Where to look

If you are unsure where to start or are not finding the right opportunities come in and talk to a Careers Consultant.

When you are ready to apply you will need a good CV so firstly look at our examples for different subjects and sectors, and then visit the Placement and Careers Centre (PCC) to get advice to help with presentation and content and identify possible gaps in your experience.

Unpaid work experience

Please take care to check out the opportunities in these links carefully and, where work is unpaid, try to ensure you are not being exploited. Take a look at the PCC's student guidelines on this for more information and to help you decide if a placement is right for you. There are two other sites that may give a further perspective:

  • Interns Anonymous was set up by two graduates who were working as unpaid interns. It aims to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment
  • Rightsforinterns Trades Union Congress (TUC) website that sets outs the rights you have as an intern, and how they can be enforced 

Points to remember:

  • Match your skills and personal qualities to the job requirements. Market yourself by selling yourself as a solution to the employer’s requirements. Target your attributes to appeal to them
  • Many large organisations have deadlines for vacation schemes in autumn or early spring. Remember to check websites so that you don't miss opportunities
  • Consider small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as the work can be very varied giving you all round experience. SMEs may only recruit occasionally – research and networking will help you identify these jobs
  • Many vacancies are never advertised. Put together a list of organisations that you feel will offer the right kind of experience but are also likely to need your skills. Read the article on making speculative applications to find out how to make these kind of applications

Resources to help you find opportunities

  • Adzuna Search for graduate jobs by UK location or by job category and opt to receive jobs by email alerts
  • AllAboutCareers Search for internships and sandwich placements by sector, location and employer
  • The BigChoice Search by location and industry
  • E4S UK online job board helping students find part-time and temporary vacancies, internships and graduate jobs during Christmas and summer
  • Fledglings All types of work experience including part-time jobs and internships
  • Freelance Students aims to develop a community to help students and graduates bridge the gap between university and work; the site advertises one-off jobs, short-term projects and internships 
  • Give A Grad A Go Opportunities including short term internships (GAGAGO claim that they only advertise paid opportunities) for new and more experienced graduates in a range of industries from media to finance
  • GiveMeAStudent advertises internships within a range of sectors targeting Business School undergraduates who are looking for work placement opportunities
  • Gradcracker A specialist website for technology and engineering students
  • Graduate-jobs.com A specialist independent graduate job board where you can set up an account to match your academic subject to ensure you only view relevant jobs
  • Graduate Recruitment Bureau offers intern work experience opportunities, part-time jobs and vacation work at locations throughout the UK
  • Graduate Talent Pool is designed to help new and recent graduates from countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) gain real work experience
  • Inside Careers Graduate jobs and placements in Business & Management, City & Finance and Engineering & Technology
  • Inspiring Interns help graduates find internships that lead to full-time jobs
  • InternJobs.com A global database of internships and entry-level positions for students, recent graduates and career changers
  • Internwise Aims to connect employers with students and fresh graduates
  • Jump in Sport publishes employment and internships opportunities in sport from around the world. The website also features volunteering opportunities in sport, and tips and advice to help search for jobs 
  • Mediamuppet offers advice, resources including a jobs board with internship opportunies and blogs to people who are interested in media production
  • Milkround Searchable by location, industry, job role and type
  • morethanwork from the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) Vacation Link allows students to use another institution's student employment service during the vacation
  • PCC Exploring career options Resources for researching specific careers
  • PCC Jobs Board Part-time, vacation, and short-term graduate jobs on and off campus
  • PCC on Netvibes A resource bank for part-time jobs bringing in feeds from agencies advertising opportunities that are local to campus, and a list of recruitment agencies close to university
  • PCC Sandwich placements Find out who is the Placement Officer for your course, how to register, and where to look for placements
  • Placement UK Undergraduate student placement and intern opportunities in a range of sectors for European students with an EU, EEA or EFTA passport
  • Prospects Graduate careers website with employer vacancies, information on all types of jobs, and job search
  • RateMyPlacement Student work placements and internships, reviews and careers advice
  • Reed advertise vacancies from employers and job sites. Search using the term 'internships' or look at the listing under 'Temporary jobs'
  • Save the Graduate Browse graduate jobs and graduate schemes. Site includes employer profiles and graduate scheme deadlines. Wide range of job sectors covered, search by keyword or by location
  • Simply Hired UK Browse jobs from job boards, newspapers, content sites, associations and other career sites by job title, location, company and industry. Other country sites exist, eg Australia
  • Step Browse placement and internship opportunities across the UK
  • StudentGems connects employers with students and graduates for one-off jobs and projects. You can register, complete a profile then search and apply for jobs
  • StudentJob Specialist online job portal offering part-time and summer jobs, internships that is searchable by region, job type and area of study
  • Student Ladder Information website that covers placements for first year students, internships for 2nd year students, over 550 employers offering multiple graduate schemes, a section on careers giving an insight to over 70 different roles and advice on applications and recruitment with downloadable booklets on CV writing, assessment centres, interviewing and presentation skills
  • TARGETjobs Search the database to find internship and work experience opportunities. Use the Work Experience Tracker to help you keep track of what you've learned during your jobs
  • topinternships.com is dedicated to undergraduate, graduate internships and placements with opportunities across multiple sectors
  • Totaljobs.com Searchable job board for part-time, internship or placement vacancies by sector or location
  • Work Placement from GradJobs Search for placements by sector, job role and location

