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Securing a paid internship or work placement is a great way to gain relevant work experience and skills to boost your personal development and your CV.

What are they and why should I get one?

An internship will help you to make valuable industry contacts and ultimately to find out if that type of job is right for you in the longer term. It will also give you a head start over less experienced applicants when applying for full time graduate jobs and given the stiff competition out there now that can be a significant advantage.

Many of these schemes are targeted at first or second years and so you need to start searching and applying for the roles early. You should also bear in mind that there are relatively few vacancies for the number of graduates out there so the competition is tough – the earlier you start to think about them the better.

It’s all in the name

Student Internships and work placements are also marketed under many different guises, some of which we have included below with a brief explanation. Essentially they vary only slightly but you should read each job description carefully before applying to make sure you are clear about what it entails:

  • Internships - A phrase that is increasingly used by large companies and refers to a placement within their organisation. It is the same thing as a placement or the more generic term work experience. Internships can be paid or un-paid and last for anything from 2 weeks to a year.
  • Student work experience - this is the catch-all title and covers every different type of role. Each employer uses this in a slightly different way so becareful to always read the job description carefully
  • Sandwich placements - assessed paid work which is part of your course. It is often of one year's duration and usually takes place inbetween your second and final year of study.
  • Work-based project - A specific piece of assessed work for a course, undertaken at an employer's premises.
  • Student work placement - A period of work experience, which can be paid or unpaid, and is part of a course of study. This can be arranged through your university with an employer or by yourself and is for an agreed period of time.
  • Work Shadowing - Where a student observes a member of staff working in an organisation, and so gains an understanding of what a particular job entails. These roles are often unpaid and are used mainly to gain experience

So to get your head start look at the roles in the box above, find one you like and Apply!

Visit our Booklet page for more information.

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