Find jobs and work experience
The information and advice here will support your search for professional work experience, internships, placements and graduate opportunities. This includes different role types, sectors and organisations and where to find opportunities.
Apply now for paid work experience roles in the UK and abroad, available exclusively for Loughborough students, finalists, graduates and postgraduates.
We have a range of programmes designed for students at all stages of their time at Loughborough University. See below for more information about Talent Match and how you can apply:
Talent Match Global: Opportunities & Insights of work abroad
Developed to give you access to a variety of virtual internships and industry-related project opportunities with global organisations. These are designed specifically to give you access and insights of employment abroad, as well as develop employability skills sought after by employers.
Our two schemes provide different experiences:
VIRTUAL INDUSTRY RELATED PROJECT EXPERIENCES: Apply now! Network with international employers on virtual industry related projects - apply your knowledge to a real-world scenario and gain valuable insights and skills. Working in teams, you will be able to choose from a range of industry relevant topics such as Sustainability, AI and Growth Strategy. Open to all undergraduates - any year, any discipline - commitment is 25 hours in April 2024 spread over 2 weeks.
VIRTUAL INTERNSHIPS: Paid short-term virtual internship experiences (50 hours), working with companies abroad on a project or tasks, increasing your employability by gaining valuable global skills and experience. Open to all 1st & 2nd year undergraduates from any discipline and taking place July - September 2024.
Talent Match: Summer Internships
Our Talent Match Summer Internships are designed to offer students the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills and increased confidence in entering a professional work environment. The Summer Internships are 8-12 week full time paid work opportunities, which will take place from July to September, they may involve a hybrid work model or be entirely in-person based in internal departments within the University.
Talent Match Summer Internships will be open to the following students:
- First and Second Year Students of 2023-24
- Students completing a Placement Year in 2023-24 and 2024-25
- Final Year Students of 2023-24
- 2023 Graduates
To find out more join us at the Launch Event: 14 March 2024 from 12-1pm, in EHB104-Edward Herbert Building - Book your place here.
Talent Match Summer Internships will go live here on 14 March, the deadline for applications is 7 April.
Micro-Internships: Part A and B students (currently closed for this year)
Our Talent Match Micro-Internship programme is designed to support our first- and second-year students into some work experience. The micro-internships are 50 hours in length and flexible, so you can manage the work around other commitments. All opportunities are exclusive to Loughborough University students and are paid roles.
We work with a variety of organisations and internal departments within the University to ensure we have a mix of interesting opportunities that will provide valuable work experience both in person and remotely.
Roles are currently closed but we will update this page with future opportunities, or you can click here to register your interest in the programme.
Finalists Internships: 2024 Finalist and 2023 Graduates (currently closed for this year)
Our Talent Match Finalist Programme is designed to support our 2024 finalists and 2023 graduates who are keen to secure some graduate-level work in person or remotely. We are offering 100 hour long finalist internships with a range of businesses. All opportunities are exclusive to Loughborough University students, and are paid.
The opportunities will provide some graduate-level work experience and in some cases the chance to continue working in the business or role beyond the 4 weeks.
Roles are currently closed but we will update this page with future opportunities, or you can click here to register your interest in the programme.
Master's Internships: Master's (postgraduate taught) students (currently closed for this year)
Our Talent Match Master's Internship programme is designed to support master's students gain access to paid internship opportunities with UK organisations. Undertake short-term internships during your Master's course at university; build your work-place experience and boost your CV with transferrable, professional employability skills to help you on your career journey.
We are offering 100 hour long internships (typically 6-8 weeks in length, 20 hours a week) with a range of businesses. All opportunities are exclusive to Loughborough University students, are paid and will take place in February - March 2024.
Roles are currently closed but we will update this page with future opportunities, or you can sign up to the Target Connect pathway to register your interest in the programme.
Types of jobs and opportunities available
Internships in the UK
Short-term or casual work is easy to fit in with your studies but still packs a punch in giving you valuable work-place experience and skills. You can also do several short-term roles during your time at uni which will enable you to trial different job roles, in the UK and abroad, all the time building up your CV. Many are also available as remote opportunities.
