The internship should be seen as a preparation for the world of work. If you undertake an internship you will be going through recruitment processes and will be encouraged to practise and reflect on this experience as much as the skills you gain during the internship itself. By choosing to source, secure and undertake an internship, you will gain a better understanding of the roles available and how your studies and skills fit with them, and be more able to market yourself successfully to potential future employers.
Why employers want a BASc student:
- The BASc course is multidisciplinary and promotes an ability to think critically and synthesise information from many areas, which can be very useful in a work environment.
- You learn and are assessed in a variety of ways, through group and project work, presentations and use of different media, so you are used to working in teams and presenting information in different ways.
- The course promotes problem solving skills and the core modules encourage good research and language skills – not something that all undergraduate courses do all at once!
" I set ambitious targets, which (the student) met. I was very quickly apparent that she was a natural leader, excellent communicator and skilled writer. She met every task with good grace, and made a sizeable impact within the organisations. My expectations were smashed. She is a high performer, a credit to herself (and UCL) and will, without doubt, go on to do great things (Bite the Ballot - 2016)
The BASc Internships & Vacancies Team at UCL Careers see sourcing and securing an internship as a partnership activity driven by the student. We look forward to helping students source, prepare for, and learn from their internships.
What you will need to do:
- Recognise the benefits of engaging in work-based learning during or at the end of the second year – it is never too early to start.
- Make the most of having the BASc Internships Team as a resource! This dedicated departmental support is not available to all undergraduates, and we can only help you if you engage with the process and ask for help in a timely way.
- Be open-minded. The world of work takes many forms! Large companies run formal internship schemes which can provide you with experience in certain popular sectors, but these schemes are very competitive and you will need to apply as early as possible once the application window is open. Applications often open as early as August/September the year before the internship will take place. There are loads of opportunities available in SMEs (small and medium enterprises), in charities and start-ups – internships in these places can offer a more independent working environment, a more flexible structure and greater responsibility. With smaller companies it can be easier to see the direct effect your work is having – see more here: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-careers/2014/07/15/have-you-thought-about-targeting-local-sme-businesses-for-your-job-search-2/
- An internship is a good opportunity to find out if you suit the working style of different-sized organisations and if you like working in particular environments.
" Since the company was a young start-up, I felt that I was able to learn a lot more about how a business worked as well as learn about the different sectors within a company – as opposed to an established corporate company, where perhaps I would have been placed in one department and only gained insight in that specific area only. This was super beneficial as it taught me many skills, such as talking/delivering meetings and presentations, how accountancy and sales works, along with harnessing my marketing and communications skills. This awareness and new found knowledge is extremely beneficial in many different work environments which is very useful for me as I am still exploring my options for my future career. (BASc student 2014)