With his internship at the Walt Disney Company coming to an end, Jake spoke to Southampton Connects about how valuable the experience was and his hope it will give him the edge when entering the graduate job market next year.
Latest figures from the Graduate Market in 2017 High Fliers Report show that numbers of graduate job applications are up by nine per cent compared with the equivalent period in 2015–2016.
As the graduate recruitment market becomes more and more competitive it is essential that Southampton students have a wealth of work experience to evidence key employability skills to future employers.
At the University, we work closely with local and national organisations to provide opportunities for our students’ development, which also brings added value to the organisations with whom they work.
Along with students independently finding placements, our Careers and Employability Service doubled the number of internships it sourced over the past three years with between 400 and 500 students placed every year. Overall, the Service secures around 800 work experience opportunities annually, which includes volunteering, the Year in Employment placement programme and the Business Innovation programme.
Jake, a third-year accounting and finance student, says he found his internship with Disney invaluable and has gained huge confidence in his ability and increased his skill base. “I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to do the internship again, it has been 100 per cent worth it.
“Just getting the experience of being in the workplace has been invaluable, and I also increased my knowledge in a number of accounting tools and systems that will give me transferable skills when I am applying for jobs.
“It has been a great opportunity and one I am really glad I took.”
“The whole experience has been fantastic and working for a brand like Disney has given me a good platform for when I am looking for a job as a graduate. Just being in this working environment has given me a real head start. I am really pleased that I have done it as it has given me a huge array of transferable skills in the career I want in the future.”
But it is not just the student that benefits from the internship placement, according to Charlie Barton, Work Experience Manager within the Careers and Employability Service. “Having an enthusiastic student join an organisation as an intern or placement student brings a fresh perspective into any business,” she says.
“Their analytical minds and critical thought processes frequently bring insightful approaches to tasks that a permanent employee, often content with the status quo, may have never considered.
“Employers regularly tell us that they are overwhelmed by the impact a student can make within a short time frame and many utilise student recruitment as a talent pipeline for permanent graduate recruitment.
“This tried and tested approach ensures high-calibre interns and placement students are identified early on and at the point they join an organisation upon graduation they have already had experience working in the environment, understand the company culture and hit the ground running,” she adds.
That view is supported by testimonies from businesses who have benefited from having an internship placement.
Matthew Duhig (BSc Information Technology in Organisations, 2010), Co-Founder of FX Digital, recruits Southampton interns through the Excel Southampton Internship Programme.
“Students at the University of Southampton are truly sensational. For the second year running now, we have an intern with us that has been capable of getting involved with client work from day one and had an enormous impact on our operation,” he said.
If you wish to gain an additional resource within your organisation while nurturing the next generation of workers in your field, then visit our website for more information and contact a member of the team: southampton.ac.uk/careers/employers