Read on to find out more…
- Talent Match programme - Designed exclusively to support you throughout your time at university, whatever year you are in. They are paid, short-term opportunities in the UK. See more information about the different programmes available at the top of this page.
- Additional Internship opportunities - There are many other ways to find an internship, whether that is in-person or virtual, during summer or throughout the year. The section on this page called ‘Where to look for jobs & opportunities’ has some fantastic websites to get you started in your search for an internship.
- Insight weeks - These are also worth considering as a way to gain insights into different industries or job roles. Generally aimed at 1st & 2nd year students, they are often unpaid and typically last between one to ten days, often during the Easter or Summer holiday break. Insight weeks are heavily biased towards Finance, Accountancy, Investment Banking, with a few in Engineering and Law. You can also try our suggested website to search for these.
Short-term work experiences abroad are a little harder to find but can be a great way to pick up knowledge of other countries and cultures. Loughborough uni offer a Talent Match Global programme (see information at the top of this page) and there are also a good range of websites to look at for additional international internship and placement opportunities - see the section below called 'Explore opportunities around the world' or go to our Working Abroad pages.
Casual weekend or vacation work, with flexible hours to fit alongside your studies, can be a financial bonus whilst at university and give you an insight into working life. We recommend you make yourself familiar with your working rights and always research the company advertising the part-time role to ensure they offer suitable working conditions and pay.
The Student Advice and Support Service team can provide free, confidential and impartial advice on many matters related to your time at university.
To find part time opportunities, see the section on this page called ‘Where to look for jobs & opportunities’.
Placement Year & Study Exchange
Research shows that students who complete a placement year are more likely to receive a higher overall degree and it can significantly increase your chances of securing a graduate job - many employers look for candidates who have completed work experience before graduation. You might even get a job from your placement employer!
A Placement year enables you to apply your knowledge and skills in a work setting alongside developing key transferable skills and competencies sought by graduate recruiters. A successful completion of a 45-week placement will lead to the award of a Diploma in addition to your degree qualification. It is also a great way to gain a working insight into a specific professional area, helping you consider if you want to pursue that as your career. For more information, see the section on Get a Placement.
In addition, Loughborough University is part of the Erasmus scheme, a European Union exchange programme which provides students with the opportunity to study abroad at other European Universities as part of their course. The University also has a limited number of student exchange places with other international institutional partners in Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the USA. Have a look at the Erasmus and International Exchanges pages for further information.
As you begin your final year, if you want to move into the workplace once you graduate it is important to start thinking about your next steps. Some of the larger companies start their recruitment process in October for students to start the following summer, so it is worthwhile having a plan of how to find, apply and secure a role at the start of your final year, whether that is for work in the UK or abroad.
Ther are many organisations however who recruit and advertise throughout the year so do keep an eye on out for new roles becoming available – a number of job websites allow you to set up a regular notification to be sent to your inbox so take advantage of that to keep you up to date and keep ahead of the crowd!
The most popular options for employment, whether in the UK or abroad, are:
- Graduate schemes – typically a structured role (usually between 1-3 years in length) more common in larger companies, combining work and training and requiring a degree.
- Full-time Permanent role – Available within a range of companies, usually where a Graduate Scheme does not exist.
- Short-term internships – A shorter term role (usually between 1 month and 1 year) often within small to medium size organisations, working on a specific project or within a specific department/team.
- Setting up your own business - Our Loughborough Enterprise Network website are here to help and support you with your business idea. Visit our Loughborough Enterprise Network website for more information.
To find graduate opportunities, see the section on this page called ‘Where to look for jobs & opportunities’.
Volunteering is about offering your time to do something useful e.g. helping a group, a charity, or an individual, but without receiving payment. These types of opportunities can be some of the most rewarding work you will do and are still valuable in gaining transferable skills.
Try these links to find out more about opportunities and advice:
LSU website - Opportunities on campus with Loughborough Student Union
CVA (Coach & Volunteer Academy) - Sport based coaching, volunteering and leadership opportunities at Loughborough that enhance student experience and personal development
Prospects - For opportunities locally, within the UK, or even further afield globally
Voluntary Action Leicestershire - For opportunities locally in Leicestershire
Where to look for jobs and opportunities
Below are just a few suggestions of where to search for a range of different work opportunities and you can also view our comprehensive list of organisations that support students and graduates from diverse groups to secure employment.
