UCL Careers


What students gained from their experience

Previous bursary holders describe what they learned from it.


“I’ve written opinion pieces in the past but this gave me experience of reported journalism and of pitching to editors. It also gave me the opportunity to get advice from people in the industry – the editor advised doing a journalism master’s. I have realised it is easy to get writing work but hard to make enough money to live on – a lot of work is freelance. I would ideally like something more secure than that but I can see from this experience that I might have to be flexible.” 2nd year BASc student


“Doing the internship brought me more industrial knowledge, so I am now clearer about what I am actually interested in. I improved my communication skills, not just with colleagues in the department but also with manufacturers and suppliers. I also discovered how useful it would be to know more programming languages, as that would have allowed me to get more involved.” 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student


“My interest is in research and I was able to concentrate on two projects.  One was a literature review and the other was a long-term project, which is an international study, looking at various countries, including Africa.  I was able to contribute to devising the research questions and the project will involve various research activities, including focus groups and using FOI (freedom of information) to obtain evidence.  I definitely strengthened my research skills and particularly learned more about research in a ‘real world’ environment where you are thinking about the outcomes of your research – it isn’t just an academic exercise.  I also gained a lot of confidence – the charity made me feel I had valuable skills.” 3rd year Psychology student

“This experience has really made me realise the way my university degree has not prepared me for working in a ‘real-world’ / office setting. Having regular work times, targets and regular assessments of performance was completely foreign to me. That being said, having done the placement, I now know the importance of this and after a rocky two weeks, I definitely settled into the placement well and overall learned to be adaptable. I have strengthened my adaptability to new situations and make the most out of every situation and experience.” 4th year Biological Sciences student


“This experience has given me a lot more confidence about approaching people about other internships and jobs.  Doing an internship definitely brought home to me the difference in lifestyle and mindset when you’re responsible for working set hours compared to studying. I also really valued the experience of working in teams with people at all different levels. That’s quite different to working in teams at school or uni, where you are all equal.” 1st year History of Art student


“I was at a law firm, where I shadowed people, phoned clients’ contacts, drafted emails and letters and did legal research on behalf of employees.  I wrote meeting minutes and helped with legal admin – filling in applications and things like that. I wanted to become more familiar with the environment and gain confidence in dealing with people in a business situation.  I think I particularly developed the ability to learn new things and adapt to new situations and learnt to be able to talk to people on their level even though I do not know as much. I enjoyed the fact that the work was intellectually demanding and stimulating." 2nd year Philosphy student

Government / International Relations

“I did an internship at an embassy and I was extremely happy with what I got to see and do – I couldn’t have imagined even half of it at the start I think this experience strengthened my communication skills including writing formal correspondence and what to do at formal events. I also learned quite a bit about immigration procedures for the EU. I had been thinking about a career in diplomacy and being inside the structure allowed me to see the tasks associated with such a job, which was very useful.” 2nd year PPE student

Cultural Insights and Strategy Consultancy

“I gained an understanding of the industry and key vocabulary. This experience has led to a three-month contract. This internship has therefore been a stepping stone towards employment.” 3rd year Psychology student

Scientific Research

“I improved my communication skills massively, and have decided to move onto a PhD.” 2nd year Molecular Biology student

“This experience helped me to decide what kind of job I would like to apply for in the future. It allowed me to explore my interests in medical research further.  I have gained so many invaluable experiences, skills and knowledge (that cannot be obtained from books, the internet or my degree) that will be useful and essential in my future career.”  2nd year Applied Medical Sciences student

Museums and Cultural Heritage

“This experience has positively impacted my confidence and enhanced my communication skills, just as I expected. However, there were multiple organisational tasks involved, which I believe strengthened my time management skills. Furthermore, the various workshops exposed me to new technical information which I hope will help me in my current undergraduate course.”  1st year Engineering and Architectural Design student