Internships, both over the summer and longer industrial placements, are common in a lot of industries. Most of the large multinational companies (MNCs) offer well-established formal internship schemes in a variety of different function areas and departments.
In contrast to sectors like finance and banking, however, application procedures, are not necessarily aligned. Application deadlines can vary greatly between different companies and it is essential that you check procedures and deadlines as early as possible. Useful resources include:
- Company careers websites - see the resources pages in each of the sections in the left hand menu for employer lists and links to directories
- LSE CareerHub - where many companies advertise internships directly to LSE students
- Vault - and similar graduate careers platforms
Many smaller companies and some large multinationals do not offer formal internship schemes in the UK, but this doesn't necessarily mean they don't accept interns. They may advertise individual internship opportunities that come up on a divisional level directly on their jobs pages or on the LSE CareerHub vacancy board. You might also be successful sending a speculative application.
What are the benefits?
While internships not necessarily the main route into full-time employment (in contrast to the finance sector), they are certainly a great way of gaining industry insight and showcasing your skills to a potential future employer. Many interns secure full-time job offers at the end of their internships.
Finding the right opportunities
With the huge variety of different business & management related internships on offer, the first challenge is to narrow down your search and identify those opportunities that best fit your career goals. You may already have a very clear idea of the company and position you would like to work in but if not, here are some considerations to help you narrow down your internship search:
Deciding on the industry
- What industries are you interested in?
- Which companies are the key players in these industries (national / international)?
- Identify interesting niche / smaller companies in the field.
Deciding on the function area or specialism
- What function areas or departments are you interested in, e.g. HR, logistics, strategy, marketing?
- What industries or particular companies are likely to offer you useful insights into these areas?
- Which companies currently advertise internship in the departments you are interested in?
Diversifying your search
In case you are unable to secure an internship in the desired department of your target internship employer, consider widening your search to areas where you may still gain skills that are sought after in your target industry and function.
- Consider a different department / division / function in the same company or industry
- Apply to alternative employers within the same industry
- Look into related industries, e.g. upstream or downstream, specialist industry consultancies etc.