Now is an ideal time to start thinking ahead, if you want to work in any high-quality, well-paid graduate job after your degree. The graduate training schemes with the Times Top 100 Employers are extremely competitive, and to land one of those positions, you will need two key ingredients: a 2:1 degree or better and relevant work experience.
With smaller employers, the grade may not be as important, but experience is.
Placements and internships tend to be regarded as the gold standard of work experience (placement students typically have opportunities to work on live management projects). Internships, also of high quality and status, tend to be a little more competitive, because the top 10 universities don’t generally offer year-long placement programmes and these students also look for internships.
Your success of securing a good internship or summer placement is likely to depend on your academic results and work experience from your first year. However, starting your career thinking now will give you a good chance to compete well.
Most employers only offer internships and placements for Year 2 students, because these are used for more permanent recruitment. However, there are some other schemes and opportunities.
Working locally to get initial work experience
A good starting point is the Jobshop operated by Kent’s Student Union. Click here to search for currently advertised jobs around campus and Canterbury. Jobs in other parts of Kent are included, and you can also drop in – their office is next door to Essentials on the Canterbury campus.
Insight Days for first year students
You may also like to know that many of the larger employers (accountancy/finance businesses, investment banks, FMCGs and management consultancies) offer Insight Days or Insight Programmes for Year 1 to provide some insights into these career areas.
These events are typically one or two days at the companies’ premises, often during the Easter holidays. Be aware – sign-up dates are very early, often at the latest end December/January. These are advertised on the companies’ own websites and through the usual graduate recruitment sites, or simply google Career Insight Days.
Deadlines for vary from November/December to January – apply early!
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of England
SEO London (for first year ethnic minority undergraduates; mostly investment banking and professional services)
Walt Disney World Resort
Some useful websites
- e4s – http://www.e4s.co.uk/internship-jobs/first-year-internships.htm
- Another useful site for Spring insight days/programmes is RateMyPlacement.
- Finance – for a comprehensive list of finance insight programmes go to the LSE Careers Blog.