic questions.
  2. Ask the right questions: make a list of the key questions you want to ask. Think about asking questions that will help you glean useful insights about the company such as: What is the culture like?, What are the key challenges / trends facing the industry? or What are the key skills you look for in applicants?
  3. Take your CV: the fair is an opportunity for you to market yourself, therefore take a recent copy of your CV and if the opportunity arises do hand it to potential employers.
  4. Dress appropriately: whilst there is no need to be suited and booted, do dress professionally! Afterall first impressions really matter.
  5. Follow up: where possible ask for the recruiters business card and follow up! Thank them for the advice they offered or email them your CV. It may also be useful to connect with them on LinkedIn.

Finally and most importantly, avoid going around the fair in a pack! This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to potential employers you are a capable and independent individual. For more advice check out this really useful advice from TargetJobs.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Fair!


Looking for an internship this summer? Here are 6 great sites to help you find one


📥  Advice, Internships

A few weeks ago we published our most comprehensive resource to help you find an internship! I was intrigued to see the Independent's post on 6 great sites to help you find an internship and in particular wanted to see if there was a website that we might have missed. e4s and Ratemyplacement stood out.

For summer internships specifically, e4s is the place to go. It has opportunities for part time and holiday, gap year, entry level and graduate schemes. Ratemyplacement has over 25,000 reviews to help you decide if a particular opportunity is right for you. The reviews are written by previous interns and placement students.

So, it's over to you, is there a website or resource that you've come across that is particularly useful for anyone looking for an internship? Let us know by posting in the comments box.


Our most comprehensive resource to help you find an internship!

  , , ,

📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Internships, Work Experience

For a number of our students thoughts have turned to finding a summer internship and we thought we would pull together helpful websites to kick start your internship applications.


General sites

CareerPlayer - Search graduate internships by industry and location. Most of the opportunities listed on the website are in banking, finance, management, and consultancy. CareerPlayer also claims to have the largest independent career video library, and the most comprehensive career event listings to help graduates explore their career options.

Employ Ability  - Employ Ability are a dedicated service assisting students and graduates with disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions, into employment. They have worked with many leading blue-chip as well as public sector organisations and there are a wide variety of internships with large multinationals and SME's.

Enternships - lists internships and opportunities for graduates with ambitious start-ups and small businesses in over 20 countries. You can refine your search by start date, industry, location or compensation.  Companies such as Groupon, PayPal and celebrities like James Caan and Peter Jones of Dragons Den have used Enternships to find graduate talent in the past.

Give A Grad A Go - Search for paid work placements in Design, IT, Media & Arts, Sales, Banking & Finance. According to the website most work placements last between 1-3 months, with many paid internships.

Graduate talent pool - Graduate Talent Pool is a partnership between government and employers, designed to help UK graduates looking for work placements. The internships are based primarily in England, and you can search for opportunities by career sector and region.

Inspiring Interns - Inspiring Interns aims to match graduates with businesses, and recruits interns all year round. Most opportunities are in London and the UK, and you can search by industry sector. You can upload your existing CV, or make a video CV for employers to browse on the website.

STEP - Step Graduate offers paid work placements in the UK, and the programme is supported by the government through the Department for Business and Skills. Typically placements last between 2-3 months, and the website boasts lots of success stories of candidates being offered permanent positions at the end of their placements.

Student Ladder - fantastic website where you can search for opportunities by year of study and industry sector.

Wexo - Wexo lists internships and job opportunities for students and graduates with companies in the UK. You can create a profile and browse job listings for free, however to access all other content such as CV guidance, and to apply for roles there is a one off membership fee of £10.

 Sector Specific Opportunities


Charityworks - is a unique partnership initiative between 20 charitable organisations. The graduate development programme offers graduates the opportunity to work in charities for one year, and to develop the skills they need to work in the sector.


Gradcracker -  Gradcracker only lists paid work placements for Engineering and Technology students. Browse hundreds of placements with over 48 companies, and refine your search by discipline or work sector.

Finance & Banking

 eFinancial Careers - Worldwide opportunities for graduates interested in Investment Banking and Financial Services. Search internships and graduate trainee roles, and filter results by location, sector or keywords.

 Media and Broadcasting

Broadcast Graduate - The website is aimed at recent graduates and students to help them discover internships, job opportunities and graduate schemes in the broadcast and media industries. Employers on the site include BBC, 4 Talent, Bloomberg etc.


New Scientist -  Quite a comprehensive list of internship opportunities in science, charities, and abroad. The deadlines for many of the internships will have passed already but the list gives you an idea of the kinds of places that take on interns in science-related posts, and when they tend to advertise for them.


TDA School Experience Programme – You can apply for the SEP if you are considering teaching maths, physics, chemistry or a modern foreign language at secondary level and hold a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 degree. The placements can last up to 10 days, but are flexible. You will observe lessons, talk to teachers about day-to-day school life and you might have the opportunity to plan and deliver part of a lesson.


Target Jobs -  section lists work experience and vacation schemes in the field of law. Filter results by upcoming deadlines, employer name or region.

Enjoy and have a fun weekend browsing internship opportunities! If you need help with any aspect of the application process please book a quick query with a careers adviser.

MyFuture opportunities round up!

