Students Staff

8 April 2014

Our Graduate Interns make an impact

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 12:14 pm
Graduates with the Essex Interns team

Our graduates with the Essex Interns team

The new targeted Graduate Internships programme is making a real difference within the University and beyond. A total of 40 interns started roles in January and the feedback has been incredibly positive from within the University and from external employers.

The Essex Interns scheme, working in partnership Santander Universities, has seen interns placed in various positions at the University or with local, regional and national employers taking on a huge range of roles from project officers and market researchers to social media managers.

So far five interns have been offered permanent positions following their placement, nine have had their internships extended and another has progressed onto a fully-funded research Masters thanks directly to the experience he gained from his internship. The Essex Interns team is waiting to hear whether other internship opportunities will be extended or made permanent too.

The insights our graduate internships provide are amongst the things most appreciated by employers. For example, Alex Porter an intern within the School of Law found his research on pre and post- nuptial agreements covered by a local newspaper and legal bloggers during his placement.

The project was launched in the autumn to provide recent graduates with vital opportunities to develop their skills and strengthen their CVs within a challenging job market, while also offering companies the chance to boost their business by accessing fresh ideas and talent.

The scheme provided financial support to those offering placements, to enable internships where otherwise they might not exist, and to allow employers to attract highly qualified graduates at an affordable cost.

The feedback received from graduates has been very positive. One intern told the Essex Interns team: “Without this internship, I would have been unable to provide a good [work-based] example and ultimately secure myself the position at EDF Energy.”

Another intern said: “Thank you for all the support your fantastic team is offering us. You really work hard and make an impact, not only to us, but to the whole of the University.”

Employment Engagement Manager Susan Stedman said: “The Essex Interns team is really pleased to see such positive feedback from our graduate interns and those offering the placements. It shows the impact the Employability and Careers Centre can have and the opportunities we can offer our students and graduates.

“The fact that many interns have seen their contracts extended and at least four so far have secured permanent roles shows the strength of our graduates and the positive impact they had in their placements.”

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6 March 2014

Intern adds “extra insight” into pre-nup study

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 4:54 pm

Research conducted by one of our graduate interns has shown that lawyers have seen a 73% rise in the use of pre and post- nuptial agreements in the last two decades.

Alex Porter

Alex Porter

With the Law Commission proposing that pre and post-nuptial agreements should be legally binding only last month, Alex Porter has been analysing the work of legal professionals involved in such marital property agreements (MPAs).

His project, which has seen him survey professionals across the legal sector, is part of a major study led by Dr Laure Sauvé from the School of Law. Her project will analyse the latest report by the Law Commission using a comparative approach. She is currently exploring the differences between English and French laws.

Alex’s online survey has shown that 79% of respondents completed between one and five MPAs per month. It also revealed that very few MPAs are applied in full once they get to court: just 5% of respondents said courts applied the details of the MPA in full; 76% said courts applied the details of MPAs in part; and 19% said courts had not applied any details of MPAs.

Alex’s work has been important to help put the wider study into context. Dr Sauvé explained that “the purpose was to identify the practical issues met in the application of the current law. By questioning professionals, Alex has been able to establish the frequency of marital property agreements and who uses them. He also learnt more about the expectations of these professionals and their opinions regarding the proposed reforms.”

She added: “This survey will be a real asset for my project as I have a clearer view of what kind of practical consequences the reform will produce. I believe that having a graduate as an intern assistant gives any researcher extra insight into their project.”

Alex, who is a 2013 graduate in LLB Law, explained why the experience has been useful to him: “It is a rare opportunity to be able to work as a legal research assistant and this post has given me experience that I would almost certainly have not been able to gain anywhere else. It will be invaluable in looking for future work. I would like to thank the University, School of Law, Internship Office and Dr Sauvé for this opportunity.”

Find out more about Alex’s research findings on his blog.

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14 January 2014

New Year brings new prospects for 2013 graduates

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 11:04 am
graduate interns Borislava Borovanska and Joshua Neville at our Colchester Campus

New graduate interns Borislava Borovanska and Joshua Neville at our Colchester Campus

A new graduate internship project, launched by the University in partnership with Santander Universities, begins the New Year in full force this week as 40 graduates from 2013 start new roles at the University or with local, regional and national employers.

The internship scheme, looking to eventually provide first class opportunities to over 60 graduates, will see interns working in various positions from project officers and market researchers to social media managers.

Borislava Borovanska, who is now working as Stakeholder Manager and Project Officer in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, said: “I believe this will be really useful to me for my future career and it will allow me to develop many valuable skills.”

Joshua Neville, who started a three month internship in the Communications Office at Essex on Monday, said: “In a highly competitive market, where employers not only look for academic excellence but also broad work experience, the Essex Interns Graduate Project shows just how invested the University of Essex is in their students and graduates. An Essex student has a large variety of opportunities available during their studies, and the graduate internship scheme looks set to build on that to propel Essex graduates into the workplace and help them stand out from the crowd.”

The project has proved to be a success with strong support from employers and is providing fantastic work opportunities to compliment the high academic achievements of Essex graduates. As the scheme provides £1,500 to enable the employment of an Essex Intern (towards the wages of the interns), it is not only the graduates but the employers who reap the rewards of the scheme by having highly qualified graduates providing fresh ideas and input at an affordable cost.

Employment Engagement Manager Susan Stedman said: “There was a very tight deadline for this pilot project, but the reaction from employers and the University has been amazing. We are really pleased to have helped so many graduates into paid internship placements and we will be continuing to work to make sure other graduates are able to benefit from the internships we offer. We hope these placements will really make a difference to the lives of our graduates and also benefit the organisations they are going into.”

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12 March 2013

Apply for Frontrunners

Filed under: Student experience — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:58 pm

University staff can apply for Frontrunner placements now, starting in either September or October 2013. The closing date for applications is Friday 19 April 2013 at 12 noon. For more information and details of how to apply please e-mail Frontrunners or follow the link below.
[Frontrunners: read more]

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5 March 2013

Skills boost for students

Filed under: Student experience — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 2:20 pm

Student skills boostThe University Skills Centre is offering more one-to-one academic skills support for students thanks to the appointment of four new team members on the Frontrunner Plus in-house internships scheme. All four are postgraduate and research students from different disciplines, chosen for their own high levels of academic literacy skills and experience in mentoring.

Based in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) room 4.204 at our Colchester Campus, they will work alongside the existing team to offer support to students on all stages of academic essay and assignment preparation, including interpreting assignment questions, planning and structuring an essay, good practice in citation and referencing, and achieving good academic style.

Students can now book tutorials through the LRC Librarian, all of which last for 30 minutes and are free of charge.

The LRC is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and offers a small lending library and study area, available to all University students and staff.

Email: to find out more and visit the University Skills Centre website and our Facebook page.

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