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Green and black swirl logo that says 'TALENT MATCH' in the middle with slogan underneath

First year of the Careers Network’s Talent Match programme a success as students, graduates and SMEs all benefit

In 2019, the University’s Careers Network launched a brand-new scheme exclusively for Loughborough students and graduates who were seeking internships to build their employability skills and boost their CV.

The Talent Match programme - run by Sophie Kanabar and Emma Dodd - has proven significantly successful, with over 35 students and graduates securing roles and more than £40,000 provided in funding from Santander Universities to support both students and SME employers.

The scheme aims to help students gain experience in their desired job sector, whilst providing them with CV guidance and a dedicated Talent Match staff coordinator who supports their journey into work and placement opportunities.

As part of the scheme, students can also benefit from the following:

  • Being part of an exclusive LinkedIn group, which is updated daily with useful information and advertisement of opportunities
  • Fortnightly newsletters
  • Access to Careers Consultations
  • Their CV being shared with potential employers
  • The potential to be hired into a full-time position or graduate placement after securing an internship from the scheme.

Not only do students and graduates of Loughborough benefit from Talent Match, but employers do too. The team has worked closely with companies to provide a tailored service to help them hire the right person for their business.

For the companies, this has cut both the cost and time spent undergoing a standard recruitment process, and the Careers Network offers them advice on areas such as advertising and promoting job opportunities; creating an internship; tracking and monitoring applications; shortlisting suitable candidates; and match-funding the salary of the intern. Due to the economic and financial impact of COVID-19, this support has been significantly valued.  

Student Afra Padmore secured an internship with social enterprise Access Generation CIC through the scheme. When asked if she would recommend Talent Match to other students, she said: “I would definitely recommend other students to join the Loughborough Talent Match because it facilitates the process of finding job opportunities for university students, especially those who come from disadvantaged social backgrounds.”

Adding to this, Jessie Smeding - who also gained a placement with Switch the Play Foundation through Talent Match – commented: “It is a great way to combine your studies with work experience in a structured and formal way. Not only do you gain experience, you also meet new people, learn new skills and experience new opportunities.”

Loughborough alumna Megan Dreyer is the founder of #Me, an organisation which aims to support and empower people to improve their wellbeing by working closely with communities, universities and businesses.

Speaking about her experience as an employer in the Talent Match scheme, she said: “As #Me operates in the mental health sector, this funding has allowed us to focus solely on providing support during this unsettling time. We have been able to use the funding to gain two valuable interns whose expertise, skills and fresh perspective are contributing enormously to the running of our operations and planning of our future.”

Khalil Rener, Director of Rener Wellbeing added: “As a Loughborough alumnus myself, perhaps I am a bit biased - however I find Loughborough students have a drive, charisma and ambition that is hard to find in such abundance elsewhere. It is one of the best universities in the country and being able to have them onboard at Rener Wellbeing has proven to be beneficial and I hope to keep being able to hire Loughborough University graduates in the future.

“The funding enabled us to get the extra support, which was beneficial to us and we hope Nyle and Ifueko, our two summer associates, found it beneficial too.”

The scheme is managed by Sophie Kanabar and Emma Dodd in the Careers Network team; if anyone would like further details please contact Sophie by emailing