Add Talent and Capacity to Your Organisation This Summer

Posted on: 19 April 2016

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Have you ever considered taking on an intern at your organisation? Maybe you have a piece of work that is a recurring feature on your ‘To Do’ list; maybe you have ideas of a project you would like to get off the ground but haven’t had the time to kickstart it; or perhaps your organisation could do with some fresh ideas and external perspective. Fair, meaningful internships represent a fantastic resource for organisations that could benefit from a bit of extra capacity and with the Student Hubs Social Impact Internship Scheme, finding great student interns couldn’t be easier.

In the past month, we have interviewed 155 students across our network who are hoping to secure a place on the Internship Scheme. It has been inspiring to meet so many passionate students who are motivated to achieve social impact through their careers. As The Guardian notes, we are seeing a rise in ‘politically engaged jobseekers who demand employers enshrine values and ethics in their business model, not just profit’. Third sector organisations should be doing all they can to encourage students to follow through with their interest in social impact careers.

Although routes into the sector are growing, social impact career paths remain unclear for many young people. As a result, the sector loses out on recruiting top graduates with great ideas for solving today’s social challenges. Our Social Impact Internship Scheme seeks to change this by connecting students to meaningful placements with charities and social enterprises. Having launched in 2008, the scheme is one of our most popular programmes and the largest of its kind in the UK. This year we received over 200 applications and aim to place 110 students in internships.

For a small fee based on annual turnover, Student Hubs takes care of recruiting and training students on behalf of organisations. We then match students to hosts, based on their skills and interests, to carry out a placement of 4-8 weeks during the summer break. Students from our Hubs at Bristol, Brookes, Cambridge, Kingston, Oxford, SOAS and Winchester will be placed in one of those university cities.

Organisations can propose any meaningful work project as a placement. Past internships have seen students involved in fundraising, event organisation, communications, campaigning and other areas. Importantly, all placements give students the opportunity to contribute to the positive social impact created by their host organisation.

Here’s what some of our hosts have said:

“They [student interns] bring a fantastic injection of energy, ideas and intellect into our life as a charity.”

“The three interns we were matched with provided us with invaluable help. They contributed their skills and knowledge and supported us by carrying out research, surveys and case studies. They were all fantastic.”

And here’s what one of last year’s interns said about the Scheme:

“It has given me more confidence to pursue a career in the social impact sector, and belief in my own abilities.”

We provide recommendations to host organisations to ensure our interns receive meaningful work experience during their placement. See our policy report for more information. Student Hubs is committed to making internships accessible to everyone. We operate a Fair Internship Policy to which our host organisations must agree in order to host one of our interns. You can read more about it here.

If you are an organisation interested in hosting an intern, find out more and apply. We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis but we advise submitting yours by the end of April to secure a place. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Lydia Hodgins

Lydia is the Social Impact Internship Scheme Coordinator at Student Hubs, supporting staff to deliver the programme across our network. Lydia is also involved with YMCA initiatives, encouraging young people to engage with local and international community programmes.

Tags: Policy, Social Action, Social Enterprise, Social Impact Careers, Third Sector

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