Students Staff

Internship stories

Essex Interns is a unique service exclusively for University of Essex students and graduates. It’s definitely not about making the tea. All of our graduate and student internships are vetted to ensure you are getting a real job giving you real experience. Our interns have gained great experience, life-long skills and permanent work. Read some of their stories below, and discover how an internship could be the stepping stone to your career!

For more information on how to sign up to Essex Interns and get your career off to a flying start, head over to our Essex Interns page.

  • James Cook - BA Modern History and Politics

    James Cook

    James Cook

    • Internship Organisation: Invest ESSEX
    • Internship Role: Marketing Assistant
    • Length of Internship: Initially 10 weeks (extended to 22 weeks and then made permanent

    I was largely aware of what an internship was before I decided to do this one, but did not quite appreciate the doors they could open for a graduate. I saw it as a great opportunity to get a head-start in marketing, a competitive industry which is difficult to get into without at least some experience. Undertaking an internship provided the perfect opportunity for me to do this.

    During my internship, I was responsible for assisting in the day to day digital marketing of Invest ESSEX, as well as working on the marketing strategy and longer-term projects. It allowed me to develop a significant number of skills related to digital marketing and I’ve also gained the experience of working alongside professionals with backgrounds from a range of different industries.

    The idea of an internship is one which often conjures up images of the interns honing their tea and coffee making skills or filing paper. However from my very first day with Invest ESSEX I was treated as a valued member of the team and entrusted with responsibilities which may not be available with a larger organisation.

    I believe that the internship will act as a springboard for my future career. As I was offered a permanent position with Invest ESSEX, I have already begun to reap the rewards of the internship.

    I would recommend Essex Interns. They provide opportunities for graduates to enter the world of work, with the guarantee that unlike many internships, you will be paid. The short-term nature of an internship means that for graduates who are unsure of their career path, there is an opportunity to ‘test the water’ and try out different jobs to see what they are suited to.

  • Chelsea Millward - BSc Finance and Mathematics

    Chelsea Millward

    Chelsea Millward

    • Internship Organisation: TT Education
    • Internship Role: Finance Assistant
    • Length of Internship: 10-weeks, then made permanent

    I signed up with Essex Interns when I first started at University. At the end of my first year, I’d just finished a temporary role for the summer and when I received the email for this internship, I applied and got the job.

    My perception of internships has changed as I thought they were unpaid as do a lot of my friends. When I started receiving the internship emails, I noticed they were all paid.

    I’ve always had jobs in the past such as waitressing but had limited professional skills. This internship has given me those professional skills and has really helped my confidence; my telephone manner for example has really developed.

    During my internship, I’ve been given a lot more than expected but not in a bad way! I never thought I’d do as much as I have; I’ve been dealing with invoicing, account management and calling debtors.

    The impact of this internhip has been brilliant! I’ve gained a permanent, part time job that pairs up well with my degree as well as gaining professional experience while studying.

    I would recommend Essex Interns to others and speak about my internship a lot and how it’s given me professional skills. This internship has given me experience for later in life, it’s really helped.

    • Syed Mahian - BSc Business Management

      Syed Mahian

      Syed Mahian

      • Internship Organisation: The BIG Alliance London
      • Internship Role: Project Coordinator
      • Length of Internship: 3 Months (after the initial internship my contract was extended a further 4 months)

      ‘An internship organised and executed correctly can be a valuable experience. The internship far exceeded my expectations’

      While I was successful at securing a job after graduating I did not enjoy the type of work I was doing. I decided to do an internship because I thought it would be a great opportunity to try out a new job for a short period of time and acquire new skills and experiences. I decided to apply for this internship because I wanted to build a career in Project Management and also work in the third sector. Fortunately, this internship ticked both those boxes.

      I expected my internship to be filled with opportunities to gain new skills that would help me build my career. I am very pleased to say that this internship did exactly that. As it is only an internship I did not expect to get any real responsibility, however, from the day I joined I was given important tasks and was made to feel like an important part of the team.

      I was very fortunate to be a part of some very big events during my time at the BIG Alliance London which included the STEM Aviation event organised by the London City Airport, The BIG Alliance forum and Boardmatch.

      My proudest moment would be being involved in launching the Guardian Youth Insight Challenge and working for an organisation that is helping the community in a meaningful way.

