The Internship Hub, formerly Club 21, is based within the Careers Service and is an innovative source of internship opportunities for current students. Many of these opportunities are exclusive to University of Glasgow, where the Internship Hub works closely with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) local to Glasgow and the surrounding area. Students can also apply to endorsed opportunities with large multinational organisations via the hub.
Launched in March 2000 during the boom in financial services in Scotland, Club 21 originally placed students from business, accountancy and engineering backgrounds. Over the last fifteen years the team have developed a network of contacts in all industry sectors and can now cater for a wide range of students from all backgrounds.
In the last academic year (2014-15), 37% of the students placed in internships were from the College of Arts. Internship Hub Managers, Kirsty Kilgour and Sheena McBeth are keen to encourage employers to be open-minded when it comes to recruiting interns especially for marketing roles. Often, the skills that Arts students learn at university about writing and communicating with different audiences are invaluable, especially for social media roles.
The internships are an excellent opportunity for students. Not only do they provide important networking opportunities but they also allow students to “try before they buy”, assessing what roles might suit them in their future careers. Students are often employed by the companies that they work with initially, or else go on to get a similar job elsewhere with the skills and experience they have gained. All of the internships are paid, unless they are with a registered charity, which is a point of pride for Sheena and Kirsty, who encourage all employers to pay interns the Living Wage if possible.
The Internship Hub has a partnership agreement with the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme. Each year Santander provides part funding which Internship Hub staff can allocate to SMEs to allow them to take on an intern. This has been a highly successful partnership and as Sheena says, “it’s something we can offer smaller companies as an incentive to get involved – it’s a good deal for them”. This year, thanks to the support of Santander, Internship Hub staff will be able to provide full funding to allow small third sector organisations to take on an intern on a full-time basis for four weeks during the summer of 2016. Sheena and Kirsty are confident that these roles will be a welcome addition to the internships already offered by the Internship Hub as the third sector is popular with students but often hard to get into.
Sheena and Kirsty offer a friendly and professional service, tailored to the needs of each business. With over a decade of experience, they are well placed to help with every stage of the process, from writing the job description to promoting the role and even shortlisting candidates. They keep in touch with companies and students during the internship and afterwards. Although the Internship Hub is constantly expanding, they are both keen to maintain their hands-on, personal approach. In the future, they hope to organise networking events for employers to meet one another.
Flexibility is a key strength of the Internship Hub. It caters for part-time, term time, summer and voluntary internships throughout the year and work with organisations of all sizes from micro-enterprises to multinationals. They also place students from all degree disciplines. The rebrand from Club 21 to the Internship Hub has shown what students and companies want from the service. Employers are excited at the opportunity to offer roles on an exclusive basis to our students and larger organisations are pleased to have their internships endorsed by the Internship Hub and therefore quality-assured. With ambitious plans for expansion, the Internship Hub will focus on developing international internships and sourcing a greater number of paid, third sector roles.
The Internship Hub team are looking forward to working with new organisations in 2015/2016 and are keen to hear from anyone who has an idea for an internship. Even if you are just at the ideas stage, please get in touch as the Internship Hub can turn your idea into reality.
*Image: Hendrik Spoering, interned with Macs from 1st June to 24th Aug 2015. Image provided by Sheena McBeth
Initially published Oct 2015 in Reach 07, the College of Arts Industry Engagement Newsletter.
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