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Our comprehensive guide to immense insights

You've probably heard a lot about insights, but has anyone actually told you what they are? If not, we're here to lend a hand. Scroll down to learn why insights are the key to success and how you can nail one.

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What is a student insight?

An insight scheme is a short-term period of time that a student will spend with a particular employer, in which the student will get a taste for working in the organisation and learn how the business works. Typical activities would involve work shadowing, because whereas placements and internships are more long term, insight schemes act as a stepping-stone towards an internship or placement and last between one day and four weeks, providing a basic experience of full time employment.

“Research shows the increasing importance of insight schemes, 33% of the UK’s Top employers run an insight scheme, an increase of 5% on the previous year.”

Why should I do an insight?

Gaining work experience

Any work experience you can gain as an undergraduate – whether on an insight scheme, internship or placement year (preferably all three) – is invaluable for giving you the skills needed to secure a graduate job. Whether it’s a good or bad experience, it goes towards helping you know what you want your future career path to be.

Work experience

Career opportunities

Some of you will be set on a certain career path when you leave university, but there are many career choices to be made at the beginning of your working life. How do you make sure you have made the correct choice? Well…an insight gives you an opportunity to touch upon a number of different business areas and see which you prefer, providing you with an idea about where you see your future. Remember, because insight schemes are generally fairly short time scales, try to undertake multiple insight schemes to further expand your knowledge and skills.

Career opportunities

Building contacts

On an insight, although you may only have up to four weeks within the organisation, this is certainly enough time to make a good impression on full time employees. You could be working alongside other insight students, interns, placement students and experienced individuals, and the way you work, your enthusiasm and interest in the company and its work will stand you in good stead when you look for internships, placements and graduate roles in the future.

Building contacts

Where can I get advice?

We provide advice on insight schemes in our first year zone on the website, where you can find out more on why they are so useful and take a look at our current insight scheme opportunities.

One way to make sure you get all the information you need before applying is by taking a look at our guides on writing the perfect CV and our interview tips.

Need more? Well you can always ask our placement students a question via Twitter (@RateMyPlacement) about anything insight related and they’ll give you some honest answers!

View advice articles

How can I improve my chance?

Work experience

Take a look at this awesome blog article to find out more about what work experience can offer you and what it adds to your CV.

View advice blog
Work experience

CV Perfection

Make your CV stand out from the crowd and learn about potential pitfalls when writing it with this advice blog article.

CV for internships
CV Perfection

Interview techniques

There are handy hints on the things recruiters often hear, so get their advice on what is the best way to do well in the interview stage and overcome those nerves in order to succeed.

Interview advice
Interview techniques

When do I need to start applying?

Many insight schemes close at the end of January, to take place during the spring and over Easter. Therefore, as with everything, you need to be applying early to secure a place on an insight scheme.

Only a few of the insight schemes stay open beyond the end of January, which really highlights the importance of early applications. Some of the most popular opportunities we advertise are insight schemes.

Don’t forget, you can also manage your applications with our application tracker and receive reminders for all your specific dates. Just click the button below to find out how.

Start using the app tracker