BUIP: internships devoted to Birmingham undergraduates

Sarah, BUIP intern in Careers Network, summer 2017

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This title states the obvious – after all, BUIP stands for Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme – but the name highlights why this internship scheme offers more than those in other organisations. As you are probably aware, it can be difficult to get meaningful work experience as an undergraduate: from my perspective as a College of Arts and Law student, we hear of the large, prestigious companies that are highly competitive and sometimes inaccessible due to their location (like London) or their unpaid placements. The BUIP programme on the other hand is open to non-final year undergraduates only, including first years like me, and you work on campus over the summer. The main attraction though is having responsibility over your own project. Far from the status of student being held against you, instead you are valued for your work and insight. It is a paid internship where you are treated as a colleague rather than an extra. I have really appreciated the supportive environment and the many benefits of doing an internship at the university rather than externally.

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BUIP Internship – Student Policy Communications Project Co-ordinator.

By Bukky Oluyole, BUIP Intern

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By donald judge [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I had heard about the Birmingham University Internship Programme since my first year. I applied for some roles in my first year, but I didn’t get through. I knew my applications weren’t as strong now that I look back. Having spent an exchange year in Chicago, I knew I had to come back and spend my summer doing some sort of work experience/internship. I awaited the opening of BUIP and applied to five roles, I got invited to three interviews and I finally landed the role of Student Policy Communications Project Co-ordinator. To be quite honest, I didn’t think much into my expectations of the role, I was just excited to have finally landed an internship and I was certain that no matter what I did, it would improve my employability skills in some shape or manner.

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Why do we think the icing should be perfect on the first attempt? My Internship as a PGR Online Gateway Officer with the University Graduate School

By Jasmin Samra, BUIP Intern

Over the summer, I have been working with the University Graduate School (UGS) team as a Postgraduate Researcher Online Gateway Officer.

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By Francisclarke (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

I would say that there are three core reasons to why I applied for the BUIP programme. Being an undergraduate student, I never really thought much about what actually goes on ‘behind the scenes’ at a University, but it is something that seemed interesting. BUIP was the perfect opportunity to delve deep into the world of Higher Education (HE). Furthermore, I like to take part in projects that make a real difference to a group of individuals and I felt that a project within HE would allow me to make a positive contribution to a student community. Lastly, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and manage a project by myself for the first time so that I could build upon my project management skills from my previous internship where I also co-managed a project.

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