Get funding for your work experience

At the University we think it is really important that all students have the opportunity to undertake work experience. The Careers Network offer a number of work experience bursaries, which could support you financially during your chosen placement. The full list of bursaries is available on the Funding for Internships webpage.

Alumnus Jonathon Nicholls (BSci Maths, 2016) talks about his experience of applying for the Gateway Bursary, its importance to his career development and his tips for future bursary applicants.

Why did you decide to apply for the Gateway bursary?

I had a fantastic opportunity to do a ten week placement as Gazprom Marketing and Trading in London. However, London is an exceptionally expensive place to live, especially in short term rented accommodation. Without the support of the bursary I would have been unable to go ahead with the placement as I would not have been able to support myself.

How did you find the application process for the bursary?

The application process was similar to the process of applying for internships, which is an application form and interview, so I was familiar with the style of the questions and the application processes. It was straightforward and the funding was a very good reward for the amount of time I spent working on the application.

What did your work experience involve?

I worked as a Trading Intern on the Retail Optimisation Desk. My role included data analysis, writing new service recommendations and supporting HR by creating documents for new employees and support materials for managers. I also worked extensively on a trading simulator, which went on to be used to great success in the company’s Manchester office.

What did you enjoy the most about your work experience?

I liked learning about the variety, opportunity and scope of a job in trading. I had opportunities every day to get a good understanding of how the traders trade, to learn about their experiences and add value to the team. I particularly enjoyed being able to practically apply the knowledge I had gained.

It was exciting to be in London for the internship, to be working alongside very clever individuals and see that there were many potential applications for my Maths degree. I was also able to travel to Gazprom offices in Manchester, which was great to see. Meeting new people every day, finding out what they do and how they do it was very enjoyable.

How did your work experience help you in your career?

The work experience gave me the option of taking up a graduate job offer at the company, which was fantastic in terms of quality. It was also a massive confidence booster going into my final year at university, without fear of not having a job at the end. More importantly, the work experience gave me a wealth of experience and understanding of the sector that I was able to demonstrate when applying to other trading graduate schemes.

The result of this was that I was fortunate enough to receive a job offer from another trading company in London, where I commenced work as a trading graduate in August 2016. I would have been unable to get this job without the internship and the support of the Gateway Bursary.

What advice would you give to people considering applying for a work experience bursary?

Think about the variety of skills and experiences you will gain during your internship and about all of the costs you may incur from undertaking it. Starting work for the first time has hidden costs and the bursary can only take into consideration the costs that you mention on the application form.