Internships with big graduate employers

Getting an internship with a big graduate employer

Big organisations that hire graduates often take on interns too. Find out the benefits of internships and placements at well-known employers and how to track down vacancies.
Do well as an intern and you could significantly increase your chances of being hired there when you graduate.

Do well as an intern for a big-name employer that also runs a graduate scheme and you could significantly increase your chances of being hired there when you finish uni. Even if you don’t end up working there permanently, you will still have a prestigious name to add to your CV. You may also have benefited from training from your internship employer and various perks of spending time at big-name organisations, which could include:

  • pay that’s not far off the national graduate average
  • facilities, such as gyms, sport courts and bikes to borrow
  • subsidised or free food
  • exciting locations – they are often based in cities, providing plenty of ways to occupy your time while you’re not at work
  • company-organised social events, such as summer parties and BBQs

How to find an internship or placement at a big employer

You can look at the vacancies advertised on TARGETjobs. Or if you know that a company runs a graduate scheme, chances are it will have an internship programme too – most employers have a careers website where you can find out.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by deadlines that seem ages away. If an employer gets enough good internship applications before the set deadline, it may cut the application period short. To be on the safe side, as soon as you see an internship advertised, start work on your application so you can submit it in good time.

How to apply for these internships

The application and selection process at high-profile employers is often similar to the process for graduates. It will almost definitely involve an online application form and a face-to-face interview. In addition, at different stages you may need to complete psychometric tests, a phone interview and an assessment day.

Sector-specific advice for finding an internship at a big graduate employer

Make the most of the advice available that is tailored to specific industries by following links below. There are more industries on the ‘Career sectors’ drop-down list at the top of your browser.

Accountancy and financial management



Investment banking

IT and technology

Law barristers

Law solicitors


Media, publishing and journalism


Public service, charity and social work

Retail, buying and merchandising

Internships with smaller employers: are they worth it?

‘Yes’ is the answer. While formal, paid internships are harder to find at smaller employers, they can still give you skills and experience that will help you get a graduate job.