Internships where you won’t just be making the coffee!

NEWTON University is launching a careers centre to support students to find paid internships where they can put their skills and knowledge into practice. We met up with the centre’s head, Andrea Kráslová, to discuss the purpose of the centre, and how it will support students to find internships, and to define their future career path.

At NEWTON there’s a lot of emphasis on practical experience. Students need to accumulate 480 hours of work experience during their undergraduate studies. Why is it so important?

People used to believe that the university years were just for education, and that students should wait until after they graduated to gain real world work experience in their first job. Luckily, we no longer operate this way, especially in the fields of economics and business.

Work experience enables students to explore different career options without having to commit to a long-term contract, which will ultimately help them find a path that matches their interests and values. They also gain different competencies than we’re able to teach in the classroom, and become used to the rhythms and schedule of the workday, which is valuable experience.

Additionally, in today’s job market, employers expect applicants to have work experience, as well as a degree – and if they don’t they’ll be passed over for someone who does.

And how are students able to fit so much work experience into their studies?

NEWTON supports students in every way we can, giving them lots of flexibility over when and how they study. We operate a three-day timetable, and also offer one of the most comprehensive online learning programmes in the country, so that students can watch lectures when it suits them.

How do students find suitable internships?

Well, that’s why we've opened the NEWTON Careers Center! We match students to internships, based on their interests and career ambitions. And we don’t just wait for students to come to us. We have seven ambassadors – students across the year groups who identify with our values and work with us to spread the word about interesting internships, as well as to promote our lectures and workshops to their classmates.

What else do you offer at the careers centre?

We help students define their personal brand and strengths, and we give advice on how to impress on LinkedIn and in interviews.

We also support students to get the most out of their internships. For example, we organise colloquium meetings, which means that at the end of the semester we meet with students in small groups and talk about their experiences, reflect on what they enjoyed and what they didn't enjoy about the internship. This is really useful, as it can help them to structure their next steps.

What kind of internships do you recommend to students?

We have lots of companies who we regularly cooperate with, and now have long-term agreements in place with. And we’re regularly approached by new companies, so we’re always adding to our list of partners. In addition, we’re approaching organisations that we’re interested in developing a relationship with, including in the non-profit and government sectors, so we’re really expanding the list of opportunities for our students.

Current partners include companies such as Nestlé, Philips and Coca-Cola. The internships cover a lot of different business areas, including online marketing, copywriting, business psychology, finance, HR, and more. Any of our students can find and apply for the current vacancies on the Newton Careers Facebook page.

If the internship is as part of a degree, are the students paid while they’re working?

The vast majority of the internships we recommend are paid – we believe that it’s important that internships are recognised as a service provided by the student, and that they’re paid for their time.

Does the careers centre have a motto?

My colleagues and I have agreed on three values for the NEWTON Careers Centre that capture what we believe in, and why we do this work.

The first is that everyone should have a job that they enjoy – and our aim is to help them discover it. The second is that seeing good examples of what can be achieved inspires and pushes others to achieve more; we want to know about and support those good examples from within the student body. And the third and final one is that fortune favours the prepared – good outcomes don't just fall into your lap.

NEWTON College recently changed its name to NEWTON University, to support our international growth ambitions. Find out more about our internationalisation plans, as well as our newly-launched Business Accelerator.