Careers and employability

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

More information about careers and employability

Careers Support for Work Experience and Internships

The Careers and Employability Centre provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

Ever wondered what it would be like to work in a New York Theatre?  Interested in working in the city? Fancy travelling to India to take part in a project to promote urban cycling?  Interested in public diplomacy, economics, media relations or PR, journalism or international affairs?  The University of Birmingham offers a range of work experience bursaries, where you can apply for up to £9,000 to help fund work experience or an internship, a research placement, or volunteering, anywhere in the world during the summer vacation. The funding can help you pay for accommodation costs, travel expenses, or living costs, and will help you rise above the competition.

Through our mentoring scheme, we also provide students in any year of undergraduate study with the opportunity to be mentored by successful Birmingham graduates from a diverse range of career backgrounds, such as marketing, finance, politics, and international affairs. In your final year of study you can also apply to be part of our Alumni Leadership Mentoring programme, and receive one-to-one mentoring from high-profile Birmingham alumni.  This year’s mentors include Martin Devenish, Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, and Mike Coupe, a director at J Sainsbury’s.

Find out more about support for work experience and internships, bursaries, or mentoring.

Case studies

Evgeniya Chalakova, Professional Development Module - Case Study Chamber of Commerce (2014)

Evgeniya Chalakova, Professional Development Module - Case Study Chamber of Commerce (2014)
Description
Course: BA International Relations with German.

Charlie Winch, Internship at the Westminster based think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (2013)

Charlie Winch, Internship at the Westminster based think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (2013)
Description
The IEA is the UK's original free-market thinktank and its mission statement is "to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems". Andrew Marr credited the institute with being"...undoubtedly the most influential think tank in modern British history".

Paula Stoleru, Internship at Birmingham City Council (2013)

Paula Stoleru, Internship at Birmingham City Council (2013)
Description
The project I was assigned during this internship focused on mapping the Third Sector organisations that are active in four different wards of Birmingham. This involved liaising with the managers of organisations, and other people involved in voluntary activities as well as local authorities such as councilors, police officers and policy advisors in order to gain as much information as possible regarding the level of cooperation between the 'public' and the 'third sector'.

Geraldine Tovey, Graduate Internship - Health Exchange (2014)

Geraldine Tovey, Graduate Internship - Health Exchange (2014)
Description
Geraldine studied International Relations and graduated in 2012. During her degree she focused on the political side of the course and completed internships within MP's offices in Birmingham, as well as part time jobs in retail.

Ioana Cerasella Chis, Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (2013)

Ioana Cerasella Chis, Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (2013)
Description
This summer I have been a Policy Intern in the Corporate Resources department at Birmingham City Council (BCC). As a Political Science and Sociology student, I have been interested in working in a Local Government institution. That was because I wanted to find out more about the possibilities and limitations of the public sector in collaborating with, and supporting community organisations. Given my current interests and knowledge generated from my two years of study at Birmingham I found that the internship met my expectations and provided valuable insights.

Katherine Nichol, Intern Birmingham City Council (2013)

Katherine Nichol, Intern Birmingham City Council (2013)
Description
During my four-week summer placement at Birmingham City Council, my role was based around shadowing the Director of Local Services.

Ayesha Harris, Microfinance Intern, Opportunity International, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Description
During the internship Ayesha's role was to create factsheets that would enable head office and the branch managers to better understand the characteristics of the small businesses that they lend to. She analysed data from the client applications as well as their stock information and loan data.

Ioana-Cristina Moraru, Human Rights Internship, Argentina

Description
Iona-Cristina's two month placement focused primarily on practical work within the Fundacion Ciudadanos del Mundo organisation in Argentina. Iona-Cristina planned her opportunity through an agency called Connect-123. Iona-Cristina's duties included helping immigrants and refugees who were in positions of social and legal vulnerability.

More student profiles 

Funding for work placements, research placements and internships
The Careers and Employability Centre offer a range of award schemes for students from a range of backgrounds that are looking to undertake a variety of work experience placements and internships.

 

Latest alumni profiles

Video: Sarah Jeffries, Public Management MSc (2013)

Description
Sarah Jeffries describes her experience of studying a MSc in Public Management at the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Public Administration and Development (Distance Learning) MSc (2013)

Description
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo describes his experience of studying an MSc Public Administration and Development by distance learning at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during his recent graduation.

More alumni profiles