      I would highly recommend Essex interns to a peer. I think it is a great programme run by the university that supports recent graduates. Many of my peers who graduated from other universities do not have the same level of support and guidance that we receive from Essex. So I think Essex graduates should make full use of it!

    • Nathan Garwood - BA English Language and Linguistics

      Nathan Garwood

      Nathan Garwood

      • Internship Organisation: Mercury Theatre, Colchester
      • Internship Role: Marketing Project Officer
      • Length of Internship: 3 months

      I graduated in the summer and was searching for what the next steps would be whilst working part-time at Tesco. It was a bit tricky looking for jobs and I wasn’t sure about an internship, but was open and signed up for all the graduate things the University of Essex offers. When I saw this internship that specified Theatre, it was appealing as it looked like a job that would require me to get really involved.

      I saw internships as assisting those doing the job and learning how to implement it, but one week after I got here they sat me down and said “look, there’s this show coming up we would like you to lead the marketing for, and then there’s this one the following week we would like you to lead.” I was given leadership responsibility straightaway and was given my own shows to market.

      There are loads of skills I’ve gained, time management, budgeting, the freedom to have this big long list of shows and work out what needs to be done, what I can delegate to our other intern who started off where I did.

      My contract got extended to a Marketing Assistant role and then I was later offered a permanent job. My confidence and leadership ability has definitely been boosted. Would I recommend Essex Interns to graduates? That’s an easy yes. I got paid to do this and I ended up staying so you never know what may come out of it. Graduates may also find that the industry they want to work in may require an internship.

    • Anu Popoola - BSc Accounting and Management

      Anu Popoola

      Anu Popoola

      • Internship Organisation: Colchester Arts Centre
      • Internship Role: Finance Intern
      • Length of Internship: 10-weeks

      Whilst preparing for my final undergraduate year I was looking for summer internships but found it challenging to secure one. I came across this Internship which I applied for through Essex Interns and they helped me by reviewing my application and providing useful feedback.

      I decided to do an internship because I really value the importance of experience alongside education. I wanted to ensure that I would leave the University as a well-rounded individual and that employers would see the effort I made to practically apply what I learnt from my degree.

      I had many responsibilities such as handling bank reconciliation and dealing with invoices and gained a lot of transferable skills including cultural awareness and decision making. The responsibilities also provided insight into the financial sector and gave me an overview of how the entire organisation works. I also had the opportunity to learn about different artists and music styles, which I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn elsewhere.

      To describe my internship in a few words, I would say educative, interesting and character-building. I would 100% recommend Essex Interns to a friend as I believe that it is an unforgettable experience that will help to mould you as an individual, and prepare you for the real world of work.

    • Edward Hooper - LLB Law

      Edward Hooper

      Edward Hooper

      • Internship Organisation: Churches Conservation Trust, London
      • Internship Role: Development Intern
      • Length of Internship: Three months although I left after two as I got a permanent position

      Feedback from interviews I got was that I lacked experience in a professional environment. I therefore sought an internship to help me get a permanent job. I viewed internships as an introduction to professional working life. I thought it would be easier than a normal job, but now that I’ve completed my internship, I found it to be at times challenging and also that an intern is as important as a regular worker.

      I applied for this internship as I quite liked the history of the organisation and the way they care about local communities. I learnt how to use the CRM system and carried out administrative tasks and created reports. I gained computer, data analysis and team work skills. I also experienced a massive transition that the organisation was going through with a change in policy which showed me that these changes do happen in organisations and prepared me for the real world.

      I was eventually offered a job as paralegal/legal assistant and later a good job within the Civil Service in the Home Office. My internship has been a really good springboard for me, and I would not have had these opportunities otherwise.

      I think a lot of students would benefit from doing an internship with an organisation that Essex Interns partners with, and I would 100% recommend Essex Interns as the internship has helped me secure two successive jobs. Many students don’t have much experience, and I found it to be a great introduction to working life.

    • Esohe Iriowen - BA American Studies

      Esohe Iriowen

      Esohe Iriowen

      • Internship Organisation: East London Business Alliance (ELBA), London
      • Internship Role: Education Project Co-ordinator
      • Length of Internship: 3 months

      After graduation I assumed that I would be able to get a job fairly easily, however this was not the case. I decided to do an internship to help me gain the relevant skills and experiences needed in the work environment. When I saw this internship with ELBA, its mission and values aligned with mine.

