Why would an SME hire me for an internship?

If you’re looking for an internship, sourcing your own can be a great way to find an opportunity with an organisation that you’re really interested in. 

For our SME Internship Scheme, we can offer funding to a small and medium enterprise (SME) to help them take you on for a paid internship. 

When you’re approaching SMEs to ask for an internship opportunity, it can feel like you’re asking for something which only you benefit from. However, it’s important to remember that an internship can be mutually beneficial, and SMEs in particular can reap big rewards from taking on a University of Bristol intern. 

Here’s four reasons why recruiting aintern can be good for a small business: 

  • Increase productivity & save money: hiring an intern is a cost-effective way of employing a highly motivated individual, keen to make a contribution. The short-term additional support of an intern can be a perfect way for a small organisation to build capacity to complete a specific project or piece of work. 
  • Helping the organisation stay current: a student can help an SME keep up to date with latest tech and other social, entertainment and market trends but their real value lies beyond employment as a ‘Social Media and Marketing’ intern.  Today’s degree courses encourage critical thinking, innovation, ideation, problem solving and many other transferrable skills. The real value of an internship lies in creating a role where you can have a meaningful impact on an organisation. 
  • Test drive graduate talent  developing a talent pipeline: recruiting the right person into a small business can be hard to navigate; an internship is a low-risk way for organisations to bring a new personality into the workplace. There is no obligation for them to offer you more work, but further employment is often a happy outcome of an internship: 59% of interns on our SME Internship Scheme secure further work with that employer as a result of their work experience.  

And finally, 

  • Give something back: an internship will help you gain practical experience of the workplace, develop your professional skills, add to your CV, make industry contacts and countless other benefits. They will be providing a student at the start of their career with exposure to the world of small business, giving you invaluable insight. 

The University of Bristol SME Internship Scheme provides funding for UK-based SMEs, including charities, social enterprises and start-ups to support full-time or part-time internships of at least 4 weeks (140 hours) in duration. Find out more about our schemes.  

We’ve made a guide to help you source your own internship opportunity, you can read it here.