Current students can access a short recording entitled Keeping Safe Whilst Job Hunting via the Careers Network Learn Page CA007.
Good for a wide variety of roles
These websites offer a great range of opportunities from short-term internships to placement and graduate roles or schemes. You can filter by location, job type or industry and most can set up regular notifications to your chosen email so you find about new jobs as they are posted!
Target Connect - Loughborough University's own vacancy system has thousands of graduate jobs, placements, internships, part time work and voluntary roles a year. *PLEASE NOTE - whilst we do our utmost to evaluate each role advertised via Target Connect please assess each opportunity carefully and consider whether or not your personal circumstances will be affected by taking up the opportunity. Whilst we have made every effort to check the roles advertised, we cannot always guarantee their authenticity*
Gradcracker - STEM related roles
Student Circus - For international students - Pre-filtered jobs with UK employers who sponsor a Skilled Worker visa
Good for Internships & Placements
See also ‘Good for a wide variety of roles’.
LinkedIn jobs - You can also follow companies you're interested in to hear about opportunities. See our further down 'Speculative Applications'
Good for Graduate roles
See also ‘Good for a wide variety of roles’
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) link businesses with the UK's world class knowledge bases, such as Loughborough Uni, to deliver innovation projects led by inspired graduates – click to see opportunities available.
International students can also use Student Circus: Pre-filtered jobs with UK employers who sponsor a Skilled Worker visa (See section ‘Good for a wide variety of roles’)
Good for Part time casual
Loughborough Student Union - Vacancies on campus
Loughborough University - Lists casual roles around the uni, additional to LSU
CVA (Coach & Volunteer Academy) - Sport based coaching, volunteering and leadership opportunities at Loughborough
Employers making a difference
Climate Change Jobs - discover tech jobs and companies working to protect our planet.
Green Careers Hub - information and opportunities around green skills, jobs and careers, to help you understand the role you can play in greening the economy.
Green Careers Guide - How to find a job that’s good for you and the planet.
Agencies help companies advertise positions. They can also help match you to roles based on your skills and competencies. You will likely be asked to give the agency a CV and covering letter and also meet with them to discuss your plans and options. Please visit the “Recruitment Agencies” section on prospects.ac.uk for more information about them.
Contacting companies to enquire if they have any opportunities can demonstrate initiative, keenness and a proactive nature – all great traits for any successful employee – and they might just give you a chance to secure a role which isn’t even being advertised.
You can seek unadvertised roles in a number of ways, and below are a few suggestions:
- LinkedIn - One of the fastest and most accessible ways to network is online and LinkedIn is a great way to follow companies and keep up to date with what they are doing. You can also find contacts to reach out to and network with, which may increase the chance of a new connection making some helpful introductions. Further advice on setting up your LinkedIn profile, and using it for online professional networking, is available in The Ultimate LinkedIn Cheat Sheet and from LinkedIn. Watch out for Loughborough Uni events too that provide advice about using LinkedIn. Recruitment agencies often use LinkedIn as a way to find talent too, so make sure your profile is updated on LinkedIn so you can get noticed!
- Employer directories - There are several employer directories and listings available to help you research potential employers to approach:
- Inside Careers - Chartered Accountancy
- Inside Careers - The Actuarial Profession
- Inside Careers - The Insurance Profession
- Inside Careers - Patent Attourneys
- The Guardian UK 300 Top Graduate Employers
- The Job Crowd: The Top Companies for Graduates to Work For
- Times Top 100 Graduate Employers
Loughborough campus is home to LUSEP - a collective of over 90 organisations from start-ups to global organisations. They advertise roles available – take a look to find out more.
There are also numerous business parks all over the UK in all cities and towns. Search for local business parks, visit the area and see if there are any companies that take your interest. You can then contact the organisations and ask for work experience.
Sectors and organisation sizes to consider
It is important to consider what sort of employer and sector you would prefer to work for based on your own values and motivations. See the following examples of the most common sectors and organisation sizes:
- Charity: Charitable organisations run a kind of business that fits within the nonprofit organisation (NPO) category. They can be run publicly or privately. Some charities may be centered around religious, educational or other public interest activities that are philanthropic in nature.
