Graduate internships

An internship is where a graduate is employed to gain relevant professional experience before embarking on a career. Well managed, high quality internships should be beneficial to both University and intern.  

The intern will develop professional or specialist skills and an understanding of a profession by undertaking work of a value for the University. He/she will gain valuable work experience and develop their knowledge of the work place, these transferable skills will enhance employability.

There are clear business benefits to running a good internship scheme, such as gaining a new and motivated member of staff, and bringing new skills and perspectives to your team. Managers will benefit from having an enthusiastic and able graduate who can contribute towards a project or other work areas and have an additional resource at relatively low cost. The internship will also add to the ‘Loughborough Experience’ of our students and contribute to the employment statistics of our graduates.

If you are a manager and you would like to benefit from employing a graduate intern, please use the information on this page as advice and guidance for both the department and the intern.

Job family and grade

The AD3 Intern position will focus on the development aspects of the role, the internship is about gaining valuable experience and transferable skills.

The intern position will be for a fixed period of time and should be structured in a way to ensure work experiences, and learning objectives are met.

Role Summary:

Intern: Specific duties/projects, basic, but also developmental in nature

Grade 3: Ongoing, operational job. Individual will have development opportunities but these aren’t incorporated into the job role


This scheme is available to recent Loughborough graduates, i.e. those who have just graduated or are about to graduate from undergraduate programmes at Loughborough. Exceptions to this should only be made if the School/Service can demonstrate specialised needs that would not be fulfilled by Loughborough University undergraduate programmes.

Intern positions are for a maximum of 52 weeks.

Process and time frames

Typically interns will start on 1 August.  This means that the manager will be need to plan and organise the advertising and selection process, well in advance, to secure the strongest field of applicants and ensure the intern is ready to start on that date.

Here is a summary of actions required:


  • Identify the work or projects for which the intern will be responsible, and the team and colleagues they will work with.
  • Establish how the internship will provide the intern with a genuine opportunity to acquire skills and experience relevant to a future career.
  • Identify the skills and personal attributes that the intern needs to demonstrate.
  • Prepare an induction programme and provide support as necessary.
  • Consider the roles and responsibilities of the manager and intern.

Prepare the Job Description and Person Specification

Having considered the role and the skills required to perform it, the Job Description and Person Specification should be drafted.

The job title should include ‘Graduate Intern’.

Include within the ‘Job Purpose’ an indication that this is part of a one year training and development programme and where relevant, studying towards a relevant professional qualification.

Qualifications, Essential requirement will be:

Degree from Loughborough University     (expected July 20XX)

Time frames

Internships should ideally be advertised by February to ensure they reach students while they are still at the University, and for some, time to consider retaining accommodation.

Ideally, internships (from all schools and professional areas) should be advertised at around the same time i.e. in February, so the students are aware of all the opportunities available.

January Preparation of Job Description and Person Specification
February Advertise
March Graduates apply
April Closing Date
Early May Shortlist
Mid May Interview
Late May Offer Posts, Issue Contracts, Receive signed contracts back
August Interns start


Graduate Intern posts will be advertised on the usual Loughborough University online vacancy notices and, in addition, through the Careers team on their website. Intern opportunities will also be communicated directly to students through The Student Noticeboard.

Managers should send their advertising requests to the Recruitment Team asking them to also advertise on the Careers Online website. 


It is important to provide a structured welcome for the intern.  This will help them to become a fully integrated team member.

The induction plan should cover:

  • Introduction to colleagues and team. 
  • Consideration of a mentor for ongoing support. (to help build a supportive working relationship and act as a point of contact for any concerns)
  • A tour of the facilities
  • Explain the University's culture and values as an employer and what is expected of employees.

Development planning for interns

Positive development should be planned for interns. Along with on-the-job learning, development will include:

  • Mandatory programmes (e.g. Welcome to Loughborough)
  • Personal development, (Intern Development programmes etc)
  • Role specific training (IT, Finance, HR, Marketing, Research office, Alumni etc) including professional qualification in these areas, if appropriate.

Intern development is also  featured in the programmes of the Organisational Development service of People and Organisational Development.

To help interns and managers, a template of a Learning and Development Journal and a Learning and Development Plan can be downloaded.  The link is below. 


Throughout the year, interns are expected to keep a journal of their learning events and their development activities. This will enable them to log their experiences and the projects they have completed, assisting them with their CV and future employability.

A Learning and Development Journal can be downloaded from below.

As the internship draws to a close, it is good practice for the line manager to arrange a final review meeting with the intern, to discuss a number of areas such as: 

  • What the intern learned and how have they developed over this internship?
  • How well they think they have met their objectives?
  • What have been their main achievements?
  • What projects have they completed or contributed to?
  • In what ways are they better prepared for the jobs market after completing the internship?
  • How well have they performed?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What areas of development is it suggested that they concentrate on for the future?

This will help the manager identify the benefits they have gained from employing the intern and how the intern has helped to meet the teams objectives. This also benefits the intern by focusing on what they have achieved and how they have developed themselves, this reflective process will be helpful when applying for further employment.

Intern exit questionnaire

An Exit Questionnaire has been produced specifically for Interns and this should be used rather than the usual University Exit Questionnaire. An Exit Interview, or completion of the Intern Exit Questionnaire, will provide an opportunity to improve the programme and gain valuable insight into how well it operates.  

The Intern Exit Questionnaire is available electronically and should be submitted online.