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The Summer Internship Programme Experience | The Careers Service The Summer Internship Programme Experience – Oxford University Careers Service
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Why join the Summer Internship Programme?

From first year undergraduates to DPhil researchers, students in all areas and at all levels of study enjoy the benefits of undertaking an internship.

An internship can help you…..

Gain an in-depth insight into your sector of choice

“Coming here was absolutely the best way to spend my summer. I’ve learned a lot and confirmed my suspicions that curating is the best job in the world! It’s been an incredible experience and I’m so thankful for the opportunity”

– Gemma Sykes, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-Upon-Avon

“The internship at Tradewind Books has helped me understand the publishing industry and gave me the necessary experience to be confident I could get a job in publishing in the future. I liked working in the field and am seriously considering it as my career path. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be exposed to an industry before one decides to pursue a career in it, and how much it helps to clear one’s mind about such a decision”

– Olga Lenczewska, Tradewind Books, Vancouver, Canada

Try a new location

I had an amazing time on my internship and was very sorry to leave. I loved China, it’s a spectacular country with so much to see and do. I’ll always remember Nanjian county’s breath taking natural beauty and the friendliness of its inhabitants. I would love to go and work in China again”

– Martin Edwards, Tsinghua University Rural Programme, Beijing, China

Develop your career goals

“It’s hard not to be over-enthusiastic in describing how incredible an experience this has been thus far, and how sad I will be for it to end. I spent a lot of my childhood living in Zimbabwe, and coming to Uganda has been like coming home but with the added satisfaction of being able to use skills that are hopefully making a difference. My desire to apply my legal education in a development related context are certainly confirmed, as is my desire to apply for postgraduate study that looks into human rights law”

– Rose Worster, African Prisons Project, Uganda

Get a job

“This internship has been a very useful experience for me, as it was my first attempt working in a laboratory that specialised in DNA synthesis. Being a very small company, I was able to work closely with all members of the company and everyone was very welcoming from the beginning. I enjoyed the laboratory work very much, and I was very pleased to be offered a full-time role after a few weeks”

– Haewon Song, ATDBio, Oxford

Meet new people and visit new places

I thought that the internship was incredible. It enabled me to learn and develop my knowledge of climate science, as well as providing a rich cultural experience in a country I had not previously travelled to. I would love to return to visit the people I have met and to practise my Portuguese!”

– Charlotte Dormon, National Institute for Space Research, Brazil

Make a meaningful contribution

“My time at Muktangan has been incredible: I couldn’t have asked for a better internship. I was able to carry out projects that mattered to me, whilst making a contribution to the organisation, and I was supported on each and every step of the way whilst doing it. Before I went to Muktangan, I thought that I would like to work within the education sector, with a particular focus on international education. My time in Mumbai has further strengthened my resolve to realise this ambition, as well as making me think that I might like to return to India for work in the future”

– Jack Noble, Muktangan (Paragon Charitable Trust), India

Internships Insight Video

Find out what recent interns did on The Summer Internship Programme with this video.

Summer Internship Programme yearbooks

Many of the organisations taking part in the Summer Internship Programme have offered placements before. Each year until 2016 we published a Summer Internship Programme Yearbook, which is a great way to find out what your internship might involve – and get an idea what it’s like to work in different locations around the world.

To read about past students’ experiences on the Summer Internship Programme (previously ‘The Oxford University Internship Programme’), access the yearbooks in PDF format by using the buttons below.

Photo competition gallery

In 2015 we ran a competition for The Summer Internship Programme interns’ photographs of what they saw and experienced during their placements. Here’s a selection of our favourites!

  • Hannah Lovell, Intern at St Hugh’s College Burma Summer School, Yangon, Burma
This information was last updated on 30 August 2018.
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Recent blogs about The Summer Internship Programme Experience

Recommend an internship and you could win £50!

Blogged by Rachel Ruscombe-King on 09/10/2018.

Have you completed an internship this summer with a company that you applied to directly, or found yourself? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

Here at the University of Oxford Internship Office we are always looking for new employers to partner with so we can advertise more internships to Oxford students. That’s why during Michaelmas term, we are asking for your internship recommendations!

If you had a good experience on an internship which was not part of the programmes available through the Internship Office, and not part of a large company’s internship scheme, please send your recommendation to internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

We suggest that you check with the contact to confirm their permission before sharing their details. We are looking to partner with businesses, charities, research institutions, start-ups, museums, think-tanks.. anywhere in the world!

Everyone who sends us a recommendation with be entered into a prize draw for £50 at the end of Michaelmas term.

My summer internship experience at the University of Pretoria

Blogged by Internship Office on 25/09/2018.

Sofia Garré, M.St. History of Art and Visual Culture, took part in an internship at the University of Pretoria as part of the Summer Internship Programme in 2018. She provided an insight about her experience below:

I have always been suspicious of ‘leadership.’ Leadership skills are required when entering jobs in almost all sectors, but – to me – wanting to be a ‘leader’ always entailed having somewhat dictatorial ambitions. It is only after spending eight weeks working at the University of Pretoria that I have finally overcome my suspicion of leadership. This happened because, by working with my direct supervisor and University executives, I gained a better understanding of what leadership is, and of the extent to which a leader can be nurturing and committed to the development of others. In fact, leadership is only one of many things that I feel I understand better since spending time in South Africa.