- Public: The public sector covers areas run by government services (local and central). The composition of the public sector varies by country, but in most countries the public sector includes services such as the police, military, infrastructure, education, healthcare and safeguarding.
- Private: The private sector is not run by goverment services, but run by companies to make profit.
- Large graduate employers: these businesses have typically over 250 employees (and can be in any sector)
- Smaller businesses: are organisations with anything under 250 employees (again these can be within any sector). For more information on small to medium sized businesses, see our PDF:
- Working for a smaller business
To get a better understanding of your work preferences based on your personality, values and motivation, you can complete the Type Dynamics Indicator Form O. This can be found within Profiling For Success in the Online Tools section.
Explore opportunities around the world
Studying or working abroad and gaining vital international experience will help you to continue to develop many more transferable skills, such as communication, curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. You will pick up knowledge of other countries and cultures and become more confident, open-minded and self-aware.
These skills can be applied to a wide range of different jobs, activities and industries and are highly sought after by future employers. While you are busy broadening your horizons, you will acquire some great life-skills for the future.
We are also supporting International Summer Internships! There are a host of exciting summer internships abroad to apply for – all of which will give you invaluable employability skills and widen your experience.
PLUS: Funding available! If you are successful in securing one of these roles you could apply for Turing Funding to help towards your travel and day to day costs while abroad. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, and further resources on opportunities in other countries, see our Working abroad section.
Don't miss Going Global! This provides global career intelligence and expert advice on how to find a job or internship in your dream location or close to home.
Apply speculatively for jobs and work experience
Many students are successful in securing an advertised opportunity with an employer. But in industry sectors where formal work experience programmes are not widespread, you should also consider making speculative applications.
Identifying hidden or ‘unadvertised’ opportunities
- Firstly, decide on the type of sector, company and role you are interested in. You can get help with this from the Careers Network team and it’s also useful to talk about your ideas with tutors, family and friends, or employers.
- Secondly, consider other factors including possible locations, where you might live and your financial situation.
- Find relevant employer directories and use professional or industrial bodies to select companies that interest you and identify where they are located. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for it can be useful to search by type of company and/or specific location. Being ‘flexible’ is helpful, but company research can be time consuming so it’s good to narrow down your search. You can then research organisations via their websites, online articles and news reports.
- You can also identify employers you’d like to target by researching graduate destinations from your course, vacancy sites, sector information and job profiles on websites such as www.prospects.ac.uk and www.targetjobs.co.uk. You might need to ‘go the extra mile’ to find unadvertised or new specialist opportunities, or to persuade a company that they need you on their team!
Researching and creating links with employers
- Once you have established that your preferred companies are not currently advertising a placement or job you can then work on a strategy for approaching them.
- Following them on social media and talking to them at careers fairs is great for obtaining named contacts or advice on applying.
- You will then need to formulate your speculative, tailored applications and you’ll get the best response by finding a named person to send them to.
Making contacts and promoting yourself to employers
- When writing speculatively to an employer, briefly introduce yourself, who you are, what you are studying and what you are looking for in terms of workshadowing a placement or graduate role. Be clear about the type of experience you are looking for, but show your willingness to be flexible too.
- Then explain your interest in the company and work area, and say how this relates to your career aspirations. Give the employer some further reasons to take an interest in you (your interests and skills, other work experience or relevant training) remembering to relate this to the experience requested.
- Finally, tell them about your availability and attach your CV. Close your message positively and politely, reiterating your interest, willingness to provide any further information and your hope to hear from them soon.
- Always use a professional tone and double check your grammar and spelling. You could consider sending a letter through the post, enclosing your CV - both printed on good quality paper. This might help your application stand out more, than one among hundreds of emails!
Following up your request
- If you don’t receive a response to your request within a couple of weeks, don’t give up. You have to strike a balance between making allowances for busy professionals, who may be frequently away from their desks, and allowing your message to be overlooked and left un-actioned.
- Follow up with at least one more email, or make a phone call if you can obtain a direct number. Make sure you show respect for your contact’s busy schedule and thank them for their time. If you have been professional and polite you shouldn’t be afraid of following up your application, nor of people saying ‘no’. It’s just part of the journey towards getting a ‘yes’!
