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career changer woman wanting to be a devlopment worker
Young graduate looking for an internship

 job search & career development read


Many students (and career changers) are looking to get into International Development and one way of doing this is through an internship. An internship will build your practical experience and positively contribute to your CV for an entry level job. Many organisations and companies have internships however finding them is difficult; they seem to be randomly placed on websites, often under 'volunteering'.

A practical internship will give you real experience and you can transfer this to an International Development NGO or company. Employers need relevant work experience and skills. You can find out what skills you have already through a career consultation and this will also help you develop a strategy, which might include an internship or not.



An intern is someone who works in a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, making it similar to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students, but they can also be high school students or post graduate adults seeking skills for a new career. Student internships provide opportunities for students to gain experience in their field, determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or gain school credit. Internships provide employers with cheap or free labour for (typically) low-level tasks, and also the prospect of interns returning to the company after completing their education and requiring little or no training.

An internship may be paid, unpaid or partially paid (in the form of a stipend). Paid internships are most common in the medical, architecture science, engineering, law, business (especially accounting and finance), technology and advertising fields. Internships in non-profit organization such as charities and think tanks are often unpaid, volunteer positions. Internships may be part-time or full-time; typically they are part-time during the university year and full-time in the summer, and they typically last 612 weeks, but can be shorter or longer. The act of job shadowing may also constitute as interning.


International Development Internships are very competitive and few organisations of them. Consider gaining experience through an internship out side of the sector or volunteer with a development agency; here are some ideas...

The rants of a potential intern with some tips on applications.


Employment4students.co.uk Ltd was set up in 2000, after the introduction of university tuition fees, to provide a facility for students to find term time and holiday jobs. It lists internship positions available in the country.

Graduate Talent Pool
Graduate Talent Pool is a partnership between Government and employers, designed to help new and recent graduates gain real work experience.

RateMyPlacement is the UK's leading undergraduate resource for students, universities and employers involved in work placements and internships.

Other Resources













The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have developed a guide for employers who are looking to create and implement an internship. It covers areas such as recruitment, payment and duration, treatment, supervision, reference and feedback. You might find it helpful to know what to expect from your internship.


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And they said...

Many thanks again for all your help in getting me this far! MH
Just to say thanks again for all your help and for looking at the CV and covering letter. The help was much needed and is much appreciated! PO
Your advice was absolutely perfect. I feel I have come on leaps and bounds now, thanks to you. SSB

Thanks for yesterday. It was definitely an eye-opener. ZH

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Kevin Cusack
London England UK
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International development jobs, volunteering overseas and international development career advice for people in transition: new graduates, career changers and international development workers. Working with you in support of the Millennium Development Goals.