Internships and Insight Experiences

Internships and insight experiences are a great way to gain experience and test-drive an industry or job to see if it's a good fit. Benefits include:

  • Gaining valuable experience that will help you in your interviews
  • Showing potential employers what you are made of 
  • Making decisions about your future

What's the difference between an internship and insight experience?

The terms can sometimes be used interchangeably, but in general:

Internships
  • Usually last for between 2-12 weeks.
  • Typically, but not exclusively, aimed at penultimate year students. So, if you're doing a four-year sandwich degree, it's worth considering applying for summer internships at the end of your placement year. 
  • Tend to take place during university holiday periods, such as summer or Easter. However, application deadlines often close well in advance, so you need to start looking early in the academic year.
  • Due to the time spent with the employer, internships are often more comprehensive than insight experiences, and you'll be expected to take on much more responsibility. You may even have the opportunity to experience a number of roles within the duration of your internship, which is far less likely with an insight experience.  
Insight Experiences
  • Last from just a few hours to a few weeks.
  • Typically, but not exclusively aimed, at first and second-year students. Insight experiences are commonly structured around a set of activities that are designed to give you a flavour of what it's like to work for a particular employer or in a particular role.  
  • While the longer insight experiences are more likely to take place outside of term time, the shorter experiences may take place during the term, so it's important you're always on the lookout for them.

How do I find an internship or insight experience?

Try these useful websites:

Our Resource Library has a handy list of employers who we know offer internships and insight experiences.

Can't find the opportunity you're looking for?

It doesn't mean it isn't out there! It may be worth going down the speculative application route if the employer you want to gain experience with doesn't have anything available right now. It's also worth broadening your horizons and considering other employers in the same sector or industry – here's some great guidance on how to get started with researching employers