Internships: It’s a win/win situation

Ben Tatton-Brown, Co-Founder and CEO of RingRing Media

Ben Tatton-Brown, Co-Founder and CEO of RingRing Media

Earlier this year, Ben Tatton-Brown, co-founder and CEO of RingRing Media sold his company for an estimated $20m after just 18 months of business. Here, he explains the value of internships in aiding his business’ success, in advancing the interns themselves, and why he recommends Inspiring Interns to other start-up companies.

Anyone starting up a new company will tell you that time is precious, money is sparse and all hands are needed on deck. When we founded RingRing Media back in February 2008 we had no idea how things were going to pan out and knew that if we were to be successful, we would need to get some great-minded, dedicated people on the team.

It was 18 months ago that we first started using Inspiring Interns. They promised to always provide the right graduates for targeted roles – and, I can happily say, have yet to fail us in their pledge. After passing over a specification of the people we were looking for, Inspiring Interns immediately  sourced, interviewed and put forward suitable candidates for us to interview and choose from, saving a lot of time and toil. From the shortlist, we selected people who we felt would both fit into and bring something to the company – important, as we hoped to offer full-time positions after the initial three month internship. Starting primarily with just four staff, we worked hard to get the company up and running, quickly getting our name on the mobile advertising map.

In June 2008, RingRing Media launched the RingRing Exchange – the world’s first and largest mobile advertising exchange. Connecting operators, media owners, publishers and mobile apps to brands and agencies through one dynamic platform, the project proved a huge success and boosted the company to an internationally recognised level. As the company grew, our interns became  full-time staff, and we hired more Inspiring Interns to both support existing roles, and fill new ones within the business.

The internship arrangement not only benefited us, but also, significantly, the graduates. All of our interns were paid for their travel and lunch expenses and we ensured they received full training and hands-on work experience in their specific job area. Obviously this was great for us if they decided to stay on at the company, but it also importantly provided the graduate – many of whom had had little or no experience in a corporate environment – with the fundamental skills, practice and knowledge to advance them in other future employment ventures.

At the beginning of this year RingRing Media was acquired by a large  mobile advertising company called Amobee headquartered in Redwood City, California, an acquisition which allowed us to complement our revolutionary mobile advertising exchange  with the most deployed telco-grade ad-serving solution in the world and benefit from Amobee’s exceptional international connections. Together, as a new company, we are expanding rapidly; we have over 75 employees worldwide across 4 continents  - ten of which are Inspiring interns that stayed on with us full-time.

I can recommend Inspiring Interns to any business looking for talented and targeted graduate staff; we are aiming to be the largest mobile ad exchange in the world, and we will continue to use the services of Inspiring Interns to help achieve our aspirations.

They think it’s all over – think again!

They think it's all over - think again!

It’s fair to say there was a strong feeling of apprehension in the air travelling to work yesterday. Groups of parents quietly muttered expectations together on the regular commute, the headline of the daily freebie spoke of record results, and parades of nervously giggling young people – something of an unusual sight at that early time after weeks of summer holiday – indicated which day it was: results day.

And yet this year everybody’s concern wasn’t necessarily about what grades they got. For weeks the headlines had reiterated the same gloomy forecast for this year’s school leavers hoping to go to uni: that there are too many applicants and not enough places. With multi-million pound cuts leaving universities particularly feeling the sting, and student applications ever rising – a said result of heightened media emphasis on the necessity of having a degree mixed in with the effect of recession scare mongers crying about the lack of any employment opportunities right now – the future looked bleak for a generation where even hard work and good grades couldn’t save them from an already pre- determined fate.

The final published statistics said it all. A record 97.6% of students passed their exams, 27% of which acquired an A and one in 12 scored the new, media hyped A* grade. With such consistent high achievers there is no longer an obvious divide between those bound for academic greatness, and those who face a different (and often just as successful) route to their future careers. Instead, a top-end scramble for the 200,000 of those who didn’t quite achieve their predicted results (including notably a large number of brighter school-leavers who just missed out on achieving a set of ambitious grades) is occurring through clearing. Some – the lucky ones – will claw back a last chance second place option. The rest will leave empty-handed, disheartened and dejected by a system that has let them down, and often, with no back-up plan.

Go abroad for a degree the headlines shouted today at the crestfallen.  Take a gap year, go travelling, do an apprenticeship, enrol on a college course. Certainly it is a bewildering time for those whose aspirations were focused on being achieved via a university experience to suddenly have to rethink their strategy. Yet, however great the initial disappointment, and however patronising the media , they do have a point. A pro-active attitude to what could now be a new beginning (especially for those believers of everything happening for a reason…) is the only way to get through such grim times. After a summer of post-exam relaxation and fun it really is time to get off the sofa and get practical.

And by practical we mean making it count. It is time, as John Guy said in a recent Guardian article, “to be selfish and think about what would help your career most in the next five years.” A year out shouldn’t be viewed as a waste, but instead as an invaluable opportunity to not only get some life experience, but to also enjoy the luxury of time – away from the professional and peer pressure – to truly consider what to do in life and which career path to take.

