Hands-on help for projects

Through our Essex Interns scheme, you gain access to a talented pool of students and recent graduates who can inject enthusiasm and fresh approaches into your business.

They can help you plan or deliver a specific project, or simply provide extra resource for a busy workload. An intern could allow you to kick start a strategic project that might have been put on hold or not completed due to budget or time restrictions, and free up and support your permanent staff.

Taking on an intern can not only give your business a real boost but, at the same time, you'll be providing an intern with invaluable work experience which can considerably enhance their long-term employability.

How it works

What is an internship?

An internship must be a genuine paid work opportunity, which includes an element of learning and development. This may simply be the opportunity for the intern to gain a better understanding of the business environment, by allowing them to apply their knowledge in a workplace setting, or could involve the development of more comprehensive project-specific skills.

Internships can be part-time during term time and full-time during vacations and on graduation. They can vary in length from around six weeks to one year.


Interns must be paid at least the national minimum wage, but we would encourage you to offer a rate of pay appropriate to the calibre of candidates and the level of work undertaken.

What we do

Our team will proactively promote your vacancy and send you a list of applicants.

This service is only available if your internship is offered primarily to Essex students or graduates. If you have an internship that you are promoting to universities throughout the UK, please use our free CareerHub vacancy board to advertise it.

Recruitment process

  1. Send us your completed registration form (.docx). The internship will need to be approved by our Internships Team. Decisions will be based on national best practice guidelines and internal scheme criteria.
  2. If the internship is approved we will promote your vacancy for you and aim to provide you with a list of suitable applicants in around ten working days.
  3. You choose who to interview and whether to offer any of the applicants the position.
  4. Let us know who you're employing and we'll draw up an agreement that both you and the intern will sign.
  5. If we do not have any suitable applicants for you we will advise you of this and discuss steps we can take to attract more applications.
  6. We'll stay in touch during the internship to make sure it's running smoothly.

Benefits for your business

  • Increase productivity: Get short-term support and free your employees from side-projects, enabling them to focus on more creative or higher-level strategic tasks.
  • Gain fresh perspectives: Interns can bring new energy and fresh insights to your business, and new perspectives on problems. They can encourage innovation and bring new skills and knowledge to your workforce. A new and motivated member of staff can also invigorate your team, particularly within SMEs.
  • Source future employees: An internship programme is an effective year-round recruitment tool. Use summer and part-time term-time internships to provide an ongoing pipeline of potential future employees.
  • Test-drive talent: A graduate internship can serve as a trial period for recruitment to a permanent post, with no obligation.
  • Develop current staff: Graduate and student internships present opportunities for your existing team to develop their supervisory, management, mentoring and training skills.
  • Give back to the community: Hiring interns not only helps students in your community get started in their careers - it enhances the local workforce as a whole. Internships help to retain graduate talent in the local area.
  • Promote your business: Many top students apply for graduate jobs with big national firms, not always realising the career pathways available in local SMEs. When seeking internships, candidates prefer SMEs, feeling that they'll get more hands-on training and real experience in smaller organisations. Many then stay in the SME sector.

Santander Universities SME Internship Programme

If you are looking to grow and expand your business, you can tap into graduate level talent from the University of Essex with Santander Universities Internships funding and Essex Interns.

Attracting and retaining the very best talent is important for many SMEs. The Santander Universities Internship Programme provides small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with funding of over £1500 to recruit a University of Essex graduate.*

Now is a great time to advertise a vacancy with Essex Interns to attract a fresh set of 2019 graduates hitting the job market this summer.

Interns can inject new skills and fresh thinking to your business, help deliver projects, and are a cost effective way to trial a new position to support your business growth.

It is a great way to trial new talent for a permanent role - if the match is right we hope you will employ the intern on a permanent basis after their internship is completed.

Essex Interns will work with you to promote your opportunity and find an intern who matches the needs of your business and is eager to begin their new career.

Contact us if you believe your business could benefit from the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme.

*funding is subject to availability and eligibility requirements

Case studies

Invest Essex, Essex County Council

Working within Essex County Council, Invest Essex promote Essex as a business location and provide expert support for all aspects of business. They recruited BSc Management and Marketing graduate Anastasija Tomm as a Marketing Support Officer to provide extra support to a busy team.

"Anastasija hit the ground running and has been a real bonus to the team. Employing an intern was new territory for us. We looked at other resourcing options, but we decided to take this route and I think employing an Essex Intern has gone a lot better than if we had chosen one of the other options. Anastasija has brought in new character, fresh ideas and new thinking."   
David Rooke Head of enterprise and economic growth

CNN Training Consultants

CNN Training Consultants is a nationwide skills training provider, specialising in the delivery of Health & Safety and Construction qualifications. Group HR Manager Laura Bridger recognised that an intern could be a viable recruitment option. They recruited BSc Accounting and Management graduate Hiren Thandi as a Finance and Accounts Intern.

"The communication from Essex Interns has been fantastic. They kept in contact with how the interview process went and provided guidance which showed there was support if needed. The benefits of having interns in the business are huge. This has certainly been the case with Hiren as she has brought diversity and a fresh way of thinking. This has been a really positive experience that we would repeat." 
Laura Bridger Group hr manager
Get in touch
Essex Interns Team Employability and Careers Centre, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873729

Work placements

Interested in other options? Offer a work placement that an undergraduate or postgraduate student can complete as part of their course.