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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Explore...opportunities

Drop-in session
Visit Drop-in for individual support with your applications

If you are to be competitive in your applications then gaining experience and selling that which you have, is really important. At the University of Southampton we advertise a range of paid placements and internships that can help you to build up your skills and gain insight into industry. You can also use volunteering as a way to boost your CV and many students find this is a way to fit gaining work experience around their studies.

The Careers & Employability Service can offer advice on how to use these new skills to sell yourself on an application, CV or interview. See our Application Advice pages for advice on how to convey this to a potential employer or visit our Drop-in sessions for individual support.

These can be valuable in enabling you to gain experience whether in the particular industry you are interested in or to simply gain some working experience. The University of Southampton offers a range of programmes that can facilitate this:

Student on Year in Employement placement
Student on Year in Employement placement
  • Excel Southampton Internship Programme - 2-12 week internships during Easter, summer or term-time with a wide range of different organisations. You can find opportunties on MyCareer.
  • Year in Employment - An opportunity to complete a year-long placement between your third and fourth year. You will graduate with Year in Employment on your transcript and be equipped with skills to aid your employability.
  • Some students choose to take an internship abroad. In this case you may be asked for an internship agreement, please see our Working Abroad page for further details.

As well as the opportunities offered by the University, you could also try:

Student Ladder - Search for graduate schemes, placement years or internships by sector/year of study

RateMyPlacement - Useful resource offering reviews from those who have worked for organisations. Also a useful job searching tool

Taking a placement overseas can increase your employability through your experiences of a new society and culture. It can demonstrate a range of skills including:

Student on placement
Study Abroad
  • problem solving skills
  • determination
  • resilience
  • language
  • cultural sensitivity

Furthermore, it can help with networking and language skills if you are considering the option of seeking a job abroad when your degree finishes.

The University of Southampton's Study Abroad programme gives you the opportunity to go abroad for a year or just over the summer. 

The Study Abroad team provide support for both incoming and outgoing students as part of the programme. Together with Careers & Employability they also run sessions to assist you in using the skills you have learnt to help with getting a job in your home country whether that is the UK or elsewhere.

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience that can fit around your studies. There are a lot of local and national opportunities for you to take advantage of through the University. Whether you choose to volunteer organising national events, restoring artefacts or helping sustain the environment, you could make a real difference, try out career ideas and add some great work experience to your CV. Check our Volunteering page for further information.

Student volunteers
You can find a range of volunteering opportunities at the University

There are also plenty of local opportunities within the city of Southampton. Look out for opportunities on MyCareer or try the following organisations:

The Student Enterprise Team at Southampton can support you in developing your enterprising and entrepreneurial skills. Taking part in one of their opportunities can encourage you to be innovative and creative in your approach and will be valuable experience in your applications and working life.

Here are some of the ways you can access the support offered by the Student Enterprise team:

Student Enterprise Summer School
Student Enterprise Summer School
  • Attend their workshops for practical advice for the business world: Their Business Basics talks will give you a chance to learn what business is all about while their Freelance Boot Camps give some practical tips on being your own boss.
  • Go to one of their Summer Schools for guidance on how to grow your business ideas
  • Find funding for your business ideas through the Enternship Grant Fund or the SEED Start-Up Fund
  • Book a 1:1 Student Enterprise Appointment to discuss a range of queries regarding enterprise, visas and much more

Getting involved in a club or society can be more than just a fun extracurricular activity. It can be a really valuable way of showing transferable skills for example:

Students playing netball
You can join a variety of sports clubs or societies
  • Being part of the netball team shows you can work well as part of a team and highlights commitment and dedication.
  • Joining the Debating Union will build your communication skills and develop your public speaking and ability to create an argument.
  • Taking on responsibilities within your club or society like treasurer, social secretary or team captain, will enable you to demonstrate further skills that would be attractive to an employer.

With over 200 societies and sports clubs at the University of Southampton, you should find something to interest you. Find out what's on offer on the Students’ Union website.

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