J1 Visa for the USA for work experience overseas

Are you looking for work experience during the Summer or after you graduate. Are you an international student struggling to get sponsorship for employment in the UK under Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas? Are you looking ultimately to get some experience as an international student and bring this home with you? Or are you a UK/EU student looking to expand their experience on their CV and go overseas for a while?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then a J1 visa could be the answer for you.

What is the J1 visa?

Well it is the Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category for the USA and is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Graduates from the UK whether you are a British National, EU citizen or International student you are eligible to apply for Internship programmes in the USA for up to 12 months. These internships enable university students or recent graduates to go to the USA to gain exposure to culture and to receive hands-on experience in USA business practices in your chosen occupational field. It enables graduates and students to get some great brand names on their CVs and experience abroad range of business opportunities. Equally all students no matter where you are from can apply within the UK to get their J1 visa and there is no limit to how many J1 visas you can have as long as you meet their criteria. Unlike the UK the employer is not your sponsor for a J1 visa it is an agency and a full list can be found here https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsor-search/?program=Intern

So what now? Well the first step to getting experience in the USA and a J1 visa is to find opportunities.

Finding Experience

You can do this by using the websites Vault, Glassdoor.com (ensure Glassdoor is .com not .co.uk) and LinkedIn. In the USA you will be looking for opportunities titled “internships” whether it is graduate experience or summer experience. In the USA the terms “graduate scheme” or “graduate programme” does not exist and in fact the term “scheme” means something illegal in the States.

You can search the 3 websites mentioned above with your field of interest for example if you are looking at engineering then you would search “engineering internships” On the various websites there are filtering options which include location, salary etc. When using LinkedIn ensure in your Summary section you have the phrase “J1 Visa Candidate” at the start so employers who view your profile know that they are not responsible for your visa. If you use LinkedIn you can apply with your profile instead of a CV and cover letter so ensure your profile is up to date with a professional photo. Similarly if you applying using a cover letter and CV ensure “J1 Visa Candidate” is visible on both documents. A CV in the USA is 1 page only so make what you put on there count. Use Glassdoor to help find work but also to research what an intern can earn as it contains company, interview and salary reviews.

If you are applying via the company directly and are filling in an online application form then make sure when they ask “Are you authorised to work in the United States?” you answer yes as you will have a J1 visa. When the question comes up about sponsorship on the application form “will you now or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status?” you answer no as you have an independent sponsor and you will not require the company to sponsor you.

We recommend using the cover letter from Parenthese a J1 Visa Sponsor who visits the University of Manchester twice an academic year to talk to students about J1 visas. On their website under the Student tab you will find links to really helpful information including how to get started and most important the “Pick Me” section which details application advice. You can click on the following link to access their recommended cover letter format which informs the employer in the USA of the advantages of hiring an overseas intern as well as the financial benefits http://www.parenthese-london.co.uk/students/internship/pick-me/let-us-be-your-network/ use the cover letter template keeping the sections in bold only changing the sections not in bold. There is lots of great advice and information on this website.

Paid or Unpaid Internships?

We recommend only looking at paid internships rather than unpaid. Do your research regarding the company using Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn. Make sure you know what the basic living costs are for the area of the USA you want to work in and that the job you are applying for will cover those expenses. For instance San Francisco you would require a job that paid $3500 per month and new York $2500 for basic living costs: food, rent, internet, travel etc. These salaries are not unreasonable for these areas. Avoid companies that want you to pay a fee up front to work for them to cover the cost of materials etc as these are usually not legitimate. If it sounds too good to be true the rule is it usually is too good to be true. If in doubt however contact the Careers Service at the University or your chosen J1 Visa Sponsor and they can let you know if it is a reputable organisation.

Getting a J1 Visa

To get a J1 visa you will need to have successfully been given a job offer. Once you have your job offer and you have ensured the salary is good enough to sustain you in the USA then you can approach your sponsor. As previously mentioned we have worked with Parenthese in the past and you can access slides from one of their sessions on our website for more details: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/media/services/careersandemployabilitydivision/careersservice/talkshandouts/Parenthese-J-1-USA-Visa-talk-for-Engineers.pdf

What do you need to look for when picking a sponsor?

