Durham University Internships
Internships are short, structured, paid periods of work with an organisation for a fixed time, usually during a vacation.
Internships are traditionally aimed at penultimate year students, but many employers are now opening opportunities to first year students too. Typically, the employer identifies a project similar to the type of work you would carry out if you joined as a graduate trainee. Make sure that you check for early closing dates, which may be anytime from Michaelmas term onwards.
Internships are available in a broad range of sectors and offer the student a structured experience often with graduate levels of responsibility. As well as sectors such as law, banking and finance, professional services, pharmaceuticals, engineering and IT that are traditionally known to offer internships, there are also some opportunities available in both the public and not for profit sectors; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Cancer Research are examples of organisations with established internship schemes.
Competition for internships is intense and so it is important to dedicate time and effort to your application. There are often as many, if not more, applicants for an internship as for a graduate role. Students are advised to keep this in mind and put as much effort into the application, for example researching the organisation and perfecting your CV, as you would for your ideal graduate role.
Appointments are available with the Placement Officer to support students applying for work experience opportunities. Book a ‘Work Experience Applications’ appointment via the Student Services Portal.
Where to find internships
Internships are usually structured and so take place during vacation time, usually summer but sometimes at Easter or Christmas. Organisations nearly always advertise their opportunities on their websites; however it might be worth making a speculative application, particularly to a smaller company. Opportunities are also advertised on our Careers database.