The University of Southampton

Prepare for Internships! - graduates and students provide advice

Published: 28 February 2013
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Three current ECS students and one graduate gave inspiring accounts of their experience of internships at a conference held yesterday (27 February) for first- and second-year students in ECS and Physics and Astronomy.

The event was part of the ECS Careers Hub annual programme and was held for the first time this session. ‘Summer internships are a really great way for our students to experience the working environment and to help inform their future career choice,’ said Joyce Lewis, ECS Senior Fellow. ‘It's really valuable for them to hear from fellow students and recent graduates about internships in different companies, and to learn what they might expect in these roles, as well as how to handle some of the logistical issues, such as accommodation.’

Keynote speaker Ash Browning, who joined FactSet after graduating with an MEng Computer Science degree last summer, talked about the value of the internship experience, particularly in providing the opportunity to be part of a company ethos and to experience the working environment. Ash did a summer internship with FactSet, working in the City of London, after his third year at ECS, and was offered a permanent position with the company before he returned to ECS for his final year.

Emily Rigby, who graduates this summer with a BSc Computer Science, did internships with Ericsson Television and with Bloomberg, and will be joining Bloomberg’s graduate training programme this year. Alex Forward did a 12-month placement with Thales Security between his second and third years, as well as doing an internship last summer with STI. He is joining Halma when he completes his MEng Electronic Engineering degree this year. Thomas Scarsbrook, who is also in the final year of the MEng Electronic Engineering course, gained an internship with Imagination Technologies as part of his UK Electronic Skills Foundation Scholarship, and will join the company in the summer. All the students spoke of the benefits of being able to experience project roles that were very different from their student activities and of the confidence they were able to bring back to their studies and project work through successfully tackling new challenges.

Diana Fitch of University Career Destinations also gave a valuable session on how to prepare and apply for internships, including CVs, applications, and interviews.

All ECS students are encouraged to apply for summer internships during their degree programmes and there are many opportunities offered by the companies which support the ECS Careers Hub activities and the Careers Fair.

"Use the summer break to prepare yourself for your future career,’ says Ash Browning. ‘You can use that time to gain more experience, either through an internship or another project that will stand you in good stead in the future. Building up your experience will make finding the right full-time job a lot easier at the end of your degree."

Ash Browning talks about his internship experience (video)

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