      My greatest achievement during my internship was when I worked on a Black History month project. This was a great opportunity to develop my project management skill as we had a concept but no budget. It was very successful and I really enjoyed working on a project that I am passionate about. I was required to represent ELBA at a careers fair and speak about my experiences and chosen career pathways to year 10 students. I enjoyed this and developed my presentation skills.

      I’ve learnt that I am adaptable to situations and that I can be very resilient. Prior to my internship I faced rejections however, this did not stop me. Applying for an internship was my best career move as I grew professionally. I was placed on ELBA’s Eagles Graduate CSR programme and have found a career in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at a global law firm. I would 100% recommend Essex Interns to anyone. Without this internship I would not have known what career I wanted, and what my strengths and weakness are. I met lovely and supportive people and networked across various corporations. The experiences and personal development that has taken place over those 3 months is truly amazing.

      Thank you for providing this opportunity to graduates!

    • Luke Roberge - BA English Literature

      Luke Roberge

      Luke Roberge

      • Internship Organisation: VR Bound Ltd, currently AIXR
      • Internship Role: Marketing and Events Assistant
      • Length of Internship: 3 months

      After graduating I found the job market was relatively difficult to navigate. I had gained a huge amount of transferable skills from my English Literature degree and my goal after graduation was always to get involved in the marketing industry, but without any formal education in the subject, I knew that an internship was the best possible way to learn the trade. The internship opportunity at VR Bound, which predominantly concerned working on marketing and event management for the VR Awards, offered the perfect opportunity to both learn the fundamental skills required for a career in marketing and work in the technology sector.

      My internship was very fast-paced in terms of learning lots of information about the virtual reality industry in a relatively short space of time. Three days into the job I was sent to VRLO, which is one of the county’s biggest VR networking events and hosted at the Microsoft Reactor, where I became familiar with many of the big industry players like Google, Facebook and HTC. That was an example of being thrown into the deep end but the experience helped me build up my confidence and I gained a number of useful contacts. Over the course of my internship, I improved my copywriting and communication skills, gained a comprehensive knowledge of SEO, and learned about account management and sponsorship sourcing. In general, I really valued becoming familiar with working in a B2B environment. I’ve been at VR Bound for nearly a year now, in that time we’ve undergone a rebrand and launched an international trade body for the immersive industries: The Academy of International Extended Reality or AIXR.

      It’s been an incredible year and I cannot thank Essex Interns enough for providing the opportunity, my internship has provided me with a platform to further my marketing career and I would definitely recommend the Essex interns programme to all undergraduates. The period after graduation can be daunting and the job market can be brutal, internships offer the perfect opportunity to learn a trade and start your career. For me, the technology sector is notoriously difficult to get into so to find an internship in the centre of Colchester that revolved around virtual reality was an unbelievable stroke of luck. I didn’t have a negative opinion of internships going in but I think you should really consider moving past negative preconceived notions of internships and researching and understanding exactly the valuable skills you stand to gain from getting involved.

    • Michael Flynn - BA History

      Michael Flynn

      Michael Flynn

      • Internship Organisation: National Literacy Trust, London
      • Internship Role: Communities Programme Project Assistant
      • Length of Internship: 3 months (Extended for further 3 months)

      After completing my degree, I worked in various menial roles on zero hours contracts. I applied for many jobs in the third sector and was unsuccessful as I didn’t have the necessary experience. An internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a foot in the door.

      I underestimated how much I would learn and develop during the course of the internship. My tasks included fundraising prospecting, writing a range of materials, event planning, qualitative research, report writing (some quantitative), conversing with external stakeholders, and a wide range of administration tasks.

      I am more comfortable and confident communicating in a professional setting and have had the opportunity to attend lots of events, work with many different teams, and become fully immersed in the culture of the organisation.

      This internship cemented my desire to pursue a career in the third sector. While I have long felt this to be my preferred destination, this experience ignited a real passion for the work that is going on throughout the sector. The internship has given me lots of practical experience and concrete skills which I can now use to market myself to future employers. That the internship led to the offer of a permanent position here is the most concrete example of how it has benefited my future career.

      I would certainly recommend Essex Interns as it is a fantastic service which has offered me the chance to spend time at two amazing organisations. I’ve met many great people, gained lots of experience and remained at the National Literacy Trust as a permanent employee. It can be really difficult to get a foot in the door if you don’t have much experience, but Essex Interns can provide this chance.