  • Ensure you research your sponsor and you understand what is included with the offer of a visa.
  • Make sure the medical cover is high enough although $1million may sound like a lot health cover for a broken finger can be very expensive.
  • Does the sponsor do checks on your potential employer to ensure your safety at work and that you will receive proper training and supervision!
  • Do they offer support while you are in the USA in case you need help or get into trouble?

I have my job offer and a sponsor what next?

Well after you have been approved by the sponsor and the company you are working for is checked and confirmed you can then apply for the visa which includes a trip to the US Embassy for your fingerprints, fee and short interview. This is standard and very straight forward as long as you do not have a criminal record. Your sponsor should give you all the information you need to know regarding fees for your sponsor as well as your SERVIS fee and what steps need to be taken. It can take as little as 3 weeks to turn around an application for a J1 Visa.

Good luck and remember to make the most of your experience.

Where are all the first year internships?

roo resumes“Where are all the internships?” said the first year.

Finding an internship in your first year can be quite a challenge.
If you were in the very small percentage of First Year students who thought about an internship in the first term, you may have been lucky enough to land yourself either a Spring Insight or a Summer Internship- if so, well done! As for the rest of you, if you have only just started to think about internships you may be finding the search rather difficult. If so, listen up…

  1. Internships tend to be targeted towards people in their penultimate year of study.

The reason for this is because a lot of big companies hire interns in the hope that they may want to get onto their grad scheme and work for them permanently after they finish their degree.

Of course there is no guarantee that the company will be hiring graduates, nor any guarantee that the intern would stand any higher chance of securing the Grad Scheme than anyone else. Nevertheless, you can see why a lot of employers target those who are going into final year as it does kind of make sense.

  1. Internships are just one of the many options you have for getting some experience this summer.

Work shadowing/ experience can be a really good way to get an insight into a company and is often far less structured than an internship.  The benefit of work experience/shadowing is that you can often negotiate your own terms rather than the solidity of a structured internship.
You could also use your summer to get some part time work/volunteering under your belt. There is value in every single job you do, so don’t be put off by working for a slightly less well known company. You don’t have the luxury of a big long summer when you finish University so use your time to try new things!

  1. How do I find an opportunity if I can’t see any advertised online?

Ever heard of the phrase ‘Good things come to those who wait’? If so, ignore it. It’s a terrible piece of advice! The reality is that good things come to those who work hard, network well and are incredibly resilient.

Contacting companies directly can be a really good way of landing yourself an opportunity. This is what is formally referred to as ‘The Hidden Jobs Market’. It’s the idea that there are hidden, unadvertised opportunities which can be snapped up by people who are prepared to do a bit of the leg work.  However, it’s not easy, you should be prepared to have 20 emails ignored for every 1 that gets read so you will need a bit of resilience if you go down this path.

  1. How to a find a contact to email?

Admittedly this can be a bit difficult, but there are numerous ways you can get yourself a contact email address.

  1. Use LinkedIn.
    Don’t have a profile? Make one.
    It’s like the business version of Facebook/an online copy of your CV. You can connect with people and ask them questions and it can also be used for employer’s to head hunt you for jobs. Win, win!
  2. The Manchester Network.
    We have our very own Networking platform which is specifically designed so that students can connect with alumni to ask questions about your Career options.
  3. Manchester Gold Mentoring programme
    Taking part in our mentoring programme is your way of getting information, advice and guidance about your future from a mentor. They could be doing the job you’re aiming for, working in an area that interests you or have graduated from the same course as you.
  1. Call on anyone you have ever met, ever.
    Using your own personal contacts is another good way of getting your foot in the door.


With all this being said, there are still a few internships available. Below is a list of some of the ones which are out there, and here is an excellent site which has currently 36 other options available

If you would like an application checked over before you send it off then book yourself in for Application Advice Appointment by either calling us on 0161 275 2829, popping into The Atrium, University Place, or booking yourself one via your CareersLink Account.

Good luck!

