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Internship Applications To Close Before Christmas

Students urged to act now to secure the best summer placements

It may only be two months since Fresher’s Week, but summer internships are already getting filled for 2015, with many firms issuing deadlines before Christmas. 

Internships have caused huge debate over recent years, with some employers, including high profile firms, getting slammed for exploiting interns. While there are some internships that are paid, an overwhelming three out of four interns have stated they have been insufficiently compensated for the work they do.1

Despite this, there are plenty of golden opportunities to be had, but students will need to act fast. Big firms such as Credit Suisse, Lloyds Bank, BT, Allen & Overy are offering paid summer internships, while there are plenty of smaller, independent firms, such as Glide, a utilities and services provider, who also have openings for undergraduates. 

Glide, who was founded by students for students, uses its internship programme as part of its recruitment strategy. “Fundamentally we believe in young talent.” said James Villarreal, co-founder of Glide and chairman of Birmingham’s Young IOD.

”I used my uni summer holiday to set up Glide, and now want to give like-minded students the same opportunities. Today we are a team of 56, the majority of whom are under 35 years old, with 15% coming through our internship programme. As a company we stand to give as much support possible to students, on their journey into employment, whether that be through internships or mentoring.” 

According to UCAS latest figures, over 461,000 students from the EU and UK started UK degree courses this year, a four per cent increase on last year. Despite these strong figures, youth employment remains extremely competitive, meaning it’s more important than ever to do what you can while studying to improve your chances of employment once you graduate.

“Youth unemployment is a terrible waste of talent, and as a British employer, we have a duty to do something about it.” Villarreal added. 

One key factor that is putting directors off employing graduates is experience.  IOD Regional Director, John Phillips said; “We’re seeing certain issues in the level of experience of under and post graduates. In this increasingly competitive market place it’s paramount that students develop their vocational skills while still at college to strengthen their employability once they graduate. This doesn’t just mean understanding your chosen profession and what drives it, it’s also just as important for students to use their internships to hone basic numeracy, literacy and communication skills. We see many examples of graduates with problems in these areas, and they should understand that while basic, these skills are critical to a business and will ultimately help them when they start their careers.

The right kind of internship is now a summer essential for undergraduates – a CV with academic qualifications alone is not going to land your dream job. You need to be able to prove to would be employers that you can perform in the boardroom as well as the classroom. 

To help students land and make the most of their Internships, James and John have pulled together their own top 10 golden rules…

Applying For Internships

1.    Research and apply for summer internships now. Here are a few paid placements to get you started.

  • Suisse: the Switzerland-based multinational financial services holding company has an internship programme that runs for 10 weeks from the end of June to August, and is open to penultimate-year students. Application deadline: 12/12/2014.Salary: Competitive. 
  • Lloyds Banking Group: one of Britain’s largest financial institutions runs an extensive internship programme from June to September. There are a number of programmes across all sectors of the business. Application deadline: 31/12/12. Salary: £18,000 pro rata. 
  • BT: the British telecoms provider has a 12-week technology internship for penultimate year students looking for a summer placement. Application deadline: 31/12/2014. Salary: £350 p/week. To apply visit:  
  • Allen & Overy: the multination law firm with its headquarters in London offer a summer vacation scheme for those studying in their penultimate year of study. Application deadline: 31/12/2014. Salary: £250 p/week.
  • BOC: one of the UK’s leading industrial gases and engineering businesses, is offering a number of engineering internships across the business for summer 2015. These placements will provide up to 10 weeks paid employment across a number of sectors. Application deadline: 31/01/2015. Salary: £250.00 p/week. 
  • Glide: the UK’s first utilities and service provider for shared households is based in Birmingham and runs various programmes for both under, and, post graduates. Application deadline: 13/06/1015. Salary: £1,000 p/month. To apply simply email glide@glide.uk.com to express your interest.

2.    Question your role and make sure you understand what you’ll be getting from the placement in advance. Ask for a fair balance of activities that will give you valuable experience, as well as the more admin-focused tasks. If it’s all about the tea making – walk away. 
3.    Sell yourself on social media. Make sure you have a professional profile on LinkedIn, and check your social media footprint; delete anything that could devalue you as an employee.
4.    Check your CV and application thoroughly for typos.
5.    Avoid filling your CV with meaningless adjectives and instead highlight valuable work experience, relevant work skills, such as ability to talk another language, and list down interesting hobbies to bring out your personality and convey your passion in life.

During Your Internship

6.    Get on with people and always try your best to understand the key drivers in the business and how you, as a new starter, can really add value
7.    Always follow through with what you say you are going to do
8.    Be smart, on time, keen and flexible
9.    Don’t refuse, or show discontent, when asked to do something you don’t like doing
10.    Treat everyone with respect and avoid office politics

  • Date published: 26th October 2015
  • Written by: Ian Thomas

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