- key skills in communication, time management, problem solving, creativity, adaptability, team work and commercial awareness
- your own professional network
- confidence in your own abilities.
I had the pleasure of working with an intern for two weeks and thoroughly enjoyed welcoming them to the team. The student provided a new perspective and offered some great ideas through their micro project. Working with fresh talent has different benefits and we look forward engaging with this program again in the future."
Jessica Oatey, Media and External Relations Manager – Acceleration Through Innovation Cornwall
Hosting an intern was a very positive experience and the process was well organised. I have offered my intern a professional reference and further professional development opportunities off the back of this Micro-Internship. We hope this can be a reoccurring opportunity within our department having seen the benefits first hand."
Dr Cath Gristy, Lecturer in Education Studies - Plymouth Institute of Education, University of Plymouth
Micro-Internships are an established and bite-size internship offer available to undergraduates and finalist students, with three cycles a year – winter, spring and summer. These short experiences are a great way to enhance your CV and employability skills before embarking on a placement-year or prior to entering the graduate market.
What are the Micro-Internships?
- Bite-size, voluntary experiences
- 1-2 weeks in duration
- Students assist our partners (a department internal to the University or an external business) with a focused project and have the opportunity to work shadow
A diverse range of opportunities are typically available through this programme. Previous examples include:
- Animator intern
- International Marketing intern
- Marketing Media Developer intern
- Publishing Marketing Assistant intern
- Procurement intern
- Social Media assistant intern
- Finance & Sustainability intern
- Engineering & Building internships
- Architecture & Built Environment intern
- Student Engagement Researcher intern
- Widening Participation and Marketing intern
- Video Editor & Marketing Content intern
- Education Project Researcher intern
- Resource Developer intern
- Social Media and Alumni intern
- Business & Manufacturing intern
- Digital Content intern
- Oxygen Concentrator & COVID 19 intern
How do Micro-Internships work?
- Micro-Internships usually involve hybrid working, which means your time will be split between being on-site with the employer and sometimes working remotely from home. However some experiences can be done completely remotely depending on the project.
- If successful, you’ll be provided with a start date and confirmation of the internship you’ve secured.
- You’ll complete a training workshop and e-learning prior to starting, covering a number of useful ‘work place’ topics.
- Day one: An introductory call or meeting with your supervisor which will be your induction to the team. You’ll find out more about the department/company and talk through the project you will be working on.
- Throughout the week you’ll have catch up points with your supervisor.
- You’ll get to meet and collaborate with other team members.
- At the end you’ll have a concluding meeting with your supervisor to talk through the project and experience overall.
How do I get involved with Micro-Internships?
- You can register your interest now to hear about future opportunities
- The Careers Service will send updates and announcements for each cycle via myCareer
- All opportunities will be posted on myCareer
- Once you have submitted your application (CV and cover letter) you’ll know within one week if you have been successful in securing a Micro-Internship.
A summer internship (also referred to as a summer placement) has all the benefits of a shorter internship, and more, as these can last between one and three months.
An increasing number of students and employers are seeking/offering these opportunities each year because a lot can be achieved over a summer experience. Also, as great as a placement-year can be, it’s not necessarily possible for everyone, but if you did three summer internships whilst at University you could be graduating with up to nine months of work experience on your CV. Perhaps with the same company or three separate ones, which is very appealing to employers at the graduate level.
Where to look?
The Careers Service advertise summer internships via myCareer, so check this regularly for new opportunities.
Other recommended platforms include:
In the summer of 2021 we worked in partnership with SailGP, who provided ten exciting internships for students wanting to gain practical experience. The students worked alongside high profile teams, cutting edge technology and experienced being part of a world renowned event. The internship roles included:
- Sustainability Team Member - Best Practice Event Recycling (Waste Management)
- Sustainability Team Member - Driving up reuse at events (Reusable Behaviour)
- Events & Hospitality Team Member
- Technical Team Member - (Ropes and Rigging)
- Technical Team Member (Wing Department)
- Technical Team Member (Boat Building)
- Technical Team Member (Hydraulics)
- Data Analyst.
We will advertise any internships offered through summer projects we partner with, via MyCareer and information about upcoming opportunities will be available on our webpages.
“My main role in this internship was to assist the hydraulics team with the setting up, maintenance, and disassembly of the F50 catamarans. The highlight for me was feeling like a useful part of the team. This was a great feeling. I can recall several occasions where I was trusted to work alone, using the boat breaker tool where I had the whole team waiting for me to complete the vital task.”
Kristian Hookham (MSc Mechanical Engineering) – Technical Team Member (Hydraulics) 2021
“During my internship, I investigated the current sustainability practices. Our daily activities varied but during this time, I inspected the current bins in place and whether they were used effectively whilst generating/discussing ideas to improve this. I also attended a seagrass mapping activity which was in partner with Ocean Conservation Trust. I developed and utilised many innovation skills such as communication skills, problem solving skills and strategic thinking. I worked collaboratively with another intern and the sustainability lead at SailGP, so team working abilities were useful too.”
Shana Clarke (Stage 2 BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability) – Sustainability Team Member 2021
Overseas summer work
Working abroad over your summer vacation is a popular choice for many. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain a unique experience (up to three months long) whilst developing a range of life skills in the workplace. Such an experience can also benefit you when making future job applications and an interesting talking point during interviews. Think of it like this; overseas summer work experience shows you have done something useful with your spare time and that you are employable.
Possible funding available to you
Summer work can range from something more formal, like a structured internship with a business, to something more casual, such as working in a summer camp. Whichever route you take, and if you are successful in securing an opportunity, some funding could be available to you to help towards costs. To find out more about this funding contact the Plymouth Global team, who will assist you with the grant process.