Cecily Rooney
Careers Information & Guidance Assistant 



10 (and a bit) things PhDs should know about the Careers Service

  1. We’re here for you during your PhD (and for 2 years after)
  2. We have web pages chock full of useful information and resources including the THE Award winning An Academic Career
  3. You can talk to us
    1. drop in to the Atrium to talk to one of our Information Specialists
    2. book a one-to-one guidance appointment (NB – due to demand, these are reduced to 15 minute quick query sessions during September-October, but are usually 30 minutes)
    3. if you are a HUMS PGR – book a one-to-one guidance appointment in the Ellen Wilkinson
    4. see an Applications Advisor
    5. if you have an upcoming interview, you can get interview support
  4. Manchester Gold Doctoral Researcher
  5. We like connecting with you on social media (this blog, for example) and @ManPGCareers to share and discuss PhD related topics, events, opportunities, activities, hear your ideas – and just to get to know each other.
  6. CareersLink advertises opportunities for you during and after your PhD (as well as events)
  7. Careers Essentials – 1 hour sessions open to all postgraduates to help you plan your post-PhD career with confidence.




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    Career Essentials: CVs for Postgraduates

    February 8 2017 1pm-2pm Ellen Wilkinson Building, SALC Graduate School, Conference Room C1.18  Your CV needs to get you to interview. This one hour session tells you what you need to know in order to create an effective CV that works for you Careers Link event id: 3837

    Careers Essentials: Covering Letters for Postgraduates,
    February 15 2017 1pm -2pm, Ellen Wilkinson Building, SALC Graduate School, Conference Room C1.18 Your covering letter is a critical part of your application. In this one hour session you’ll find out how to write a compelling letter that will make employers notice you. Careers Link event id: 3838

    Career Essentials: Interviews for Postgraduates, February 22 2017 1pm-2pm, Ellen Wilkinson Building, SALC Graduate School, Conference Room C1.18 A successful interview is all that stands between you and your dream job. This one hour workshop will introduce you to the basic skills and knowledge you need to prepare for a successful interview. Careers Link event i.d. 3839

    Career Essentials: Becoming an Academic, March 1st 2017 1pm-2pm, Ellen Wilkinson Building, SALC Graduate School, Conference Room C1.18 Do you want an academic career? Is it right for you? This session will help you understand the reality of academic careers, assess your potential and plan your next steps. Careers Link event id: 3842

  8. We run workshops with the Faculties – check the Training Catalogue throughout the year
  9. You can attend other Careers Service events to meet employers and get career ideas
  10. The Pathways Event – careers for researchers – is coming June 2017

Is work experience worth it? Anthropology student Marisa tells her story.

By Marisa Bell
Final year Anthropology student

chalkboardNine months slogging through one year of your degree can feel more like nine years at times. One bad week slips past and before you know it you’re neck deep in readings – most of which barely feel as though they are written in your native language. As you sift through the inaccessible writings and abstract theories, scribbling notes, highlighting this, highlighting that – constantly measuring yourself between this grade and that grade; pulling your hair out over the difference between a 61 and a 69 graded essay (they’re both 2:1 people, get over it!) – you start to wonder what the hell this is all for anyway? What really is the point of all this?  The purpose in doing this starts to get lost.

In Defence of Social Sciences

I’d say I can at least speak for the social scientists and humanities students out there. We are the people who are left defending our degrees all the time “What are you going to do with a degree in Sociology? Psychology? Literature? History? Isn’t Philosophy pointless?” “Unless you want be an academic, I don’t see the point.” Most people I meet still think Anthropology is what Ross from Friends does (No guys, that’s dead dinosaurs, not living people!) Ugh. The list goes on. And each one pains me every time.

I’m now 32 – it’s not particularly old I know, but it’s not particularly young either. And much like my peer group at university I’m astutely aware of competitiveness ‘out there’ – you know, in the real-world. Which I why I took it upon myself to pursue the opportunity of work experience. Tip number one: perseverance and pursuit.

What’s the Point?

Have I worked a day in my life before now? Yes. Yes, I have. I have not however worked a day in the industry I am trying to move into. And when you’re new to an industry it’s a challenge in itself to pinpoint exactly what it is you are looking for. You like the idea of something – but you don’t yet know the reality. My industry of interest (Marketing and Advertising) is a broad one indeed, and each segment of the field varies widely from another. Just because you’ve studied a non-business related degree it does not mean your skills can not be applied to business. And gaining that hands-on experience is truly valuable.

