Summer Internships

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A summer internship (or placement) with an organisation is a great way to find out about an organisation and whether you'd like to work there (or not!) when you graduate.

The basics ie what you need to know
  • Many of the major graduate recruiters offer summer internships to undergraduates.
  • Increasingly, employers are using their summer internships as part of their graduate recruitment programmes ie they offer graduate jobs to students who successfully complete a summer internship.
  • If you are looking for a quality summer internship with some of the major graduate recruiters start early - some closing dates are as early as October and November.
  • Some employers offering internships will opt to hold a presentation for students and/or interviews either on campus or in the Glasgow area.  Make sure you know which employers will be holding presentations for students.
  • Opportunities may be based in Scotland, across the UK or abroad.
Well known summer placement programmes
What types of students do employers want?
  • You may find that some internships are open to penultimate year undergraduate students only, however, some employers open their placements up to second year students or students of any year.
  • Some internships are degree specific ie employers are looking for a degree discipline such as Mechanical Engineering or Economics while other internships may be open to students of any discipline. So, for instance, you will find IT or Finance or Marketing or Human Resources internships that are open to students of any discipline - it is up to you to explain to the employer on your application why you are interested in the internship.
  • Some employers have other specifications eg they may be looking for applications only from those students who have 220 UCAS points or more.
  • Increasingly, employers offering internships look for evidence that students have a variety of skills that they can bring to the job eg communication, leadership, problem solving skills, to name a few.  These skills can be gained through a combination of work experience and involvement in activities outside your academic studies.  Find out our ideas on how you can get involved while at University.



Get help at the Careers Service
  • Logon to search Careers Service vacancies
  • Make sure you present yourself well to employers - get help with CVs, applications and interviews
  • We run CV Clinics twice weekly on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.  Book for a CV clinic online.
  • Pick up a copy of our CV booklet, "Effective CVs and Covering Letters"
Useful websites
  • Many employers advertise summer placements at the Prospects web-site.
  • Find out where students at UK universities have undertaken internships/placements and what the students thought about their placements at Rate My Placement.
  • TargetJobs website site advertises graduate vacancies and has a "work experience" section featuring placement/ internship opportunities.
  • For Law students, or anyone with a genuine interest in Law, visit The European Law Students' Association UK (ELSA).  ELSA has a Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP) which enables members to spend a period of time working abroad in a law related area.  Traineeships are between 2 weeks and 18 months long. 
  • The BBC offers work experience opportunities.  Find out more at:  Placements are unpaid and last anything from a few days to 4 weeks.   At this site you can search for placements and register for placement alerts.
  • International Graduate Jobs on the Prospects website has opportunities with different employers in a wide range of job sectors.  Jobseekers can search for "Internships/Placements".


Searching for a summer placement in Scotland
  • There are fewer national organisations offering placement programmes so there is more competition for the jobs that are available.
  • Many organisations simply do not need to advertise their summer vacancies as they receive hundreds of speculative applications from students.
  • It's very important to be pro-active in your job search if you want to work in the Glasgow area over the summer - don't wait for vacancies to be advertised - it might never happen!
  • In 2011 around 77% of Strathclyde graduates (first degree) found employment in the central belt of Scotland - so contacts you make through summer work could prove very important.
  • Find out more about job hunting and researching employers.

All types of vacancies, employer presentations, CV checking, employer directory

Common Best Practice Code for High Quality Internships

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