Summer Internships

Summer Internships are aimed at students in their penultimate year of study. An internship is a short period of employment working alongside an organisations full time employees, gaining experience of a role and making contacts within a company.

Students can often also be considered for an internship if they are in their final year and going on to study for a masters.

How does it work?

Second year internships are predominantly 6-12 weeks in length and run between June and September. They are advertised from September for the following summer with deadlines from January onwards. Places are limited so be aware that some internships advertised as open-ended will close once they have filled all their spaces. Smaller companies will advertise right up until summer though, so it’s never too late to start looking.

Most internships are now paid at a competitive salary, however, some companies will still offer unpaid roles. You should carefully consider whether to accept unpaid placements on a case by case basis; while they are less common and usually shorter in duration, the contacts and experience you gain from such a role could prove worthwhile- the Careers Service page on unpaid work experience discusses the pros and cons of such opportunities. The University can sometimes offer bursaries and funding to students who need it.

Applicants will usually be required to have achieved a 2:1 in their first year. However, increasingly more employers are not stipulating degree classification, especially those who recruit towards the end of the second semester.

Why do an Internship?

As an intern you will enhance your employability by gaining knowledge and skills within your chosen service line. You can discover more about the company you’d like to work for and get advice from professionals already in the career you hope to go in to. You will have the opportunity to gain practical experience working on real life projects with big name clients, shadow senior colleagues and receive structured training relevant to the role you are in.

If you perform well you may be offered a graduate job. For example, around 95% of BDO summer interns are expected to return to a graduate job with the company and last year over 90% of PwC interns were offered a full time graduate position. Even if you don’t go on to work for the same company you intern with, the skills and experience you gain are likely to be invaluable in any career.

The application process is very similar to that of a graduate role so having experience of the different stages, such as the psychometric testing and the interview stages, will prepare you well for applying to graduate jobs the following year. Even if you are unsuccessful in an application, most companies will provide feedback on where you went wrong and how to improve.

Which roles are available?

Many companies have their own careers website detailing the roles available and the skills and competencies required to apply.

Most roles will be open to students from a wide range of degrees and whilst having a mathematical background is often beneficial, it is not a mandatory requirement.

Professional service firms such as the Big 4 (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY) will generally offer positions across 5 distinct entry routes- Audit, Tax, Consulting, Corporate Finance and Technology. Within each of these service lines there are various roles you can apply to.

It is important to have a clear idea of the role you are applying to, why you want to do it and what strengths you can bring to the position. You will be expected to discuss this during the application process as well as having a good knowledge of any current issues or news relevant to the company or position.

Which employers offer internships?

Most large companies offer summer internships which are advertised through their websites and many smaller companies can offer short periods of work experience if you approach them directly. You can find out more from a range of employers, in person, at the Calculating Careers Fair in the atrium of the Alan Turing building in October.

The University of Manchester now offers a large variety of paid Student Experience Internships to second year students, details of which can be found through the Careers Service website.

There are a huge range of roles available in hundreds of companies. Some of the companies you might not immediately think of are:

IBM Extreme Blue
American Express
British Sugar
Jaguar Land Rover
National Grid
Teach First

How to search for an internship

You can find out about what each company offers by looking at the careers section of their website. There are also useful guides such as ‘The Times top 100 Graduate Employers’ and TARGETjobs ‘Get Directory’ where you can search for ideas.

There are several websites offering internship information, student reviews and current vacancies such as

The Careers Service page on Internships is a useful resource and their facebook page is kept up to date with information on summer internships and opportunities. They also have many tips and downloadable guides on their website including this one on Internships, Placements and Work Experience. You can pick up information or speak to a Careers Consultant directly in The Atrium, University Place. Internships are also advertised on CareersLink – the University’s student and graduate jobs portal.

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