If you are interested in gaining experience with a large graduate recruiter, start applying sooner rather than later – many internship opportunities have deadlines just before Christmas.

If you would prefer to gain experience with an SME, send a speculative application to the companies you’re interested in after carrying out extensive research into their business.

Make the most of internship and careers fairs organised by your university to speak to recruiting companies and find out what options they have for students like you.


Some formal internship programmes are still open for applications after Christmas, so keep an eye on what is available via the Inside Careers deadlines calendar on our website and sign up for email alerts too.

If you have not managed to secure some experience with a large graduate recruiter, now is the time to explore alternatives such as work experience with smaller employers, volunteering and work shadowing. Read our Opportunities Overview article to see what else is out there.


Keep an eye out for any summer internships with late application deadlines – some firms have closing dates as late as March or April. Also, some schemes reopen or are advertised late in the year if a company’s recruitment needs change. Firms will sometimes advertise ‘off-cycle’ internships too.

If you don’t have anything lined up for the summer yet, think about your options and make a plan. Tutors/careers advisers at your university might be able to help with work experience or work shadowing opportunities.

Now is the time to start thinking ahead to next year – graduate schemes in sectors such as banking open as early as August. Make sure you’re ready by reading our skills article.


If you have secured an internship with a large graduate recruiter, treat it as an extended interview. This is an incredible opportunity to make the right impression and increase your chances of securing a graduate scheme position next year. You should also use this chance to find out more about your prospective employer and establish which areas of the work particularly interest you.

Whatever you’re doing, remember to network!

Back to Top