Recruiters estimate that 37% of this year’s entry level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work – and therefore are not open to other students from the Class of 2014.
Source: The Graduate Market in 2014 High Fliers Research  

Doing an internship is a great opportunity to enhance your CV and make you ‘stand out from the crowd’ when it comes to getting your graduate level job. It’s also a great way to try something out before making a longer term commitment to a specific career area; as well as an opportunity to develop your network, which can prove invaluable when job-hunting. You can find some profiles of UCD students who have benefited from doing internships in the UCD Career Guide.

Academic internships/Placements

If you are a student registered on an academic programme that includes an internship module you have a great opportunity to:

  • put theory into practice
  • acquire new skills and knowledge - personal and work-related
  • enhance your employment potential on graduation

It is important that you liaise with the person in your School who has been assigned to look after the internship component of your programme. The person to contact may be the academic module coordinator, Internship Manager or another member of staff. You can find this out through your programme office.

Keep in touch with this contact person to ensure that you are advised about any specific procedures in place or documentation that you need to complete. In addition, depending on your programme, you may need to receive training or read specific policies in advance of going on the internship. The person assigned will guide you on what is required. 

After you have completed the internship don’t forget to update your CV.

Summer internships

If you don’t have the option to pursue an Internship via your programme, you can:

  • apply for advertised internships on Careers Connect or websites like
  • make speculative applications, i.e. send a tailored CV and cover letter to companies that you are interested in. Many students have been successful securing internships by approaching companies directly.

UCD Career Development Centre can help you to identify companies to apply to and also provide assistance with your applications.

There are plenty of on-campus opportunities to meet with organisations offering internships to UCD students. For example:

  • hundreds of companies hold recruitment events at UCD every year. You can use these events to learn about the company first hand, to network and to ask about internship possibilities. Events are advertised on Careers Connect, Facebook and Twitter.
  • every February the Career Development Centre hosts an Internships and Volunteering Fair. Here, a range of employers promote their internship opportunities to UCD students.

Top tips for finding an internship

1. Start early – competition can be fierce so you should start looking early in semester 1.

2. Do your research – use all of the resources available to you to identify major employers in your area of interest. You have nothing to lose by making an application, so don’t be afraid to think big.

3. Be persistent – you may need to submit many applications before you are successful.

4. Use your network – do you have any contacts who might be able to help you in your search? Can you find out if there are any current or former students who work or have worked in some of your target companies?

Useful websites

Careers Connect – online vacancies portal for UCD students and graduates – internship opportunities at some of Ireland’s top graduate recruiters

IAESTE Ireland - international internship opportunities for science and engineering students)

AIESEC – international student society providing a wide range of internship opportunities

European Movement Ireland - European internship opportunities