Government Moves to Tackle Overseas Student Loan Avoiders

Government Moves to Tackle Overseas Student Loan Avoiders


Under new powers given to the student loans company today, graduates who have moved abroad in an effort to avoid paying back their student debt may be tracked down and forced to pay.

Until this point, the government has estimated that it is owed around £76m from graduates who earn above the £21K threshold for beginning to repay the loans back, but live outside of the UK. At the moment, there is no way for the government to track the earnings of the 123,000 graduates who have chosen to move abroad after finishing their studies.

The move will see loans companies having increased powers to take legal action against the defaulters who owe money, as well as impose fines and pass their names onto credit companies.

Currently university students who move abroad on the completion of their studies are merely encouraged to voluntarily pay back their student loans, and there is no process of forcing them to pay back what they owe the student loans company.

As the Financial Times reports, the Universities Minister Jo Johnson says “While the vast majority of borrowers meet their repayment obligations, it is in the interests of fairness to hard-working taxpayers to be tougher on those who abuse the system, which is why we are cracking down”.

As student loans continue to soar, this is the latest attempt from the government to reduce the long term write-off of 25p per £1 loaned out to students. Mr Johnson has also reported an increase in cooperation efforts with European tax offices to find borrowers living abroad too, with a trial in Sweden and the Netherlands helping to track down 80% of borrowers abroad.

7 Ways to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

7 Ways to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job


One of the questions we get asked a lot in the Inspiring Interns office is how to make sure that once you secure that all important internship, you convert it into a permanent job offer.

Many of the companies we recruit for start candidates on a 3 month internship before deciding whether to take them on full time or not, with the vast majority choosing to.

So what’s the trick? Well, for starters….

Be Impressive

The best tips are often the simplest ones. At the end of the day, the best way to make sure your new boss takes you on long term is to be the best recruit you can be.

It sounds obvious, but you have to make sure you’re always punctual. For the first week or two, always try to get to work at least ten minutes early, and make sure you stay a bit later than you need to each day. Make sure that you’re eager to learn and happy to work hard. If you’re asked to do slightly menial tasks, complete them with as much enthusiasm as possible. It will often be as much of a test as with the more complex tasks, to find out more about your attitude.

Establish goals and meet them!

If this doesn’t come up organically, ask for a meeting and ask whether there are any specific goals you should aim for during your time at the company. This doesn’t just offer a clear direction for yourself, but shows the employer that you’re keen to work hard towards adding value to the company.

Remember that an internship is an opportunity to learn as much as possible, not just to convert to a full-time job. You should establish personal goals at the start of the internship about what you want to learn from the internship, whether this be mastering technical skills, refining personal soft skills or establishing a list of contacts. Learn from your supervisor, ask how you’re performing, and ask if you can take any more specific responsibilities that you want to learn about.

Add Value to the company

While you want to focus as much as possible on these personal goals during your internship remember that what you’ll be doing on a day to day basis won’t always directly line up with your goals.

The company will want you to learn, but you also need to be adding value to their business (provided you’re being paid).

This doesn’t just mean that you need to take to everything you’re asked with enthusiasm and focus, but that you should take the initiative too; when appropriate, pitch ideas to your supervisor, ask if there’s anything more you can take on the minute you’ve completed your tasks, and be prepared to have an answer when you’re asked your opinion on business decisions. The last point is crucial, as it will illustrate that you’ve really thought and understand your new business, declaring your dedication to the company.

Become Indispensable

By taking the initiative as above and taking on ad-hoc duties, you can easily become indispensable to your potential employer. If they know that taking on someone else will require training them in areas that you’re already well versed in, then it doesn’t make sense financially or for efficiency to take someone else on. Try to select ad-hoc tasks that are specific to your company, that even someone with experience in a similar area would still require training on.

Even better would be to take advantage of any specialist skills you have. If you’re fluent in a second language, think about areas of foreign client management or foreign marketing that you could become a crucial part of. If you have an understanding of social media strategy, design skills within the adobe suite, or have experience running a blog, let your supervisor know and you could become a critical cog in the day to day running of the company.