  , ,

📥  Graduate Jobs, Internships, Work Experience


There are currently over 1000 graduate jobs, internships and work experience opportunities on MyFuture - the Bath Careers Service's online jobs board. Here's a selection of opportunities:

MMC Sport - 3-9 month paid Editorial Internship based in Munich.
Google - Fulltime Software Engineer
Wynne Jones IP - Trainee Patent Attorney
NHS - Healthcare Scientist Training Programme
TK Maxx - Merchandising & Buying European Graduate Programme
Volterra Partners - Graduate Economic Consultant
Shell -  Graduate Programme in Engineering/Science for disabled students
Hang Seng Bank - Human Resources Placement


Internships - what are your rights?


📥  Advice, Internships, Work Experience

I have seen a surge in the number of first years talking to us about undertaking a summer internship. One of the questions that keeps cropping up is will I get paid? There seems to be an assumption that you have to accept unpaid work to get any meaningful experience.

It is important to be clear on terminology, according to Internaware:

An ‘intern’ is a junior member of staff, often employed on a short term contract. Being called an ‘intern’ is similar to being called a ‘trainee’. Interns are almost always expected to do real work, completing set jobs that otherwise a paid member of staff would do, and therefore has a right to be paid. Work experience or shadowing is different. Instead of doing, participants watch and observe. They do not need to be paid.

We understand students are under huge amounts of pressure to gain work experience and focus on building their CV's from Day 1 at University. However, we urge our students to think carefully before accepting an unpaid internship, here's why:

  1. Because the Law says so! The UK has laws on National Minimum Wage which means those who work should be paid a certain wage at a minimum. The exceptions to this are if you are doing volunteer work or a work placement as part of your course. I accept lines get blurred so think of it as this: if you were not there doing a certain job would the organisation have to pay for someone else to do it? If you've got set hours, tasks and responsibilities then you almost certainly count as a ‘worker’ and have a right to be paid.
  2. It's not fair: Unpaid internships require you to have another source of income in order to pay your living costs while you work (usually help from parents or a partner), so if you don’t have this same support you are put at a disadvantage to those who do. And if the only way to get a certain job is to do an unpaid internship that means a whole section of society becomes locked out of certain careers.
  3. What does it say about the company? If a company can't be bothered to pay its interns, what makes you think the experience you will gain will be valuable? What sort of support and mentoring will you receive? What skills and knowledge will you gain?Will they even write you a proper reference? (not so for this poor intern)
  4. You are worth it! Ignore the strap-line from a popular cosmetic brand. Instead consider the effort you have put in to get to uni, the knowledge you are gaining from your lectures, the skills you have to offer....all this needs to be recognised through proper pay.

For more information have a look at the resources on the Careers Service website. If you are in any doubt please make an appointment with one of our expert Careers Advisers.


Is there such a thing as a non-relevant internship?


📥  Work Experience

We're seeing quite a few students coming in asking us about internships. This is great - to have people coming in and asking us about productive uses of their summers is exactly what we want! But some of you are quite concerned that you can't get the 'right' sort of internship, maybe because you're a first year and the schemes you can find are only open to penultimate years.

So I thought I would issue a bit of reassurance.

It does not matter if you are studying, for example, engineering, and can't find an internship with a related company. There are still internships available for first years (just have a look at the programme from our Summer Internship Fair to see the sort of things available).

Yes, these tend to be in finance, or what might be termed 'general management', or in summer camps. But that doesn't mean they are useless as far as you are concerned.

These roles, or organisations, might not be your first, or even second, choice of career or employment sector. But they will still give you very useful experience of using some of the skills that all employers want.

For example, almost every employer wants people who can work well in a team and solve problems. They don't mind that the team of people you worked in was a set of camp counselors in Canada. Or that the problem you solved was how to increase a particular brand's market share. They do care that you had an opportunity to use those skills - and you have a great example to use in one of those competency-based questions employers love to ask you.

You will also learn about the sort of working style and culture you prefer - whether that be relaxed, flexible, likely to change at the last minute, or more predictable and structured. That might make the difference between you applying for a placement in process engineering in a large plant, or a smaller conasultancy that goes into many different companies to help them increase efficiencies in their production.

So go on - try something completely different! You have nothing to lose - and a whole lot of insight and useful skills development to gain!

We are here every day to help you with applications for internships and to answer any of your career questions - click here for times and how to book.



Internships for First Years

  , ,

📥  Work Experience



In my afternoon drop-ins yesterday the vast majority of questions from new students were around how to find an internship.  Whilst it is generally more common for recruiters to offer internships to second years, there is a shift in recruitment practice with more and more employers engaging first years.

One such way of engaging first years is through Spring Insight Weeks. These are generally shorter than a full internship and usually take place over the Easter break. However this does change depending on when Easter falls. Please do check your academic timetable before committing to any Insight Weeks!

Insight weeks allow first years to explore different sectors and to find out what it’s like working for particular employers. They are also a great way to begin to clarify your career thinking. Crucially, doing an insight week in your first year will help you when you apply for an internship in your second year. The LSE Careers Service have helpfully put together a list of Insight Weeks and opportunities for first years.

There are other ways of gaining work experience, The Huffington Posts article on ‘How to boost your CV without Leaving Campus’ offers excellent tips and advice! The Careers Service also hosts over 150 employers in Semester 1, many deliver presentations on campus showcasing opportunities within their organisations. Why not come along to a few and see what’s out there?

You may also want to consider speculative applications as a way to secure work experience over the summer.  Just because an organisation isn’t advertising opportunities doesn’t mean they won’t consider potential candidates. The key is to approach organisations in the right way: create a strong CV and cover letter, research potential companies and write to a named individual. Usually SME’s are more open to this approach; check out business directories such as Kompas to identify companies in your area. Finally pop in to the Careers Service, we have a host of resources you can take-away and our Careers Advisers can support you with putting together your speculative application.