But let’s start from the beginning. I got to go to Pretoria through the University’s Summer Internship Programme. Seeing that I am a Master’s student graduating this year, I felt that the programme was not really meant for me: like many other finalists, I was at once hopeful and convinced that I would find a job straight after the end of Trinity. As luck would have it, my boss and mentor-to-be at the University of Pretoria, Mrs Carlien Nell, called on the very day I interviewed for (and failed to secure) a permanent position at a University in the North of England. In retrospect, I cannot begin to describe how lucky I feel not to have been selected for that job, nor how wrong I was thinking that the Summer Internship Programme might not be right for a finalist.

In fact, my two-months internship was imbued with experiences that prepared me to enter the workplace. My role consisted, at least on a basic level, of investigating work readiness programmes in South African and international Universities to assist the University of Pretoria in devising new employability strategies for its students. I have always been intrigued by the strategic and operational machine supporting Universities’ research and teaching, so I was excited to work jointly with the Department of Enrolment and Student Administration and with the Department of Institutional Planning. But the internship exceeded my expectations, both because I ended up getting involved in far more projects than I had originally expected to, and because the opportunities to learn were unexpectedly varied.

Not only did I learn about employability strategies, careers offices and the ‘future of work’: I also contributed to drafting an institution-wide survey to determine students’ access to quality food, took part in a very successful recruitment event organised for admitted students, the #ChooseUP event, and analysed the raw results of two separate questionnaires. Although this put my (largely non-numerical) skills to the test, I felt truly privileged to be involved in so many different projects. My boss (or should I say mentor?) genuinely contributed to making my Summer internship as transformative and informative as possible: she encouraged me to share my opinion during meetings with employers, colleagues and University executives, took me along on all her meetings (including a business trip to the Western Cape!), and provided me with technical support when it came to using software like Qualtrics or Excel. In fact, all my colleagues at the University of Pretoria went the extra mile to help me develop as a professional and to ensure that I had a special time while in South Africa.

And it was special indeed! I learnt about the troubled but fascinating history of South Africa whilst making discoveries about its society and its culture; but I also went on my first wine tasting in the beautiful hills of the Western Cape, cycled through the streets of Soweto, and saw an elephant, just metres away, for the first time. On top of these amazing experiences, I made important steps towards understanding what I want to do and achieve in my future. Indeed, when I began my studies in the History of Art, I could have hardly imagined that, in four-years’ time, I would feel as excited as I am currently feeling applying for business analysis or insights positions.

The truth is, my Summer internship at the University of Pretoria changed my outlook on my professional and, ultimately, personal life in ways that I could have never imagined. So long as similar opportunities remain available, I am certain that many more students will have the same luck.

 

Sofia Garré

M.St. History of Art and Visual Culture, 2018

Some fantastic work from Oxford micro-interns

Blogged by Rosanna Mills on 11/06/2018.

If you’re curious to find out what some of our interns get up to on our programmes, then read on!

Last term, through the Micro-Internship Programme, we had a few students completing work experience at Undergraduate Admissions & Outreach at Oxford University and also the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. Two students at Undergraduate Admissions were tasked with creating an Oxplore – the Home of Big Questions – live stream, and their topic was ‘Should you believe the history books?’. As you can imagine, this big question opens up a whole host of conversations, and you can hear the thoughts and discussion of three academics in this video.

Through their micro-internship at the RSTMH, one student has had a blog published entitled ‘Malaria: a reflection from the past, a gaze into the future’. The blog focuses on the RSTMH malaria-related journal articles to mark World Malaria Day. This fascinating read looks at anti-malarial drug resistance, malaria and pregnancy, and more.

Thanks to these students for their brilliant work! If you’ve participated in our internship programmes recently and would like to share anything with us, we’d love to hear! Just email us at internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

Upcoming workshop: Making the Most of Your Internship/Micro-Internship

Blogged by Rosanna Mills on 06/06/2018.
  • When: Tuesday 12 June, 14.30-16.00
  • Where: The Careers Service

There’s a lot to be thinking about before you embark on an internship, whether it’s 3 days or 3 months. The Internship Office is here to help. Join us on Tuesday 12 June to explore what you can do before, during, and after an internship to maximise your opportunities. We’ll also look at making a good first impression, commercial awareness, networking, and a previous summer intern will share their tips and experiences with you. The main workshop will finish at 15.30. For the last half hour, we’ll particularly focus on undertaking an international internship and how to prepare, open to any students who wish to stay.

This event is aimed at those preparing for a summer or micro-internship, but is open to all students, regardless of whether you have a planned internship or are just thinking about one. Book your place here on CareerConnect. If you have any questions or access requirements, please email us at internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

We look forward to welcoming you!

Making the Most of Your Internship Workshop

Blogged by Rosanna Mills on 30/05/2018.

When: Tuesday 12 June, 14:30–16:00
Where: The Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road

Embarking on a summer internship or micro-internship this vacation? During our Making the Most of Your Internship/Micro-Internship workshop we’ll be looking at the steps you can take before, during and after an internship: from preparation, to making an impact and impressing your employer, to evaluating your experience and plans for development afterwards. Plus, there’ll be a chance to hear from a past intern about their experiences, as well as from a Careers Adviser about commercial awareness: what is it, how does it affect you, and what can you do to be ‘aware’?

The main workshop will finish at 15:30. For the last half an hour we will invite those undertaking an international internship to stay for a discussion on how to prepare for going abroad, adapting and getting the most from a different culture, and other advice!

This event is open to all students, whether you have planned an internship or just thinking about one. Registration is open on CareerConnect and is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any queries, please email internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

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