It’s still tough out there and, even with a good degree, graduates will probably find that they face a highly competitive job market. At Collegiate, we think we’re pretty good at standing out from the crowd with our superior accommodation – so we know how important it is for you to be head and shoulders above the opposition.

An internship can make all the difference to your job search and be crucial for successful future employment.  And because Collegiate has student accommodation available in some of the UK’s top university cities, there’s every chance that you can find an internship in the city where you are already staying.

Based on reviews written by 6,000 students, the list below reveals which UK companies provide the best internships for students, with accountancy and professional services firms dominating.

This year’s Top Ten internships are with:

  • Grant Thornton (Accountancy)
  • Microsoft (Technology)
  • BDO (Accountancy)
  • PwC (Accountancy)
  • EY  (Accountancy)
  • Pinsent Masons (Legal)
  • Barclays (Financial Services)
  • Intel (Technology)
  • GSK (Pharmaceuticals)
  • Warner Bros. (Media)

The experience you gain might not perfectly match your chosen career path, but it will give you some useful skills, a work ethic, and hopefully a competitive edge.

An internship usually takes the form of a holiday work placement and is normally between 4-10 weeks over the summer. You gain an insight into how the company works and, if you make a good impression, you stand a great chance of being offered a graduate placement.

Here are some good reasons why you should seriously consider an internship:

Gain Work Experience

Practical knowledge in an industry is what attracts employers. Think of it this way: who gives you more bang for your buck – a recent graduate with little or no experience or one with solid internship expertise on their CV?

Create a Competitive Edge in the Job Market

This is probably the biggest advantage. The experience you gain will give you a very competitive edge when you start your job search. You will have concrete examples of work experience to discuss during your interview.

Networking Opportunities

One of the most popular ways of finding a job is through networking. Doing an internship significantly increases your networking opportunities by connecting you with professionals in your chosen field.

Job Transition

What better way is there for an employer to test a potential employee than through an internship? This “try-before-you-buy” approach is a significant advantage for the employer and can easily lead to a full-time job. Successful interns are frequently offered permanent employment at their internship company after graduation.

Apply Classroom Knowledge to the Real World

Preparing academically for your career shows your intelligence and ability to learn, but internships give you the opportunity to apply your knowledge to the real world and develop your qualifications.

Develop your CV and Build Confidence

A robust application (often a career resume and cover letter) and a powerful interview are ultimately what set successful candidates apart in the job search process. Internships help you prepare both by giving you the experience and skills to build a strong resume and the confidence to give an outstanding interview. When you discuss your knowledge, skills and abilities, you will speak from experience, not conjecture.

So get out there and go for an internship. It seems like a sweet deal, get experience, gain real insights and hopefully get a great job as well!