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About the Summer Internship Programme | The Careers Service About the Summer Internship Programme – Oxford University Careers Service
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Overview

The Summer Internship Programme provides access to hundreds of internship opportunities during the long (summer) vacation. They are offered by our international alumni, by multi-national corporations, by world-leading NGOs, by cutting-edge research institutions and many other organisations, and all are exclusively available to Oxford University students. Since the programme’s inception, students have undertaken internships in over 40 countries and have gained valuable work experience while travelling to exciting and exotic locations. The Summer Internship Programme also gives you the chance to explore work experience options in a variety of sectors in the UK. The programme is open to all current, matriculated Oxford University students, undergraduates and postgraduates, including those in their final year of study. Visiting students are not eligible to apply.

The internships are advertised from the beginning of Hilary term each year.

What do the internships offer?

Although every internship is unique, we try to ensure that they provide the following common elements:

  • Full-time work for 2-12 weeks during the summer vacation
  • A defined project, which creates real value for the host organisation and a valuable learning experience for the student
  • Interaction with an assigned supervisor or mentor within the host organisation
  • A stipend, or some assistance with travel or accommodation
  • Payment at the national minimal wage or above, if the internship is in the UK and in the for-profit sector
  • An international experience or access to an internship placement in the UK that is not readily available through alternative internship programmes

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

Taking part in the programme can help you…

Gain an in-depth insight into your sector of choice

“My internship has opened up a sector to me that I now really want to spend my career working in. I knew I wanted to work in heritage, but after this internship, I know I want to work at a policy level, and I have a much more concrete idea of how I can achieve this. Those working at the Heritage Alliance were fantastic at talking to me about their route into the sector and at pointing out other possible ways in.”

– Katherine Ramsey, Heritage Alliance, London

“I found that I am quite a natural teacher so I would definitely consider a career in teaching in the future. I’m so glad that I applied for this internship, it was one of the best experiences of my life so far.”

– Rhiannon Savage, Omeida Language College, Yangshuo, China

Experience a new location and culture

“To go to Russia, and specifically to Perm (a less-visited city), was honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The staff and students at Perm State University were so friendly and welcoming, and really wanted us to learn about what Russian culture is actually like, and to have experiences we wouldn’t otherwise get. From the more-formal Russian classes and weekly excursions, to the everyday things like shopping at the supermarket, and having conversations with people there, I learnt things I couldn’t have found out just from reading a book. I loved my time in Russia, got some very useful insight into studying at another top university, made friends with amazing people (from both Oxford and Russia), and had experiences I will remember for the rest of my life!”

– Caitlin French, Perm State University, Russia

“Hearing people speak Swahili all around me made me so keen to learn a foreign language and I can say I am now partially fluent in the language after spending just two months in Kenya. I would so much love to return and work in Kenya permanently, as the place is green and the air is very clean.”

– Nelson Mhlanga, Nasio Trust, Kenya

“Overall, interning at MRI was a fascinating introduction to life in Japan, and I’m excited to return in the future. I’m very thankful for this incredible experience and highly encourage other Oxford students to apply.”

– Kate Samuelson, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo

Develop your career goals

“The experience in the country and in the institute definitely made me more certain of my plans for the future and encouraged me to consider applying to the Netherlands at least for a PhD. Everyone was very easily approachable and ready to help which really helped me get the most of the experience. Moreover, my supervisor and the other consultants to the project always asked for my opinion and input and made sure that the project is interesting and useful for me. While at first this made me feel intimidated as I did not have many ideas, later I appreciated this as they encouraged me to develop an independent approach and prepared me for a research setting in the future when I will have to come up with ideas on my own. Overall, everyone made an effort to introduce me to research life and I highly value the opportunity I was given.”

– Intern at National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands

“I absolutely loved my internship, and I cannot think of one negative thing to say about it! The work was interesting and varied and my colleagues were so supportive and kind. It really gave me an insight into the work of a Rare Books department and the Bodleian more widely, and I got to see all the different facets of the work of a university library. It has definitely made me seriously consider ultimately pursuing a career in librarianship, and at the same time has given me a great boost for my CV. I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone who is considering a career in this sector, or who is just interested more generally in the work opportunities that are available in an academic or university setting.”

-Intern at Rare Books Department, Bodleian Libraries

Make a meaningful contribution

“It was a great feeling to have a fully complete project that I could go home and say I made a difference with.”

– Edward Beaver, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh

“To future interns, I would say you should apply for this if you’re passionate about access and outreach and think you would have some valuable experience and opinions to contribute: this is your chance to make your mark on those in University access policy, and to make connections you can draw on in the future.”

– Mia Liyanage, Oxplore, University of Oxford

Past interns' experiences

The Summer Internship Programme experience

Our interactive map lets you explore all the internships since 2015, and read about our interns’ experiences. It gives you a great idea of what you might be doing on the programme, and many of the internships will be offered by the same organisations next year.

You can filter the results to see what’s been available in different sectors; zoom in to read about interns’ experiences of different countries; or search the map for keywords – like your college, to see what people you know have done…

Video of students’ experiences

This video, made by a Moritz-Heyman scholar, gives a great quick introduction of what you might do on the programme.

See the internships through our interns’ eyes…

Each year we run 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

 

Past yearbooks

The interactive map, mentioned above, replaces our annual yearbooks and includes all the content of our 2016 and 2015 yearbooks – as well as students’ experiences in 2017 and 2018. If you want to look further back, however, they are archived below!

Find out more

More information about applying for opportunities on the Summer Internship Programme is available on our webpages:

Audio intro

If you’d rather learn about the Summer Internship Programme through an MP3, you can listen to the recording of our talk at International Careers Day in January 2017, where we introduce the programme.

Get Internship Office email alerts

Like and follow our Facebook page to keep updated with deadlines and new internship opportunities. To sign up to our email alert list, fill in the form below.

Please see the Careers Service Privacy notice for details on how the personal data you enter on to this form is stored and used.

  • Please enter a number from 2015 to 2025.

Contact us

internships@careers.ox.ac.uk
01865 274 646

The Internship Office

The Careers Service
University of Oxford
56 Banbury Road
Oxford
OX2 6PA

This information was last updated on 09 October 2018.
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Recent blogs about About the Summer Internship Programme

Our second round of micro-internships is now LIVE!

Blogged by Internship Office on 07/11/2018.

Are you interested in a two to five day placement at the end of Michaelmas term?

Sign in to CareerConnect to view all the micro-internship placements available in 9th or 10th week. The deadline is midday, Monday 12 Nov 2018.

Students are allowed one additional application for this late round, so if you have already made two applications this term, you are welcome to submit another! For full programme information, please visit our Micro-Internship Programme webpage.

Any questions? Email us at internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

Second round of micro-internships open next week!

Blogged by Internship Office on 31/10/2018.

Open Monday 5 – Monday 12 November at 12 noon

The cold is creeping in. Winter is coming. And, brace yourselves: the second round of micro-internships is coming too!

Perhaps you were unsuccessful in your first round applications, or perhaps you didn’t manage to apply at all. Either way, a selection of micro-internship placements will be available for you to apply to next week. One application per student at this stage.

Placements for budding humanists, photographers, software developers and more!

And for those of you who have already applied, if you are made an offer, remember you will have two days to accept or decline it once you have heard back from all applications. You can respond to an offer by updating your status on CareerConnect, or via email to micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Visit the Micro-Internship Programme webpage for further information.

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 Callum Livermore 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

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Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.