Of course, just considering is often still not enough. How is anyone expected to know what they want to do when the options are things they have never done before? One of the main problems today is that a lot of life-affecting decisions are being made on assumption. As law graduate Ben found out, choosing a degree in something you think sounds good doesn’t always work out; “I hadn’t had any previous experience in Law before choosing to study it,” he explains, “but had always liked the idea of becoming a barrister one day from what I had seen on the TV. I had no idea how boring it was going to be and by the end of my three years knew that law was the last thing I wanted to do. I wish now I had done some work experience or an internship beforehand to give me some better direction on what to do with my life.”

Internships are always a great option – the value of work experience should never be underrated. Not only will an internship allow a proper, lengthy working insight into a particular job sector (rather than just the kettle boiling insight of a work experience kid…) but also, unlike with most work experience placements, they will pay travel and lunch expenses, meaning that there is nothing to lose via the experience, just lots to gain. Plus, in the midst of the current university administrative chaos, more companies are coming round to the concept of taking on interns of all different academic backgrounds – not just university graduates – meaning that finally the opportunity really is getting there for everyone.

Though for some it may seem like a huge defeat to have to wait another year, the professional and personal development that can be achieved during that time (not to mention all those extra points on the CV) can more than make up for it. A portfolio of working experience will not only heighten any candidate’s credentials, but also assist a far more informed decision of where to go and what to do next, and hopefully – if the perfect job has been discovered – drive the motivation to succeed in achieving the realised goal. Recent statistics have even shown that students who take a gap year often achieve better academically than those who go straight onto university – so don’t write off the year just yet.

Hopefully for those who did miss out on the grades, the potential that can be achieved during a year out will be realised, and rather than disappointment, a sense of new beginnings will join me on today’s trip home.

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency that place students and graduates in internships with a view to full-time employment.   See http://www.inspiringinterns.com for all the latest news and vacancies.

Internships – a ‘first stage of recruitment’

I got a new job

If the term ‘internship’ makes you think of tea-making and picking up the boss’s dry cleaning then think again – internships are now being hailed by the BBC as almost a ‘guaranteed rite of passage’ in the ever-competitive job market.

2009 saw record numbers of university leavers and new figures show more than 660,000 people have applied for a university place for the next academic year.  This staggering amount is up by 12 per cent from last year, once again breaking the record for the number of university applicants.  With these figures on the rise, the coalition government have made an extra 10,000 university places to support the hefty amount of applications, meaning more students than ever will be graduating with degrees in the coming years.  It is becoming even harder for employers to recruit graduates when they simply cannot distinguish who is more qualified for the job – how does one chose between the graduate with the 2:1 History degree from Durham or the 2:1 English Literature graduate from Bristol?

The answer, I hear you cry, is internships.  These are becoming the latest box that graduates need to tick in order for them to increase their employability and stand out from the other hundreds of applicants after the same job.  According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 21.7% of graduates in full employment within six months of graduating were taken on by employees who had previously provided them with some form of work experience.  It would appear that employers are less willing to gamble on a new recruit who may look fantastic on paper, instead choosing to take on someone who has already experienced working at the company and who therefore has a “basic grasp of workplace dynamics”, according to a BBC article.  In other words, the internship has become an ‘extended interview’ whereby the intern has a chance to showcase their abilities and see if they fit into the company lifestyle.

One could even go as far as saying personalities are coming back into fashion as far as job placements go – seemingly, it’s no longer just about the prestigious university and impressive degree result; employers are interested in who they are recruiting rather than trusting the CV alone.

So where does this leave graduates? With competition for entry-level jobs as tough as it has ever been there is no room to rest on your laurels. A good degree is not enough to take you onto the career ladder: experience, contacts and demonstrable skills are your key to a first job. An internship will give you all three. So the message is clear: don’t get left behind – call us, email us, tweet us, facebook us, send us a pigeon or do anything to get in touch so that you can do an internship and realise your potential.

School’s Out For Summer…But What About Autumn? Life Post-Internship

Cute Crochet Bee

Christopher Pfoster, Bee Fancier, Eccentric, Academic – ‘I took an MA because I wanted to be the talk of the town and the envy of the county. I keep bees for a similar reason.’

