University Internships: What to Know
Degrees supplemented with internships are vital in allowing postgraduates the job security they desperately need after university. The University of Derby’s DRIVEN programme aims to help small and medium-sized businesses across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire recruit and retain talented students and graduates.
Fully and partly funded services help companies deal with less financial risk by employing interns. This is invaluable to both the business and the student.
However there are a number of different varieties of internships that you can apply for, both on and off the DRIVEN programme. These are just a few of the most common types of internships you are likely to see.
Flexible Hour Internships
Hours can change weekly depending on the needs of the business and the availability of the student. Having this freedom is handy, especially if your degree is time-consuming.
Annoyingly, the business may not always need you for large spans of time, calling into question the real benefits of the internship besides the length of time you can say you worked there on your CV.
Fixed Hours Internships
The employer and employee agree on times, dates and length of contract. This can be handy in developing a real practical knowledge of the business you’re interning for.
Sometimes the business may not have work for you, instead tasking you with coffee duty and side projects which can be incredibly dull and repetitive — but at least you’re getting paid…
80 Hour Internships/Project Internships
These internships are usually paid for by the Government as a scheme to improve graduate employability. When the initial 80 hours or project task are completed, your contract ends.
Not all fixed contract internships are 80 hours. My first internship was a 100-hour contract that lead to a part-time job. During my second internship, the company moved to London before my 80 hours contract was up.
This type of internship is useful as there is plenty of work to be getting on with (if the business isn’t in a merger or changing hands). You can improve your specialist knowledge through a variety of different tasks. Unfortunately, before you know it, it’s over.
The problem with many of these internships is that a formal contract is rarely required, meaning termination could be immediate and permanent. Luckily, this is incredibly rare.
The Careers & Employment Service is a good place to start if you are looking for extra work. From micro-placements to industrial years abroad, they are likely to have what you need if it is available. The University of Derby’s DRIVEN internships will be released this coming Monday 3rd February, so keep an eye out for relevant opportunities!