THE INDUSTRY IN LONDON
From the Silicon Roundabout to Maker’s Mile, London is one of the leading business centers of the world, host to the world headquarters of small, medium and large companies in a dizzying array of sectors. Students looking to learn about business will find ample opportunity to gain international workplace skills while learning about what it takes to start, grow and maintain a company in the thriving, competitive and collaborative London atmosphere.
In the past decades, London has been host to a start-up explosion, especially in the tech sector, which rivals the growth of places like Silicon Valley in the US. In particular, development near the Old Street roundabout has seen the conversion of East London’s warehouses and factories into thriving new centers of entrepreneurship. Areas like Hackney – near the site of the 2012 Olympic Park – are home to a revitalized hub of design studios and workshops, making everything from artisan foods and fashions to 3D-printed tools and art.
Such is the demand for low-cost and flexible workspace for new companies that collaborative co-working spaces have mushroomed around London, occupying nearly every quirky nook and converted cranny as keen professionals seek to make their mark on London’s exciting business and start-up culture.
The companies we work with are mostly small-to-medium sized (not large companies). Learn more here.
Students who choose Business & Entrepreneurship may be placed in any of the opportunities below. If a particular sub-area catches your eye, let us know on your MyInternship form.
Business Management & Administration (XX= Most Popular)
From day-to-day operations to strategic planning, experience what it really takes to run a business. Expect to assist with a wide variety of tasks, from customer service and sales to data and office management. You may also assist with projects, reports or research tasks to help the company achieve its short and long-term goals.
Start-ups & Entrepreneurial Companies (XX= Most Popular)
Few things are more exciting and challenging than working for a company which is less than ten years old. Funding might be tight, but that only increases the creativity as everyone – even an intern – has an opportunity to make a real impact on the company’s future. Interns should be ready to help with any task – right alongside the founders – as everyone pitches in to make the company a success. While tasks may be similar to a business management and administration placement, many start-ups have the added urgency of “make or break” deadlines and client pitches. Will you be an intern at The Next Big Thing?
The most important asset of any company is its people, and (wise!) companies invest a lot in recruiting, compensating, and developing their employees. Interns in this area may work for a specialized recruitment firm, an internal human resources department, or on a team dedicated to compliance, health and safety, or training and development. Tasks could include reviewing profiles and screening candidates, preparing or assisting with interviews, assisting with annual reviews or compliance, data management, reporting or other processes and procedures. Interns in these placements not only learn about how business works but are likely to gain tips on how to make themselves a better candidate in the future!
Real Estate & Property Management
An internship in real estate or property management will give students insight into the UK property market, both residential and commercial. Tasks may include working with clients in person or over the phone, researching and visiting properties, assisting with quotes and negotiation, and preparing reports. Placement types include estate agencies, tenant and landlord service providers, and specialized property managers.
Tourism & Hospitality
Students with interest or experience in tourism and hospitality can learn a lot from working with a travel or booking agency, a hospitality provider (including food and accommodation services), or a company which provides support service to the industry. London is known as a travel and hospitality destination, but the British are also well known for their interest in foreign travel, traveling proportionally more than almost any other nationality. Tasks may include research, writing copy, soliciting and preparing reviews, events planning, client liaison and data management. In this sector, language skills are an important bonus.
Trade & Policy Organizations
Business is an important and influential part of the British economy, so many companies participate in member organizations which seek to influence trade and policy both within the UK and internationally. Interns in these organizations may assist with research projects, report and policy writing, membership surveys and data collection, events planning and campaigning. Placements in this area would especially suit a student whose experience and academic studies encompass both business as well as politics, international relations or global studies.
REALITIES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
All placement sites expect students to be open to a variety of tasks and demonstrate an understanding of applied business principles. Be ready to engage flexibly with tasks which may change from day to day or even hour by hour to respond to customer needs.
Business encompasses a huge variety of sectors, so if there is a particular sector or type of business which interests you, tell us on your MyInternship form and make sure highlight the skills and experience which make you a strong candidate for your preferred type of company.
As students are seeking a placement in Britain, any and all placements will be, by definition, international. London is a global city, so there will be great variation in the national origins of business owners, employees, and clients – they may not be all be British, and English may not be their first language! A London business internship is an exciting opportunity to interact with professionals and understand business practices outside of your home country.
- Applied knowledge of business (previous experience in a business is preferred) and an understanding of current trends
- Hard-working and goal orientated
- Strong computer and analytical skills, especially programs like Excel, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and project management software
- Strong team player, ready to work for the benefit of company’s aims
- Ability to maintain and develop good relationships
Relevant academic experience. Applicable majors include Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Management, Economics, Marketing, Politics and International Relations.
TIPS AND TRICKS: SHOWING YOU'RE A STRONG CANDIDATE
- Companies are keen to have interns with developed business skills, so make sure to highlight your previous work experience and the skills you have developed in customer service, working with people, following procedures, and working with data
- List by name any programs you are familiar with, like Excel, PowerPoint, customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce, or project management tools such as Trello.
- List any language skills and your level of proficiency.