Internships are a great way to gain work experience during your time at University and we recommend all undergraduates consider completing one during their studies. Whether days, weeks or months in duration, this can be invaluable experience for your CV, future job applications and employability prospects.
Here at the University of Plymouth we have a range of initiatives available to you, via your dedicated Careers Service and other funded projects. Each providing you with a great introduction to the world of work.
An internship provides you with the opportunity to gain an understanding for a particular role, profession or sector. Like a taster before you graduate, an internship will help you with making informed decisions upon leaving University.
You will also develop:
- 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 a new and increasingly popular programme 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?
- All Micro’s are currently working remotely, meaning you can complete the experience from home
- If successful, you’ll be provided with a start date and confirmation of the internship you’ve secured
- You’ll complete a training workshop prior to starting, covering a number of useful ‘work place’ topics
- Day one: An introductory call with your supervisor via Zoom will replicate 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 update calls with your supervisor
- You’ll get to meet other team members via Zoom, like you would if the internship was in person
- 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:
Graduate level – STEM Graduates into Business
The STEM Graduates into Business project aims to connect recent university graduates with small businesses in Devon to undertake internships lasting 6 to 12 months in roles related to Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics. Working with an SME (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise) has many benefits including opportunities to work on key projects from the start, the potential of being given responsibility from an early stage and exposure to cutting-edge innovations and new-to-market products. All opportunities are paid and a great way to secure relevant industry experience in your chosen sector post-graduation, also many of the businesses we are working with are keen to offer a permanent position for the right candidate.
What help is available?
We have a dedicated team available to support you with securing an internship. Throughout the year you have access to:
- weekly internship drop-in’s, for help with all stages of your application(s)
- the Careers Hub - open daily with a large number of on-line resources to benefit your search.
- book an appointment via myCareer
or contact us on email@example.com.
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.
- Stay flexible and realistic with your requests.
- Remember to remain polite and efficient in your communication with an employer, first impressions are key.
- Keep a log of all the companies you have approached to stay on top of your search.
- All stages of your application are important and if you secure an interview preparation is essential. Let our team help you prepare by booking an appointment via myCareer.
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