Arranging a short period of work experience or work shadowing
It isn’t realistic to expect to arrange a 45-week placement or a graduate job from a speculative email alone; it can take a little more work than that. The advice in ‘Networking to find opportunities’ (below) will help you to develop contacts and establish relationships with employers who are more likely to be able to help and to consider an approach which unfolds in stages.
TOP TIPS for contacting employers
Whatever your approach, the following will get you closer to what you are searching for.
Reflect: Be clear what sort of work experience you are looking for and why. What are your interests and future career hopes, what do you want to learn and how will this take you forward with your career planning? If you can answer these questions confidently, you will be able to sell yourself more effectively to a prospective work experience host, than someone who just wants to get anything on their CV.
Do your research: Whether it’s a year placement, a 3-month internship or two days’work shadowing, the employer will be looking for motivation. Demonstrate a genuine interest in the organisation and the role by doing some background research and be ready to show your understanding of what they do, what’s going on in their sector and how this relates to your own career plans.
Make an ‘Elevator Pitch’: Devise and practise an “elevator pitch” i.e. a clear and succinct explanation (ready to go, whatever the situation) of who you are, what you’re looking for, and what you have to offer. Then you’ll be ready to network and sell yourself with confidence wherever you are. You never know who might get into the lift with you or who you might be sitting next to on the train!
Be flexible: Even if you want two or three months’ solid work experience it’s often more productive to ask for less initially. Many professionals are busy, but would actually like to help. Consider asking for an ‘information interview’ to begin with (see the Network tab below). People love to talk about themselves and how they’ve got to where they are in their careers, and are willing to spare time to do this. Once you’ve established a relationship in this way, it can lead to further work shadowing, more contacts within that organisation and potentially some lengthier work experience.
Be proactive and resilient: Use research and networking to seek out hidden opportunities. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone, playing detective, being creative and solving problems, are behaviours that will build your confidence and increase your chances of finding the work experience you need, setting you on the path to future career success.
Network to find opportunities
Networking is a valuable life skill which will help you as a student, a graduate and throughout your career. It requires practice, but with the opportunities and support available to you at Loughborough, using it to uncover placements and work experience or search for graduate roles is the perfect time to start building your network.
As well as the advice below, you can refer to the Careers Network resources:
- Networking for career planning and job search
- Using social media and LinkedIn for your job search
- LinkedIn checklist
Networking can be defined as the ability to interact with other people to exchange information, and develop contacts, helping you to discover opportunities and make decisions. You will have already begun to learn this skill at University and it will become one of the most important skills you develop to enhance your future career success.
The idea of networking is to approach your existing contacts for help and advice and then tap into their network to make further useful contacts. Gradually, you can build up a wide range of contacts which then become part of your network. This process is reciprocal and in time you will be able to give back to your network and share your own experiences in areas where others need help.
Networking to find jobs and work experience
By developing a network of professional contacts, you can access advice and support from people working in your chosen industry and explore possible placement and work experience opportunities. During and following a placement you can continue to widen your network when investigating graduate opportunities and beyond.
Effective networking will help you to:
- learn more about the roles, routes into a profession and current issues within that sector
- get noticed and stand out to potential employers
- develop confidence and knowledge which will appeal to potential recruiters
- gain work shadowing and/or work experience.
Finding people to network with
Start connecting with people in your immediate network; friends, family, University contacts and people you know through employment, volunteering or social activities, at University and at home. Make it known you are actively looking for experience or a job in your chosen sector. Ask if they know anyone that might be able to help you with information, advice or further contacts.
Don’t overlook other contacts that might be close by, e.g. at the gym or hairdressers. If you have a part time job working with the public or train at a sports club, you might meet people every day, without realising it, that could help or put you in contact with someone who can.
Making new connections
At University you can find new contacts in a variety of ways: at careers fairs; individual employer events on campus; presentations by external speakers invited in by your School; the Students’ Union or student societies; and by connecting with Loughborough alumni.
Student membership of a professional body for your chosen career area can be an excellent source of contacts; many have online forums and regional and national activities.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels can also help with your research.