Essentially, it’s a simple mantra: what can I do to make sure I’ll be missed?

Be a Social Butterfly

While you’re at the company, try as hard as you can to get involved in as much of the social aspect as you can. Try to make as many company networking events as possible. Use your lunchtimes to talk to employees you haven’t spoken to yet and get them on side.

If it comes to the last few weeks of your internship and a number of voices within the company are telling the management team how much of an impact you’ve made on company culture, it can’t be a bad thing. Always be willing to go the extra yard outside of work as well as inside of it.

Tell Them How You Feel

When it’s coming towards the end of your internship, It never hurts to tell people that you’ve enjoyed your time at the company. Flattery always helps and it shows you truly care about succeeding there.

I have a friend who was becoming convinced it wasn’t going to work out as his internship at a huge advertising agency was coming to an end. After a few too many drinks at a networking even, he stumbled into one of the executive team and told her that he really didn’t want to leave and how much he’d enjoyed his time there. The next day, she made some calls and made sure there was a job for him to start the next week.

Stay in Touch

Sometimes things don’t work out for factors beyond your control. It could be that the budget isn’t there for a full time member of staff, or that they don’t think they’ll have enough workload to bring someone new in.

If you’re told at the end of the internship that it’s not going to work out for now, make sure you keep in touch. Use the contacts you’ve built up to ask for updates by telephone or email every now and again and when a position comes up, you’ll be the first person on their minds.

If you’re looking for a foot in the workplace door, check out our job listings for graduate jobs in London and graduate jobs in Manchester.

‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

1416 (1)There’s a big change happening in the graduate jobs sector right now. Four of the biggest UK graduate employers, PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, are all starting to look beyond academics, with a shift to a system that primarily focuses only on candidate’s potential.

The message is clear from these top professional services firms; there’s a need to modernise the system they use to find the top graduate talent in the UK. It’s becoming increasingly imperative for these companies to increase their appeal to millennials, as well as improving diversity and promoting an increase in social mobility.

With the number of graduate jobs on offer finally returning to pre-financial crisis numbers, firms like EY have an increased interest in making sure some of the talented grads that might have slipped through the cracks in the past are being profiled properly. Absolutist conditions for successful applicants previously included at least 300 UCAS points (equivalent to three B grades) and a 2:1. These have been scrapped.

The focus has instead shifted to online assessments and numerical testing to ensure that only the best candidates are making it through to the interview stage. In June, PwC similarly scrapped UCAS points as a way of profiling candidates too. “A-level results vary significantly with proxies for social class — the south of England versus the north, parents who are better off and parents who went to university” says Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of student recruitment. “Those things can’t be predictors of whether you’re a good accountant or management consultant” he argues.

Deloitte have taken it to the next step, profiling applicants in a way that makes sure the socio-economic circumstances of the candidate is understood as a part of the process. They don’t think all grades are equal; someone with three B grades at a school that averages straight D grades, in fact, is highlighted as remarkable.


Refer a Friend For £100!

Refer a Friend For £100!

1251Refer a friend and the money is yours!

At Inspiring Interns we don’t mind where we get the top graduate talent from, so long as we get it! If you refer a friend and they go on to take one of our vast number of graduate jobs, then £100 will be yours.

So how does it work?

If you recommend us to a friend directly and they are asked in for an interview or to film a video CV, make sure they tell us who sent them our way.

Alternatively, if you come into our office for an interview or to film a video CV, and have a friend that wants to sign up to Inspiring Interns, pass their email on to the Talent Development Team.

How do I get paid?

Simple – If your friend lands any of our graduate jobs you’re quids in.

Just get back in touch with our team once your friend has been placed, and we’ll send you the money.

Interested? See our current graduate jobs listings to apply!

Women Asked Three Times as Many ‘Inappropriate’ Interview Questions

Women Asked Three Times as Many ‘Inappropriate’ Interview Questions


A new study by graduate recruitment app Debut, has uncovered a shocking disparity between awkward, even illegal interview questions asked to women and those asked to men.