Equal opportunities

  • EmployAbility Not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting students and graduates with all disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions, into employment
  • Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Not-for-profit organisation enabling ethnic minority students to take up internship opportunities with graduate employers
  • Wherewomenwork is a company careers comparison website advertising internships and events only from companies and not from agencies

Voluntary/Charity work

  • Brunel Volunteers advertise a range of opportunities, will search for specific opportunities on your behalf and help with The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau; CRB)
  • Do-it Searchable database of voluntary opportunities by interest and location. The website also gives details of Volunteer Centres: local agencies that promote and develop volunteering
  • Exploring Career options: Charities gives useful links such as CharitiesDirect - Find a Charity

Working abroad

Use the resources in the Working Internationally section to look for internship or other opportunities:

 

  • Erasmus offers Brunel students the opportunity to study abroad or undertake work experience through one of the University's partner institutions in the EU.   
  • BUNAC offers a range of summer camp, work abroad and volunteer abroad programmes
  • European Training Services (ETS) have a network of partners across Europe and organise 12 week funded work experience for graduates in a range of sectors  
  • Going Global contains resources for finding employment at home and abroad and gives international job openings and internship positions
  • InterExchange is a non-profit organisation devoted to promoting cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs
  • International Arts & Artists (IA&A) Internship in the USA accepts and supports applications for J1 visa sponsorship in a range of arts and related sectors. Programme costs vary depending on the length of the internship. Look at the listing of host organisations for seasonal and annual internships; this page also gives other useful resources 
  • InternshipKing gives student reviews, company internship profiles, and a searchable database to find US internship positions
  • Internships.com Searchable by category, location and company to find US internships
  • Jump in Sport publishes employment and internships opportunities in sport from around the world. The website also features volunteering opportunities in sport, and tips and advice to help search for jobs
  • Prospects Country profiles, vacancies, and suggestions on how to prepare for working in another country
  • TeamWork Online covers a range of North American sports and organisations

Targeting employers

Employers hate ‘round robin’ applications where students cut and paste the name of the company without adapting what they write.  Recruiters are even more demanding in the current climate and will almost certainly reject applications that do not demonstrate a real passion for their business. Applications need solid research, planning and a focused strategy.  Employers may receive hundreds of applications per post, so make yours special. Treat each application as if it is your only one.

How to target employers

  • Company websites and brochures. Read case studies of work experience and graduate recruits to see if you have the skills and qualities that the firm normally expects. Make sure you are attracted by the work itself and not just impressed by the name of the firm
  • Publications such as the Prospects and TARGETjobs series list larger recruiters who offer graduate training schemes; these firms are likely to offer internships or other work experience. You can pick up copies from the PCC in the Autumn term
  • Other useful sources of employer information include UK CompanyNews, the Financial Times, Hillingdon Business Directory, and Brunel Library resources
  • Exploring Career options gives links to specialist recruitment agencies and other organisations for specific work sectors
  • Jobcentre Plus may not top your list of vacancy sources but firms are urged to advertise roles here, so it’s worth a look
  • National newspapers are a good source. Specialist journals and regional or local newspapers often have excellent vacancy pages. Look at the online pages for newspapers and journals and local newspapers on the Paperboy website
  • Recruitment agencies. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) site includes a database of agencies searchable by job type and location - click on 'Members'. You can also search on ‘graduates’ for jobs at the right level. Popular sites include Reed and Monster
  • Recruitment fairs are held throughout the year at various universities (November and May at Brunel). Employers set up a stand, usually bring graduate trainees, answer questions about their companies and give details of available vacancies, generally graduate or sandwich placement. It's also an opportunity to ask about other work experience opportunities. Careers fairs at other universities are listed on the Prospects website - choose the 'Careers advice' menu

Page last updated: Tuesday 08 April 2014