TARGETjobs black logo
Young woman at computer

Work experience and internships: your first and second year timetable

Don’t be beaten by deadlines: our timetable should help you to stay on-track and on-time.
Some formal internship applications are still open to applications after Christmas. The end of January is a key deadline for many law firms’ summer vacation schemes.

Improving your career-readiness through work experience at the same time as completing university work can be a challenge. Hopefully this simple guide to work experience and internships should help you with organisation.

Autumn term: September, October and November

If you’re in first year, get started:

  • Sign up for extracurricular activities and getting stuck in.
  • Register with targetjobs.co.uk and try out the career planner.
  • Locate your university’s careers service (whether you can visit the building or simply the section of your university website) and find out if it has an alumni network.
  • Consider which career sector you’re interested in: if it’s management consultancy, investment banking or law, you can give yourself a head start by applying for insight days or open days in your first year.

If you’re in your penultimate year, continue increasing your career-readiness:

  • Get started on your applications if you want an internship with a big graduate recruiter. Many have deadlines just before Christmas.
  • Look into applying for an internship with a small employer via Step or ScotGrad, or making speculative applications.
  • Check out internship and work experience fairs.

Winter term: December, January and February

If you’re in first year, get started:

  • This is usually the time to apply for the short programmes run by some big graduate employers for first years, though deadlines vary. Insight days or weeks in areas such as management consulting or investment banking often take place in the spring and summer holidays. If you’re interested in becoming a solicitor, look out for law firms’ open days.

If you’re in your penultimate year, continue increasing your career-readiness:

  • Use festive social occasions to network.
  • Some formal internship applications are still open to applications after Christmas. The end of January is a key deadline for many law firms’ summer vacation schemes.
  • Missed out on an internship with a big graduate recruiter? Now’s the time for contingency planning. Explore alternatives such as work experience with smaller employers, work shadowing and volunteering.

Spring term: March, April and May

If you’re in your first year, get started:

  • If you’ve got a place on an insight day or spring week, take notes. If you are asked to return for an internship interview in a year’s time, the employer will want to see that you got something out of the experience.
  • If you’re planning to travel abroad over the summer apply now for international volunteering opportunities.
  • Use your networks to apply speculatively for work shadowing that will give you a taste of different industries.

If you’re in your penultimate year, continue increasing your career-readiness:

  • Keep an eye out for summer internships, as some schemes reopen late in the year.
  • If you haven’t got anything lined up for the summer yet, your tutor or careers service might be able to advise you on work experience or opportunities at your university.
  • Take stock. Graduate schemes in sectors such as banking can open as early as August and you’ll soon be heading into your final year. How are you going to approach things? Have you learned anything in the past couple of years that you’d like to act on now – eg how to organise yourself so your work is most effective?

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Top