Fact-finding Analysis

I came to the placement with the earnest eagerness of any other student – I just wanted to learn about stuff – how does it all work? So, when faced with the question “What area of Advertising interests you most?” I was all “…Um, I just wanna learn all of it…see what bits I like, then decide”. Not ideal.

My second tip is research, research, research! It took me a while to pinpoint my segments of interest. And some conversations with those in-the-know can go a really long way. A few coffees later (read: wine) and I had a much deeper understanding of how things worked and which bits made me more enthused than others. If you don’t know people in the field you are looking to get into, you can still do online research – LinkedIn is a great place to start, with lots of industry based networks and blogs offering any eager business novice invaluable insights. Get creative! I messaged a few industry blog groups and asked for advice from veterans and moguls of the field. You’d be surprised, there are some really great folk out there, old Alumni etc, who are more than happy to help.

Relinquish Excuses!

“I can’t afford the time out!” Yes, yes you can. Have you heard the saying “Short-term pain for long-term gain”?  – Well, this is just that. Many companies nowadays offer payment for travel and lunch expenses. And if you’re a self-supporting oldie like me, this can still feel off-putting. But don’t let it be. My advice is to start saving a little bit here and there to cover your costs. Or ask the business you have applied to if they’d consider subsidising your travel costs as a one-off, if it’s done in the right way it’s professional and perfectly okay. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When these options really aren’t possible (and trust me, I know this!)  – Then sacrifices you must make! My placement was short and sweet for this exact reason. Can I work 3 months? No. Have I got two or three weeks spare? Yes. This kind of rationale is much more realistic and perfectly doable.  I framed it as though it were the annual holiday I would normally make. Tip number 3: budget and be prepared to make sacrifices!

“I found out about things I never knew before. Interesting and inspiring nuggets of wisdom in a welcoming environment.”

Hard Work Pays Off

During my placement I not only gained fantastic insight into industry practices but found inspiration through seeing my university work and practices applied literally.  I found out about things I never knew before. Interesting and inspiring nuggets of wisdom in a welcoming environment. The business I worked in applied lateral thinking to business, drawing on the critical and analytical skills I pick up sifting through all the endless readings night after night. Making a laborious practice which often feels meaningless and nonsensical, seem perfectly logical! Eureka!

Had I not completed the work experience I would not have realised how interesting I find Market Research as a day-to-day job. It appeals to my curious and analytical nature and is always evolving over time, from project to project – with the added bonus of working with brands I am interested in or a least familiar with. Previously, if I’d looked at ‘Researcher’ as a job title I’d likely think it was either too dull or not the kind of thing I could do. Now, I know otherwise.

My final tip is BE PROACTIVE. From the start of your research to your time in the business. Don’t just hang around waiting for things to come your way. Get stuck in! People have busy lives. If they don’t reply – send a follow-up email. In the job, ask people if they need help with anything. Be curious. Show off your talent and get to know theirs. This is your time and well as theirs so the most valuable thing you can do is to take away a whole heap of knew knowledge. Knowledge is king. And if you’re really lucky, you may even gain a few more new friends from the experience!


Preparing for your summer internship or vacation job

Exams are nearly over, it’s time to celebrate and look forward to summer.iStock_000018416955Medium Girl ticking checklist

Many of you will have something lined up for summer, an internship, work experience, volunteering, a vacation job or a working holiday perhaps?

Before you head off to meet the challenge there a few things you can do to be prepared.

  1. Have you got the right outfits? Do you know what your dress code will be? Ask around and check you have a few outfits to get started.
  2. Do you have all your paperwork, passport or other ID, visa etc to start work. Ask HR what you will need on day one to get you on payroll!
  3. Do you know how to get there? Nothing worse than turning up late on your first day.
  4. Have you got a bus or train pass? Advance ticketing may be a cheaper option.  If you are driving will you have a parking pass?

