Getting a Head Start in Law: Crankstart Internship Experience

Third year finalist studying Law (Jurisprudence) at Worcester College, Peter Lernyei, writes about his experience on the Crankstart Internship Programme, how the Careers Service supported him, and shares advice for current Crankstart scholars at Oxford University.

What placements did you undertake on the Crankstart Internship Programme?

As a Crankstart Scholar, in my first and second summers at Oxford I was able to take in part in two fantastic internship programmes. As these programmes centred on legal research and practice, they deepened my legal knowledge and helped me to better understand the areas of law in which I am particularly interested. These placements would not have been possible without the funding available to me through the Crankstart programme; I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received.

What services have you accessed so far through the Crankstart Programme during your time at the University of Oxford?

The Careers Service and Internship Office are full of wonderfully helpful and supportive people, and I am very grateful for their assistance throughout my time in Oxford. When I first started University, I had limited experience in the structure and formatting of job applications and interviews. To address this, I had various meetings with an Internship Office adviser who specialises in supporting Crankstart scholars. These were extremely helpful in teaching me how to write strong applications and make confident plans for the future.

I also found that the Crankstart team’s emails and weekly newsletters (with a list of current internships advertised on a rolling basis) were very useful and easy to look through. There are lots of opportunities available exclusively to Crankstart scholars, and it is so important that future scholars make the most of the opportunities available to them. Even if it may be daunting at first, I would encourage scholars to look through these emails on a regular basis as there may be a brilliant opportunity waiting there. I would also add that the welcome dinner for Crankstart scholars was a great way of getting to know the programme and other scholars.

How do you think these services have helped you? How have they developed your career aspirations if at all?

The Internship Office and Careers Service have made a huge difference to my career aspirations by showing me that there is a lot of help available outside of strictly academic circles. In meetings I have consistently found myself face to face with people who are dedicated to helping students. This level of devoted support truly makes Oxford a special place. I have always felt rewarded for taking the time to use the resources available to me and the support I have received has shown me that I can shoot for the stars and have confidence in doing so.

How easy has it been to obtain financial support through the Crankstart programme and the team involved?

The availability of the financial support is a wonderful element of the Crankstart programme, and the funding forms are easy to use. Crucially, the people we reach out to when applying for funding are very supportive. There is no unnecessary pressure or judgment, and the Crankstart team has always given myself and others the space to consider our needs and the opportunities which may really interest or benefit us.

Is there any advice you would give to our current Crankstart scholars?

I would encourage all current and future scholars to make the most out of all of the services available to them. The Crankstart programme has done so much for myself and many of my peers, and my hope in doing this interview is that the next generation of scholars is aware of all of this possible support. My best advice is to accept the various means of support available to you, read your emails regularly for available opportunities, and aim high! The Crankstart programme will support you every step of the way.

The Crankstart programme is a wonderful programme full of wonderful people. One of the best things about the Careers Service and the Crankstart team itself is that the people who are a part of it are kind and are truly dedicated in supporting students. In the high-pressure environment that Oxford can sometimes be, this kindness and dedicated can make a huge difference; it has certainly made a huge difference to myself and my career aspirations. I will be forever grateful for all of the support each person has given me on the programme.