In the study of over 2,800 individuals, it’s been uncovered that just under 25% have been asked about their future family plans, while more than a quarter were asked about their marital status.

Under UK law, employers are not allowed to ask questions with regards to love life, family plans, age or health, so these figures reveal a shocking lack of legality throughout the recruitment process.

While men are more likely to be asked about their sexual preferences, women are asked intrusive, inappropriate questions about almost everything else, including being almost five times more likely to be illegally asked about their age.

Check out the below infographics to find out more.



‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

The UK’s top employers were left to ‘fight it out’ for the top graduates last year, according to market research company High Fliers. Their annual Graduate Market report notes that ‘over 1,000 graduate positions were left unfilled last year’ meaning a reduction in intake of almost a third for the UK’s top employers.

So in a graduate jobs market that appears to be getting increasingly competitive, why are so many sought after roles left empty? Managing Director of High Fliers Martin Birchall, thinks the problem derives from a handful of the most desirable graduates.

‘There are two distinct portions of the market. At the top end, employers have told us that the most sought-after graduates are holding four or five offers’ he said. ‘Overall we probably have twice as many graduates as there are jobs, but at the top end graduates are becoming increasingly choosy.’

With a number of offers in their hand, the top graduates are able to be considerably more selective and so increasingly the pressure is transferred to the top employers to attract their preferred candidate.

The Graduate Market 2016 report, is a study of the country’s top 100 employers graduate schemes, conducted in December 2015.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The top 100 intend to expand their graduate recruitment by 7.5%, showing an increase for the fourth consecutive year, and taking graduate recruitment beyond the 2007 pre-recession peak for the first time.
  • More than 90% are offering paid work experience programmes for recent graduates for 2015-16, with an record 14,058 places available.
  • Graduate starting salaries are set to remain at median of £30,000, while 8 of the country’s best known graduate employers will be offering salaries in excess of £45,000.

Interested in applying for the top graduate jobs? Check out Inspiring Interns for graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester.

5 Ways Your Part-time Job Helps Your Graduate Prospects

5 Ways Your Part-time Job Helps Your Graduate Prospects

1349 (1)

When you enter the world of graduate jobs without career specific work experience, it can be pretty daunting. But don’t despair, if you’ve done part-time work during your studies it can vastly improve your chances after you graduate.

It’s always important to employers that you have the kind of skills that they know will be useful in a professional environment. Displaying this experience in your CV or in an interview is a great way of providing proof of the skills you’ll bring to the role.

So if the only work experience you’ve got is in a coffee shop, on the telephones or in the student union bar, here’s how it’ll help your chances of getting shortlisted for those all-important graduate jobs.


As a new graduate working in a business, you’re always going to need great communication skills. If you’re in a client-facing role, the skills that you will have learnt from dealing with customers either over a counter or on the phone will be impressive to a new employer. At the very least, it’ll show you have the ability to communicate professionally with your new colleagues. Ensure you make it clear that you were dealing with customers on a daily basis in a professional way and they’ll know you can communicate.

Team Work

If you’re competing with someone else for the same type of graduate job, one of the most important things that will set you apart is your ability to fit into a team. Make it clear that you were part of a close knit team and they’ll know you’ve got the personality to slip right into the office environment at their company.

Organisational skills

If you’ve juggled an academic, social and work life at university, you’ve already proven yourself to have superior organisational skills. Companies looking to hire a graduate will see this and know they’ll have someone who can manage their time and responsibilities successfully.

Problem Solving

Have you ever had to deal with a customer complaint at a bar or found yourself on the other end of the line from an angry caller on the uni phones? Then you’ve already had plenty of problem solving experience. Prepare yourself for this question in interviews, and think of a time you’ve had to deal with a potentially disastrous situation, acted calmly and found a solution. You’ll find this kind of critical thinking is a valuable skill across a whole range of graduate jobs.


If you’ve been given any extra roles at work, especially if it had anything to do with money, make this clear on your CV. Simply stating that you’re honest or responsible in a profile is unlikely to send a very strong message, while proof that you’ve handled money or more advanced roles with integrity will scream that you’re somebody they can trust.