While you are there

  1. Get stuck in – it’s only for a short period so be enthusiastic, make the most of opportunities to learn a new skill or make a difference.
  2. Be professional – even if things are not exactly the way you might have hoped this is an opportunity to learn something and get a reference – so be nice!
  3. If you have had a particularly good (or bad) day – reflect a little – what went well or badly, what were your actions, how did you contribute? What would you do differently in future?
    1. The good stuff you will put on your CV.
    2. Store the reflections of what didn’t go well and learn from it, sometimes you can be asked about these examples too and they can be a great way to show you have learned to adapt your behaviour or strategies.
  4. Think about the future, would you like to work here again?
    1. If yes: find out about opportunities for graduate roles
    2. If no: are there other roles or opportunities you could find out about before you leave. Simply talking to people about their jobs can help you decide what direction you want to take.

Make a note

  1. Skills you gained or improved (it’s easy to forget what you did)
  2. Actions you took that made a difference (evidence for your CV)
  3. What you liked or didn’t like. (So you can make informed choices next time)
  4. Contact details of managers and people you worked with. Not just for references,  link with them on LinkedIn and be part of their community so you get the insider info!

Good luck and enjoy it.

5 Minute Fix: Find a job for this summer


Easter bunny’s here to help

So, you haven’t got a job lined up yet – whether just for summer or for after you graduate.

Is it too late to do something before your exams?


One quick fix, right now, before the Easter break, might unlock your ideal job.


Tell everyone you know what you’d love to do over summer, or after you graduate.

Post on any social media you use

Sure, you can WhatsApp your friends, but don’t forget Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well. That’s what the old people still use – and they’re the ones with jobs to fill, and who know other old people who might be able to help you!

Phone home

If you still live at home (inside or outside term-time), or have family friends or relatives who have a vested interest in seeing you fixed up, let everyone know what you’re after, particularly if you’re “going home” for the holidays.

Your home-based supporters club can have their ear to the ground for any good opportunities or contacts.

Right, now the scary bit.

What if this generates a possible contact or the name of a potential employer?

Write to them, now!

Offer your services for “any project or temporary work over the summer”, highlighting the skills, experience and enthusiasm you can bring, and include a tailored CV.

  • Hint: being able to pick things up quickly, use your initiative and work with limited supervision are sought after attributes for any short term work. Asking for experience or training or “an internship” isn’t as attractive to an employer.
  • If you’re looking for a graduate job, you can ask for a job for after you graduate – but starting out doing project or temporary work can also be a way into a longer term job.
  • Don’t assume that project or temporary work is unpaid. Other “temp” workers are paid – as long as you’re doing real work which is needed by the employer, you should assume you get paid! (See our advice on unpaid experience.)

Why now, before Easter?

Because as long as they’re within travelling distance of where you’ll be over the Easter break, you can suggest that you “will be available between 21st March and 8th April if there is any chance of speaking to you directly about any opportunities you may have”.

They’ll probably want to speak to you before offering you a job, so use the Easter break to get ahead of the crowd.

Who knows? There’s just the chance that you might bag an interview or two – and even a job – before you come back to Manchester and head towards exams.

What if you don’t have their email address?

Try snail mail – you’ve just about got time to get it to them before the Easter break! In fact, most employers get so many emails, a good hard copy letter and CV can actually stand out.

Still no names to contact?

Try the Organisation Directory in CareersLink and search:

  • over 10,000 organisations all over the UK (and some overseas)
  • large and small – the smaller ones are where there will be less competition
  • in all sorts of work (that’s the “Organisation Sector” filter in the Advanced Search – see below)

all of whom want to target University of Manchester students.



A quick guide to work experience


Project Leader Intern at ReachOut – Vanessa’s Story

SEI Web Carousel 2016Vanessa is a final year English Language and Screen Studies student here at Manchester and spent eight weeks last summer working as a Project Leader Intern at ReachOut, as part of the Student Experience Internship (SEI) programme.

Vanessa recently joined us to talk us through various aspects of her SEI 2015 experience…

Why SEI?

“I chose to do an SEI because I wanted to earn extra money over the summer, and gain further experience in the field of work that I want to enter. So working hard and knowing more about what it is that I potentially wanted to do was the main goal in doing an internship.”

