University of Nottingham Students help support local charities and companies through internship scheme

Students from The University of Nottingham have helped contribute and support local charities and small companies through their internship scheme.

The success of the scheme has seen student numbers grow from 22 to over 80 leading to a new two-week programme set up over Easter and more than 40 interns working with host organisations including start-up business, established SMEs and charities.

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Whilst the scheme enables interns to gain crucial work experience, build their skills, develop business contacts and give them an insight into working life in Nottinghamshire, organisations have access to two or three talented students to deliver fresh ideas and add value to their organisations.

The scheme, which has already seen interns work with Rainbow Parents Carers Forum, Age UK Notts, Mansfield Play Forum and new start up MAD Brands, hopes to not only benefit the student but the host organisations.

Chris Colegate, Careers and Employability Placement Consultant at The University of Nottingham, said: “Expanding the Nottingham Internship Scheme not only allows our students more opportunity to gain work experience and build their employability skills, it also allows The University of Nottingham to support local charities and small companies to bring in talent at a different time of year, a time when they need it.”

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“Students will be working hard over a condensed period to deliver something tangible for their host organisation. It’s a great way for the students to access work experience at a different time of year and a fantastic opportunity for an organisation to get something done.”

Every intern is paid for the duration of their internship with participating organisations incurring no costs for being involved, thanks for the funding support by Santander Universities and other sources to support host organisations.

Jonathan Powell, University Relationship Director at Santander Universities, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK.

“As a result, [this scheme] will help to improve the employability of young people across the UK as well as help local businesses access new skills and talent.”

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Kinetik Wellbeing is just one of the companies to participate and has benefited from the scheme from a marketing perspective.

James Grover, Sales Director at Kinetik Wellbeing, said: “With our brands Kinetik Wellbeing and Love My Skin being so marketing focused, it is vital for us to keep creative. Our team are the best way for us to do that, we’re always looking for good ideas. Internships are a flexible, cost-effective and innovative way for a small business to gain this fresh perspective.”

“Thus far as a business, we’re confident that with the right people internships can add real value in a short time. Not to mention giving us early access to some of the new minds coming through the University.”

Following a successful Easter period, the Careers and Employability Service is looking towards the summer, where over 90 interns will be joining local organisations during June and July, along with increasing the graduate retention in the city.

Nicolas Swanepoel, a 2nd year Industrial Economics student interning for Nottingham Bikeworks, has offered to volunteer after his internship finishes and believes there is “no reason for students not to stay in the area” with the opportunities available.

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He said: “I asked my host if I could continue volunteering at Nottingham Bikeworks after the Internship finishes, to take my ideas and plans to the next stage, to which they said they are happy for me to stay for as long as I wish to.”

“Even before coming to University, I always thought that I would go abroad after my studies and never really thought about staying in the area post-graduation but this internship has made me realise that there is no reason for students not to stay in the area as the opportunities are there.”

For students and businesses interested in finding out how to get involved in the scheme, contact Chris Colegate on 07813 531420, or email chris.colegate@nottingham.ac.uk