Approaching your contacts
Successful networking takes research and preparation. You probably want to do this quickly but it is not something you should rush. Research each contact before approaching them and find out about their role and their organisation if relevant. This will give you information which could impress them later in the process.
Consider your aims and prepare a list of questions and things you want to know about. Your initial contact with them is likely to be via email, but try and arrange to speak to them via telephone or video call, or in person if possible, depending on where they are geographically and the type of information you are seeking.
Whatever your approach, introduce yourself concisely, explain where you got their contact details and briefly outline the purpose of your enquiry. If you have already met them in person (e.g. at a careers fair) then mention when and where. If the contact doesn’t respond, try again a few weeks later. If you still have no luck, don’t hassle them – try another person.
One of the fastest and most accessible ways to network is online. LinkedIn was one of the first tools created to enable you to connect with others and showcase your online CV via your LinkedIn profile. Further advice on setting up your LinkedIn profile, and using it for online professional networking, is available in The Ultimate LinkedIn Cheat Sheet, from LinkedIn and in the Careers Network
A good place to start is with an alumni search to seek out Loughborough graduates who have gone into work areas you are interested in, and contact them to ask their advice on how to get experience in their company or sector.
Once someone has agreed to give you some of their time, or meet you in person, an information interview is where you can ask your questions, to get an understanding of their job role and insight into their experiences in the sector.
Your questions might include:
- Can you describe your current role?
- What skills/qualifications/experiences were vital in getting into this career area?
- What are typical career paths in your field?
- How is your profession changing?
- Can you suggest useful sources of information for finding work placements or internships?
Remember this is not a recruitment interview to get you a job, so ask questions to develop your knowledge rather than making a ‘sales pitch’. Having said this, towards the end of your information interview you could ask for a work shadowing or work experience opportunity, or how you might proceed to discuss setting up an internship or graduate job.
Always follow up any discussion with a thank you email. Review your notes about the conversation and take any action suggested. Remember to be polite and professional at all times and use discretion where needed.
Use labour market information to research opportunities
The home of student and graduate labour market information from Prospects. Providing a fresh voice for the sector, it is aimed at careers advisers, recruiters, employers and anyone interested in LMI. Luminate features advice, views, trends and dissects the latest research.
PROSPECTS Luminate presents national first-degree graduate destinations 15 months after graduation, with data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency's Graduate Outcomes survey.
This research reports on The Graduate Market including an annual review of graduate vacancies and starting salaries of Britain's leading employers. It also includes factors employers consider when deciding to hire a graduate.
Labour market conditions for graduates, postgraduates and non-graduates living in England. This includes a breakdown of graduate outcomes by different subcategories, such as gender.
Estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment related statistics for the UK.
Sector and country-specific information about how jobs are changing and what skills workers may need to stay competitive in the new world of work.
The future of Jobs Report explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years. An analysis of employer expectations provides new insights into how socio-economic and technology trends will shape the workplace of the future.
Information on industries across the Leicestershire area.
Labour market information from Vitae.
Consider self-employment or starting up a business
To find explore how you might become self-employed or set up your own business visit our webpage here.
You can get further information on the Loughborough Enterprise Network website.
It is also possible to work on starting or growing a business during your placement year, and there is great support available from the University. Start by talking to your School’s Placement Officer.
Move into the workplace
Once you have accepted an offer of a job or placement, explore what might be expected of you in your new role, using our top tips on
Loughborough University London – Digital Skills Work Insight Projects
The Loughborough University London Digital Skills programme aims to provide students with hand-on experiences. It gives opportunities to gain insight and experience with a range of start-ups, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), charities and not-for-profit organisations.
The Digital Skills programme is a two-part project with the aim to improve digital skills. It offers workshops and the chance for students to participate in virtual work insight projects. As part of the programme, London-based start-ups and SMEs offer a minimum of a 30-hour insight project to a Loughborough University London master's student.
It enables students to gain experience, grow your network and expand your CV by collaborating with an external organisation through a Work insight project. Previous projects have focused on a number of areas including digital content creation, SEO research, app development, social media/digital marketing, product design, web development and lots more. You can register for the programme through the Future Space LEARN page LLP700.