Interview experiences…

“Having had weekend Jobs since I left High School I’ve been in and out of part-time work, so I know quite a few tricks about the interview process and how to deliver a good interview.

“With this particular job interview however the interviewer was very casual and welcoming, which is not what I expected at all with their being a Project Leader for a mentoring organisation. Whereas I was dressed very smart, I’d even bought my ‘progress’ file that we were told to create in school for future prospects. The interview didn’t even take place in an office or any formal setting; it was in the lounge area of the building, where the organisation is located.”

First few days…

“When I started, I was expecting to be in and out of the office, making some serious phone calls to individuals and companies, being creative with a whiteboard and marker pen and familiarising myself with tea and coffee. Obviously, none of this happened at first. It took my whole first day for the computer system to set up an account for me and personalise an email in my name – this took 14 hours! So, instead of making phone calls, I was preparing folders for summer projects and making a list of all the equipment needed for them.

“However, I settled into the role after a few days and the work load became real. I had to acquire immense multi-tasking skills after the first week or so.”

Main projects/tasks…

“One of my main tasks was to communicate with schools and parents, to get their responses if certain children were attending the summer project or not.

“From this I gained experience in learning how to address parents, school teachers and carers over the phone whilst reading out valid information to them and taking details at the same time. This of course is something that most people can do, but doing it all at once and making sure that no details have been left out is quite tricky, believe me.

“For the last 3 weeks of my internship, I was working with children that lived in a ‘deprived’ area of Manchester on the summer projects. I gained a lot of experience being in the classroom managing and supervising them, alongside both my junior and senior mentors, and it opened my eyes to what it would really be like as a teacher.

“From this I learnt how to prepare myself properly for a full day in and out of the office. This literally meant preparing myself for the time spent working in the office and being out on the summer projects in the schools at different locations – although this was a case mainly of what to and what not to bring!

“I also learnt how to compromise and deal with situations professionally without allowing my emotions to be a part of the judgment or conclusion I make on a situation. Communication was a key skill that I expanded on whilst working with young people. Not only to get them going in the classroom, but it also helps them to develop as young people and to build-up a level of certainty between them and yourself.”

Favourite memories…

“I would have to say that my favourite memory of all was seeing the young people believe in themselves academically and potentially.”

Moving into second year – how has it helped?

“Being on this internship did not just allow me to experience being a leader, but to actually experience seeing others do and become better. To see this as a student motivated me to become even better at preparing myself for the final step – big or small – and to overcome the obstacles I thought I couldn’t, because I now believe that what you do and what you say goes a long way.”

Has Vanessa’s words and insight made you think about doing something really productive with your summer this year? If so, the Student Experience Internship 2016 programme will be launching on Monday 1st February. SEI 2016 will offer 8 week, fully paid, internships either within the University or in local charities/not-for-profit organisations.

You can see how numerous other undergraduate students benefitted from last year’s programme by checking out the website – Student Experience Internship (SEI) programme.


Humanities Alumni Video Project at The University of Manchester – Jade’s story

jadeinternship picMy name is Jade and I am in my final year studying Linguistics. I knew from the beginning of second year that I wanted to do something productive with my summer, to boost my CV and skills before I entered the dreaded final year.

I found out about SEI’s when I was walking through Sam Alex one day after a lecture in December and I noticed a Careers Service stand (I believe it is there every Wednesday). I decided to ask the lovely Career Consultant if she could give me any advice about how to make the most out of my summer and that’s when she told me about SEI’s.

Throughout the Christmas period I worked on my CV and when I returned I booked a CV advice session; then I was all ready to start applying for the summer internships! I joined the Facebook pages which are updated with all the new internships and there was one which caught my eye – the Humanities Alumni Video Project. This internship genuinely interested me and it had exactly the kind of work experience I needed for my future career prospects. I applied for the internship and I was invited for an interview.

About the interview

For the interview, I was so nervous and even worse the interview took place on Friday the 13th! I remember it raining heavily and walking into the interview looking like a downed rat. Firstly, I was asked to complete a small task which was to write a mock email to a potential alumni volunteers and a mock brief for the filming sessions, after that they asked me the typical questions about why I was suitable for the role and my relevant experience from my education and part-time jobs. A few days later, they offered me the internship, I was so happy to be taking on a role that required so much responsibility.