Where to look?
As well as myCareer and those platforms highlighted in the above ‘Internships’ section, we recommend utilising Going Global. Going Global is a dedicated platform for a range international opportunities but also contains useful advice for experiences overseas.
Other (funded) work-experience opportunities available to you
The Careers Insight Programme
The Careers Insight Programme is a newly designed scheme aimed to be a career enhancing experience for our Widening Participation (WP) students, over a short period of time and whilst the funding is available.
The programme will replicate the process of graduate recruitment and provide you with some excellent experience for your CV and future job applications, whilst at the same time you’ll be in a position to start developing your own professional network.
This programme and overall experience will include:
- a hands-on experience with an internal department to the University or an external business
- up to 100 hours work experience over 5-weeks (up to 20 hours per week term time)
- assisting your host with a small project and other associated tasks and work shadowing
- induction to the team, daily check-ins with your host and an end of experience debrief to talk through your project
- workplace e-learning in H&S and GDPR
- support from the careers service available before and after the experience
- a generous bursary payment upon completion of the experience
- completion of a short case study.
How do I apply?
- Check you fulfil the above eligibility criteria and log on to MyCareer.
- Opportunities will be advertised on myCareer. Once they go live, simply click through for more detail and how to apply.
Please note, students need to have UK-home tuition fee status to be eligible for this scheme.
For further information
To find out more and to check if you meet the WP criteria, please see our equality, diversity and social mobility page.
Register your interest in the scheme. This will enable our team to keep you informed of new opportunities and updates about the programme when they happen.
What help is available?
We have a dedicated team available to support you with securing an internship. Throughout the year you have access to:
Finding your own internship
Sourcing your own internship is entirely possible, if you haven’t seen something that appeals online then why not try finding your own? This is called a speculative application and this is a great way to potentially create an opportunity yourself.
For some employers it might be something they would consider but simply haven’t advertised an opportunity. For others it could be they haven’t offered one before, perhaps by you approaching them to request some summer employment or work shadowing might make them think and help open that door.
Hear what past interns have to say about their experience
"I joined the SERIO team on an internship to work on the evaluation of a publicly-funded programme. Over the course of the internship, I engaged in qualitative analysis of interview data from a programme participant and stakeholders. I used my analysis to develop a case study which showcased best practice in a social prescribing model. This micro-internship has helped me to take initiative for independent learning, and develop transferable skills that I can apply in my academic career."Akshita Jindal, Biomedical Science Student, SERIO Internship
"An invaluable experience that has allowed me to develop and apply the skills and knowledge gained through my course to a real business situation."
Daniel Turrell, Business Management Student, Finance Internship
"The Micro-Internship was a fantastic opportunity to develop my skills set and knowledge of an area that I am interested in pursuing after my degree. This has given me an amazing experience to go on my CV and the staff were so helpful and welcoming, they even offered to be a reference when I start applying for volunteering or jobs."
Isobel Thomas, Criminology and Psychology Student, Student Services Internship
"I undertook a Micro-Internship with the Educational Development Team. I had to create a resource outlining decolonisation activities across the University of Plymouth, which took a great deal of identifying and evaluating content. I developed a range of transferable skills whilst on the Micro-Internship; including developing digital skills and communication skills. I would highly recommend a Micro-Internship experience."
Linda Knight, Psychology Student, Educational Development Internship
"My micro-internship was focused on working on the University archives, currently housed in the Seale-Hayne Library. The work involved arranging, indexing, and cataloguing the documents to make them available to staff and students in the near future. The entire experience was great. All of the work was practical and hands-on, and very relevant for my professional future. One highlight is the fact that the documents had never been worked on before, so I got to experience working on the archives from the very first step. Though I had interned previously in an archive, working with the University documents felt like a new experience, as these were quite different from the kind of documents I had worked on before. This broadened my understanding of archival documents."
Anais Lichtensztejn, Archival Assistant, University of Plymouth Digital Support Team
"My internship involved reviewing the University's Schedule of Delegation and comparing this with their existing workflow to see whether the two matched and, if not, identifying why and proposing recommendations to avoid these gaps occurring in future. The best part of the experience was the exposure I gained within a finance environment and the knowledge I received from my colleagues within the department. I gained insight into how the institution operates and how each system functions, as well as an introduction to certain projects undertaken by different teams within the University, the University's goals, and how the University is aiming to strive in the future. Overall, I felt the internship helped develop my interpersonal and critical thinking skills. Lastly, I also learnt how to deliver presentations more effectively. Thank you to the Careers Service for this amazing opportunity, it was a really great experience and helped me a lot."Edi Sailhu, Finance Systems Intern, University of Plymouth Finance Department
"During my internship, I investigated the current sustainability practices within the company with particular focus on waste management on site and at the famous SailGP event. Our daily activities varied but during this time, I inspected the current bins in place and whether they were used effectively whilst generating ideas to improve them. I also attended a seagrass mapping activity which was in partner with Ocean Conservation Trust. This gave me more insight into marine management, an area I wish to pursue one day. This along with the event days were the highlights for me, as they allowed a behind the scenes view of event management and opened my eyes to the difficulty behind achieving sustainability in various areas but also the concern this company has for protecting the environment."Shana Clarke, Sustainability Internship, SailGP
If you are an EU/EEA student with either pre-settled or settled status, you can apply for an internship just like a UK home student.
All other overseas students with immigration permission to study in the UK can contact our International Student Advice team where they will check (in conjunction with the UKVI Compliance team) to see if your current permissions will allow to proceed with an internship.