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Work experience & internships

Internships exclusively for SOAS students

SOAS is now offering several SOAS exclusive internship opportunities in partnership with a variety of UK and International businesses, charities and social enterprises. These organisations are offering SOAS students and graduates the opportunity to gain invaluable, paid work experience. 

Organisations offering SOAS specific internships include: Asian Performing Arts, Charity Works, ODI, Teach, The Challenge Network and many more. In addition, there are also volunteering roles on offer which lead to paid positions. Organisations offering these types of roles include Sotheby's and Tiger Lily Films. 

These roles are now being advertised on the SOAS Careers Service Moodle page. Please note: You will need to login using your SOAS ID to view current opportunities.

For further information, please contact our Internships Coordinator, Michelle Murray, on m.murray@soas.ac.uk or by telephone on 020 7898 4115.

STEP Internships Programme from The Careers Group

Whether you are a recent graduate or you are still at university, STEP Internships are a great way for you to take your first steps on your chosen career path or even try out something different. The Step Internship Programme offers students and graduates paid internships in a range of sectors and industries; the ideal opportunity to gain some valuable experience in a real working environment. STEP Internships offer a training allowance of between National Minimum Wage and London Living Wage and through a unique arrangement with HMRC the payment to interns is not subject to tax or national insurance. Many of their interns have regularly gone on to secure permanent positions as a direct result of their placements, and in most cases, undertaking an internship has strengthened theirskills for future job applications.

If you are interested in a STEP Internship then please visit their website for all internship opportunities.

Why bother with work experience?

  • It looks great on your CV and demonstrates to employers that your life experience is not limited merely to the field of academia.
  • It helps you develop transferable skills.
  • It can help you decide on your career pathway.
  • It might make your chosen career pathway easier to access, especially if your work experience is directly linked to it.
  • It may be a prerequisite to entry into some sectors, such as media or investment banking.
  • You can earn money - although not all work experience positions are paid.

What kind of work experience is available?

Internships
These are work placement schemes offered by large organisations and companies. They tend to be aimed at students on their penultimate year. The application process starts early, usually between October and February, and the actual internships tend to take place during the summer months.

Other work experience placements
These are offered by a range of organisations. They are advertised as and when vacancies arise; some are not advertised at all. Therefore, it is worthwhile sending speculative letters with your CV to organisations you are interested in.

Work shadowing
This involves spending time with a professional and watching what their role entails. This usually takes place short-term (1-2 days), but if you are proactive and make yourself indispensable, you may be invited to stay longer. You can identify suitable  people to shadow by networking or sending speculative letters with your CV to organisations you are interested in.

Temping
Temping can be a good source of income if you want to work part-time or during your vacation. Recruitment agencies may offer flexibility with regard to timing and location, and you might be able to work in a sector that interests you. You can find a list of agencies in the Yellow Pages or come to the Careers Service to browse the Recruitment Consultancies booklet. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation promotes good practice and, therefore, all agencies that are registered members must comply with its standards. You can check whether a recruitment agency is a member on their website. 

Going abroad
Going abroad can broaden your horizons and develop your transferable skills even if you prefer not to assist at an American summer camp or pick fruit in Australia for the rest of your life. You can find out more about working internationally on JobOnline.

Voluntary work
Although you might not be able to afford to volunteer long-term, it will often offer you a greater variety and responsibility than a work experience in a salaried position.

Other sources of vacancies

For a even more resources related to internships and work experience, visit The Careers Group website