My internship

My internship started at the beginning of June and the first few days involved introductions and getting to know everyone in the department. On the first week, my colleagues took me out for lunch to make me feel at home and by the end of the week, I was going out after work for drinks! One piece of advice is to say yes to the social events right from the beginning of your internship, it is a great way to get to know people and also do some sneaky networking…

My main role was to project manage a series of Alumni-based, career videos to promote Humanities degrees. The videos are used as a student recruitment tool to demonstrate the wide variety of careers you can enter after studying a Humanities degree. I had to liaise with the Marketing Team and the Alumni volunteers, to coordinate the entire filming schedule. I also had to attend the filming sessions with the film crew, ensuring the volunteers felt comfortable and that the content we recorded fitted the brief.

Best bits

My favourite part of the internship was attending the filming session and meeting all the Alumni, I got to visit fantastic companies such as the BBC and top marketing companies in London. It was also incredible to hear the career stories of Alumni who studied Humanities degrees, it was extremely inspiring and gave me confidence for my own future!

I was so sad when my internship ended, I loved everything about my role and my line manager even generously gave me some fantastic leaving gifts. However, a few weeks later, they offered me a part-time position for my final year to assist with Alumni-based events. This is great as I am still gaining invaluable skills and I still get to work for such a fantastic team.

I would definitely recommend an SEI if you wish to do something with your summer. It’s a brilliant way to boost your confidence, boost your CV, to meet other interns and take advantage of the help The Career Service offers while on the internship.

Welcome Week Intern at The University of Manchester – Amy’s Story

Amy SEIAmy, an International Management student at Manchester, spent the final three weeks of last summer as a Welcome Week Intern for the Alliance Manchester Business School, as part of the Student Experience Internship (SEI) programme.

Amy recently joined us to talk us through various aspects of her SEI 2015 experience…


I applied to do an SEI because not many of the big companies accept first years for internships over the summer, whereas the SEI I applied for specifically wanted first year applicants. Ultimately, I applied as I knew it would help me gain relevant work experience.

Interview experiences…

I applied for the role by filling in an application form and then was invited to attend an interview. It was a panel interview with three staff members working in Undergraduate services at the business school. Although I hated the interview as I was very nervous, I’m glad there was an interview stage as I have never been in a formal interview before, and it’s nice now to have an experience to relate too – especially because it went well!

First few days…

The first few days we were introduced to everyone in the office and wider colleagues within the school. It was also where I met the other intern I worked with throughout the whole SEI and it was genuinely really nice having a fellow AMBS student to work with throughout. Admittedly though during the first few days I found it quite tiring working full time, as we were kept busy with tasks including designing posters and making tickets for the welcome week bus tour.

Main projects/tasks…

We basically helped with any tasks Undergraduate services had to complete in the run up to Welcome Week and also during the week itself. In the run up there were a lot of admin tasks as well as design tasks like making leaflets, posters and tickets. In Welcome Week itself we attended the activities the school put on including a talk with alumni, setting up for a drinks reception and going on a bus tour.

Favourite memories…

There was a party at the end of Welcome Week on the final day of the internship which all the staff and fresher’s attended. It was nice to know that the week had gone smoothly and to relax as the three weeks were now over!

Moving into second year – how has it helped?

SEIblog2My SEI experience will definitely help me when it comes to apply for other internships as I now have relevant office work related experience. It also made me realise I like designing things so I now try and be a lot more creative within the society work I do, often volunteering to design graphics. It’s an experience I would advise everyone to apply for; you gain valuable skills and get the chance to see a different perspective of the University as you see what it’s like to be an employee rather than a student!

Has Amy’s words and insight made you think about doing something really productive with your summer this year? If so, the Student Experience Internship 2016 programme will be launching on Monday 1st February. SEI 2016 will offer 8 week, fully paid, internships either within the University or in local charities/not-for-profit organisations.

You can see how numerous other undergraduate students benefitted from last year’s programme by checking out the website – Student Experience Internship (SEI) programme.

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