Santander Internships: case studies

Charles Wright, BEd (Hons) Primary (Humanities) 

"The scholarship enabled me to visit a part of the world which would have been inaccessible for me. I was able to visit Amish and Native American communities as well as spending most of my time in an elementary school to experience the differences in the North American education system and our own. I was also able to demonstrate to the children and their wider communities that it is ok to want to be a primary teacher as a male, as this is a vocation that is heavily dominated by females. I hope I dispelled some of these stereotypes and showed that it’s ok to want to positively impact children’s lives as a male role model. The experience I gained in New York was priceless, and will hopefully go a long way to making me a more well-rounded educator."

Jaydene Purvis, BSc (Hons) Psychology

“The overall value of this bursary has been priceless. I have developed so many useful skills for future employment, as well as knowledge and understanding my possible career options. I would 100% recommend this opportunity to future applicants, especially if they’re unsure on what career path they’d enjoy most after graduating.”

Linda Frommel, MSc Brand and Design Management

“To enrich the academic experience of studying at Plymouth, the Santander bursary is a great opportunity to gain practical experience in addition to the theoretical knowledge acquired at university. It gave me an opportunity to apply what I had learned during my course, as well as to refine knowledge I already had. In addition, this was a perfect opportunity for me to gain an insight into working life in the UK, as I am originally from Germany.”

Victoria Lane, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare 

“This bursary has given me the opportunity to go out and get some valuable experience which is necessary when applying for employment in this area of work. I would highly recommend using this bursary to gain experience in the field of work that you are looking to work in as it makes you more employable if you have the necessary skills and experience that they are looking for. It may also give you the edge over other applicants if you have experience as well as a degree.”

Nikola Wolkova, BA (Hons) Architecture 

“Working alongside someone with more than ten years of experience gave me a great chance to be curious and ask questions. I got to see the process behind the scenes (for example, of applying for planning permission) and how long such a process takes. This experience gave me a different insight into the subject than the University. I saw that designing is only a small part of architecture and the ability to communicate with clients, the team, constructors, etc, and the ability to detail drawings and documents with patience are even more important. With this experience, I could write something relevant into my CV which helped me to find a graduate position in the end.”

Aban Gautam, MClinRes Clinical Research 

“The experience greatly increased my understanding of palliative care and the health delivery system in the UK which wouldn’t have been possible without the Santander work experience bursary. I highly recommend it to other applicants, particularly international students, because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience working in the UK.”

Angus Davidson, BSc (Hons) Digital Art and Technology 

“Working with One Polygon has given me the opportunity to gain professional experience with Adobe Illustrator. Because of this experience, it opens more doors to other potential companies after finishing University. Additionally, I have gained experience working with real clients.”

Hyee Shynn Lim, BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography 

“I would definitely encourage future applicants to apply, especially if your placement is unpaid. As mentioned above, having a bursary really helps you focus your time and energy fully onto your work. That way, you can gain a deeper understanding of your work and find it more enjoyable overall.”

Calum Levy, BSc (Hons) Financial Economics 

“This bursary/work experience opportunity has offered me so much. I have got my foot in the door for the career that I want and that is all I could have wanted from this. If you are feeling doubtful, or think that this opportunity couldn’t possibly offer you anything but money for a couple of weeks work, you should definitely reconsider. I made many developments whilst on my work placement at Excaliber Associates. I have been offered a temporary contract with them in order to keep up-to-date with the business and the financial services industry as a whole whilst I complete the last two years of my degree. The director of Excaliber has already said that she would be delighted to take me on as a full-time employee after my degree in order to train me up to become an independent financial adviser.”

Sandy Schmidt, BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health) 

“In my eyes, doing work experience for a children’s sailing charity, and then continuing to volunteer for them improves my employability hugely as I have gained experiences in working with disadvantaged children that other students might not have. I have gained very transferrable skills, such as clear communication, keeping children safe, enhancing the children’s experiences and giving withdrawn children a helping hand to empower them to become independent and more confident. In turn, this has boosted my confidence hugely.”

Lorraine Aldridge, BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology 

“Before the placement, I would never have expected to have the confidence to stand in front of a whole class of year 10s, but by the end of the first week, I had led a whole class heart dissection. The opportunity to carry out this placement allowed me to develop confidence in public speaking and in my own knowledge of my subject area, as I wouldn’t have been confident enough in my own knowledge to have trusted myself to explain what to do and what parts of the heart. This has enhanced my employability as I will be more confident in interviews and can give evidence that I can be confident in communicating to large groups of people which is needed for outreach work.”

Lucy Thatcher, MPsych Integrated Masters in Advanced Psychology 

“This incredible experience only happened because of the bursary. As a student, it is incredibly difficult to take time off from work, since the bills appear never-ending, especially for those like me who are going to complete a study abroad year. This bursary allowed me to afford the travel and time off work, without which I never would have had this opportunity. The list of things I have gained from this internship is endless. The experiences I have had and the things that I have learned have aided me across all areas of my life – educationally, personally and professionally. My advice to future applicants is to not be afraid to go for it or try something different.”

Michael Newman, BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology 

“This bursary has not only allowed me to gain experience within a sector that I’m very interested in. It has provided me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and skill set within my chosen subject area, and therefore increase my employability within an area where experience is invaluable in order to secure a job in the future. To any future applicants for this bursary, I would recommend using it as a stepping stone into the working environment within your chosen area. This will not only allow you to gain valuable contacts but also to broaden your employability options.”

Aaron Goh, BSc (Hons) Maritime Business and Logistics 

“Without a doubt, I would recommend future applicants to apply for this bursary, even if the business does not match your immediate interest, as the transferrable skills acquired in a workplace would be valued by employers in your future applications, allowing one to stand out.”

Megan Pearce, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science 

“This bursary has enabled me to remain in Plymouth to carry out a technical placement, in an industry that I have not had previous exposure to through my degree. I have been considering a technical graduate role in the environmental sector and this experience has confirmed for me that this is what I would like to pursue. My recommendation to future applicants is to use this opportunity to explore an area of your degree subject that you may not get exposure to at university, as this may be a field of work that interests you and could form the basis of a future career.”

Jamie Blake, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

“This bursary has been extremely valuable to me as without it I would have only considered work experience within a closer area, less related to my degree subject.
I recommend the bursary and the option of work experience as I hope it has been vastly beneficial to my future, especially as employers are looking for skills and experiences which are not gained through university but personal effort outside the set curriculum.”

Emilie Ehrhardt, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare 

“Overall the bursary has helped me ensure I could go and do this internship with good gear and thereby help me develop skills and build up an even more impressive portfolio to use for future employment or studies. If you are considering applying for this bursary, definitely do it – it is worth the work and time you put into applying, and you’ll never wonder ‘what if’!”

Hannah Godfrey, BSc (Hons) Psychology 

“The opportunity to gain work experience at Penhaligon’s Friends has helped me to develop both my personal and professional skills. I feel more confident talking about death, bereavement and the ‘normal’ grief responses that follow a bereavement. I felt like part of the Penhaligon’s Friends team from day one and as a result of this I am going to be an active volunteer with the charity once my placement has finished.”