Student Internships, Reviews, Advice & Guides For Your Summer 2016 Work Experience

Our comprehensive guide to immersive internships

Everything you need to know about what an internship is and how you can start your search for one. Throw in a dash of advice from previous years' interns and you have the perfect recipe for success.

Placement zone Insight zone

What is a student internship?

We classify an internship as a period of paid work experience between one and four months, usually taking place during the summer.

Typically the intern will work full time for a certain employer, where they will gain experience and basic knowledge about a given business discipline, which can be built upon during a placement year as well as in graduate employment.

Summer internships provide the intern with a taster of the working world, company culture and team ethic within the organisation, as well as giving them the opportunity to build fundamental skills relevant to the industry that will have a profound impact on their graduate career prospects.

For reasons why undergraduate students should consider doing work experience, read on…

“37% of graduate job vacancies are expected to be filled by students who have previously worked for the organisation”
High Fliers (2014)

Current internship vacancies

View more internships

Why should I do an internship?

Gaining work experience

In today’s job market relevant work experience has never been more important; an increase in the number of people looking for graduate employment means the more you can make your application stand out from the crowd, the better.

The perfect way to do this is with a wealth of relevant work experience. If your course doesn’t offer a placement, then summer internships 2016 are the perfect way to build this experience.

Work experience

Future career opportunities

Research shows up to 71% of graduate jobs can be filled by previous employees of that organisation, so a summer internship 2016 can be used to get to know the industry and a company as much as possible.

This approach will help enhance your future career opportunities not only at graduate level but also when looking for placement years.

Career opportunities

Building contacts

On student internships you’ll have up to 16 weeks to work alongside other interns and key figures within the organisation. The people you get to know on undergraduate internships can be powerful contacts when it comes to looking for graduate jobs and job references.

As well as the obvious academic and career benefits UK internships can bring, there is the opportunity to make friends, contacts and build relationships with other interns in your organisation.

Building contacts

Where can I get advice?

There are a number of places to get advice about paid work schemes, both online and off. Take a look at our industry guides, which offer additional advice about internships 2016 and the benefits they have in specific sectors; whether you're looking to work in finance or fashion there's plenty of information to help you out.

Also don't forget our advice on CV writing and interview skills. Finally you can contact us on Twitter (@RateMyPlacement) and leave a question for our own placement students who'll get back to you!

View advice articles

Paid internships

We believe that any company offering undergraduate placements and internships should always pay its interns a fair salary. After all, during work experience you effectively become a company employee, so it's only fair that you're rewarded like any other worker would be.

Luckily, many companies now pay their placement students and interns a decent wage. In fact, given the increasing importance of placements and paid internships for businesses when it comes to finding the next intake of graduates and employees, a lot of employers are offering more competitive salaries than ever before.

In our Top Undergraduate Employers guide 2015 – 2016, we worked out that the average student salary was £17,509, and that's before you've even graduated. As if the experience you gain on one of these programmes isn't enough, you also get to earn thousands of pounds.

In the guide, we also worked out that the lowest average salary on placements and paid internships was £15,371 (Yorkshire and Humberside), while the highest was unsurprisingly in central London and The City (£19,870).

You can see a full breakdown of the average wage offered by employers for placements and paid internships in the image below.

View internship jobs

Internships in London

London is more than just the capital of the UK – it is one of the capitals of the world. With a population of more than eight million people, Europe’s leading financial district and key offices of many of the world’s largest companies – like Shell, GSK, HSBC, PwC and Unilever – it’s a city of vital economic importance.

What does this mean for you? It means that, if you are an undergraduate looking for work experience in the form of placements, London internships or insight schemes, there are literally hundreds of opportunities out there for you just waiting for you to grab them.

Why should you think about interning in London? Simply because there are so many high-calibre opportunities available, meaning that the experience you soak up is likely to be incredibly valuable to your personal and professional development.

Many of the work experience programmes that London-based companies run take place in the summer, as they normally run for between one and four months and can be completed between university years.

To find the best summer internships London has to offer, you can use RateMyPlacement’s jobs page to see what openings are currently out there. If you find a company you like the look of, you can check out what previous undergraduates have made of the experience by having a peek at our reviews page.

Summer Internship

Whereas placements can last for up to a year and form part of an undergraduate degree, shorter work experience opportunities like undergraduate internships 2016, insights and vacation schemes can offer more flexibility in terms of when you do them.

You can find short-term and summer work experience opportunities in industries like fashion, marketing, finance, engineering, law and banking internships, many of which are open to undergraduates studying any degree (provided you’re on track for a certain grade). Head over to our industry pages to see what industries suit you, or venture to our jobs page to see what’s available right now.

Internships 2016: deadlines for your diary

Love them or hate them, deadlines are there for a reason. Many of these work experience schemes will attract a hefty number of applications, so if you see a job you like the look of, get in there ASAP!

That way you’ll give yourself a better chance of standing out (rather than sending in an application at the very last second along with everyone else!) and ensure you don’t miss the boat.

So whatever it is that you’re after – from international insight schemes to work experience in marketing, IT, science and research – sign up to RateMyPlacement today to stay ahead of the game.

How can I improve my chance?

Work experience

Take a look at this awesome blog feature to find out more on what an internship can offer you and what they can add to your CV…

View advice blog
internship work experience

CV Perfection

Often, your curriculum vitae is the first thing a potential employer will see, so you really need to make sure you stand out and don’t just fade into the background. Read our hints and tips on writing the perfect CV in this cracking blog article.

CV for internships
CV for Internships

Interview techniques

In this blog feature, you'll get some great advice on how to conduct yourself during a interview; from the first handshake to those tough interview questions that get us all stumped, there are some great tips to ensure you come across well.

Interview advice blog
Interview tips for Internships

When do I need to start applying?

Many of the work experience schemes for students we advertise on RateMyPlacement run from September through to April, with most of the internships in the UK actually taking place during the summer months; don't leave it until April or May to start applying because you'll find yourself struggling.

Some of the companies such as Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline and Deloitte advertise all year long (from September through to August) for their UK work experience programmes, but as you can imagine they receive thousands of applications, so make sure you get your application in early and make it stand out (in a good way).

Start using the app tracker