Graduate Internships: The Chicken and the Egg

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Chicken and the Egg

So, you’ve slogged your guts out for three years and the goal posts have just moved. You’re reading job adverts and a degree isn’t enough. They want experience too. *Head in hands moment*.

Yep, it’s the typical chicken and egg scenario. How on earth are you supposed to get experience if you need experience to get started?

This is where paid graduate internships come in. Whilst you can – and should – apply the experience you gained as a Barrista or Shelf Stacker to job applications, graduate internships help you to develop your skills and track record in more specialist areas.

Offered on a short, fixed term basis, paid internships are you – and an employer’s – chance to ‘try before you buy’ and they can help you discover whether you really do want to work in a particular field. If you love it, great – you’ll have 6 months experience under your belt. If you hate it, you’re not tied in for long and you’ve still bridged the experience gap. Everyone’s a winner.

Graduate internships are widely available and can offer an outstanding opportunity to kick start your career. You do however need to exercise a little caution to make sure that you know your rights and are paid a fair rate for your contribution.

For this reason, we recommend graduate internships managed via university careers departments. Our friends at the University of Exeter run a host of internships that are open to graduates of any UK university. Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs) are managed by the university and as part of the scheme, you benefit from a day of employability training plus 1:1 support should you need it. Plus, you get paid and minimum of £17K and every quarter one intern gets to attend the Business Leaders Forum to network with senior professionals from the local business community. What’s not to love?

Graduate Business Partnership vacancies are listed on Gradsouthwest – just follow the link below for current vacancies, or type GBP into the keyword search boxThat’s one chicken and egg dilemma solved. You’re welcome.


Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.