Now that many of you are getting stuck in to your summer internships (if you aren’t, you still have plenty of time so don’t despair!), you are starting to ask, ‘what next?’ Graduates are increasingly considering post grad degrees, so we are continually being asked about their value. An MA student myself, I have pounced on the unsuspecting to ask their thoughts, whether from the point of view of a graduate or employer. Savills Director, Roger Hepher responded he ‘would generally view a candidate with a Master’s degree more favourably… [Typically] the longer they have been in formal education, the intellectually stronger the person is likely to be. Furthermore…a Master’s will often have been selected for its relevance to a particular career path, which means the person should have a more directly relevant set of knowledge/skills than otherwise.’Alternatively, recent graduate Lina Pio suggests, ‘It’s something a lot of friends from last year did in an attempt to boost their degree in the eyes of employers in a tough job market…I think if you want to do an MA the best motive is for the love of the subject and academia itself. If your motive is the hope of getting work, the best thing to do is forgo the extra academia and just go out there and do lots and lots of work experience, shadowing and eventually internships – working for free, but you’d be working for free anyway doing an MA with less of a guarantee of a job at the end of it, plus you’ll have more of the skills employers really want. As an ex-colleague of mine at Apple once said to me ‘the last person who told me proudly they got a first from Oxbridge, I replied “I’ll have milk with that and a croissant please, thanks.”’

Obviously there is a huge variety in post grad degrees, and some graduates find that in order to enter their chosen field they need to have done a relevant Masters degree. Helen Prince, Simon Hepher and Kathryn Wood all found themselves in this situation and so have just finished Masters Degrees in Real Estate Investment. Kathryn explains that, ‘I took mine mainly because I had to, to become a qualified surveyor, and be RICS-accredited. If I hadn’t had to I don’t think I would have – more studying wasn’t exactly my ideal choice! I would recommend a masters if it’s in something vocational you really want to do. Otherwise it’s an expensive way to spend a year which doesn’t really get you any further than a good undergrad degree would. I think I’m in a minority, but I don’t really buy the whole argument of just doing it in any random subject as something to do for the year, if you haven’t worked out how it will help you afterwards.’ Helen added that from her experience, ‘I would recommend doing one as it broadens your knowledge and opens more doors to either a change in career or a development if a current career.’

Some of my fellow historians decided to continue along the route which we had enjoyed so much at BA level. Laura Woods tells me she did an MA ‘mainly out of love for the subject and for studying…whether or not I would recommend doing an MA to someone depends on their reason for doing it and circumstances. It’s an expensive and rather avoidant way to delay getting a job/making any serious decisions, and some subjects – management, for example – I think are better learned by experience…if it’s of possible value to your career path, or if you genuinely want to continue studying, then, yes, it’s great.’ James Edwards agreed, ‘I took an MA principally out of passion for the subject…Whether I would recommend an MA would depend on the individual…mine’s been really worthwhile, socially, academically and (hopefully) economically, but I don’t think that a Masters is for everyone – I think circumstances and motivations matter. Though, overall, it would always be a qualified ‘yes’ from me.’ Committed academic Susie Stoddart added that she chose to take an MA, ‘because it develops the powers of independent and original thought, which are important skills whether you are going onto a job or further academic study afterwards.’ It is important to give your options careful consideration however, MA student Heather Mackie warns that a postgraduate degree is very hard work, and should be taken on the spur of the moment!

Many universities are responding to the demand for practical post grad degrees. Last year Royal Holloway debuted its Public History MA – a more vocational alternative to traditional history. Sarah Taylor, Roz Skellorn and Emily LeFeuvre all discussed their experiences with me. Fellow Inspiring Intern, Sarah, ‘took an MA mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t get a job and found the course interesting. I thought it would be a better way to spend the year than waitressing or being unemployed.’ Roz was seeking to ‘develop my skills, as I had a particular idea of the type of job which I hoped to do. My MA helped me to consider a wide range of different job prospects. It also meant that I had another year to think about what I wanted to do in the future, whilst gaining a valuable degree.’ Emily chose her MA because it ‘had more transferrable and practical skills than other MAs. I managed to secure funding and as the job market was looking pretty poor (not that it’s much better now), I thought it was a good plan to get as qualified as I could. I would definitely recommend doing an MA to others because it doesn’t mean that you have to become an academic, but it does show that you’re willing to put in an extra year of work for a subject. I think these days employers look for people who have something extra and doing some further study could be that extra thing.’

Even applying for your undergrad degree can be an incredibly bewildering experience for many sixth formers. Those looking into science related degrees are noticing an increasing level of four year university degrees, and are debating the benefit of this over the more traditional Bachelors degree. Hannah Fosbraey controversially announces:  ‘MA’s are for chumps. My MPhys is different because it was a 4 year undergraduate degree. I took it because you need better A-levels…so I thought it would be a better qualification and would make me look better to potential employers. I also wanted to stay at university a bit longer because I enjoy learning and had no idea what I wanted to do after. I would recommend doing it for those exact reasons. It’s also good because the fee for each year is kept at undergrad levels and covered by the student loan, where I know some masters can be more expensive. It depends what you want to do; a physics degree puts you in a decent position for non-research jobs whether it’s a BSc or MPhys, so it can be a bit unnecessary. Still good for keeping your options open though!’

There are increasing options for funding further degrees, with many universities offering scholarships. This is making it an increasingly viable option for young graduates. This is often not very well advertised, and for further information it can be a good idea to approach your BA course administrator or careers advisor. For many degrees, History included, there are relatively low levels of seminar hours, meaning that, for many students it is possible to combine the degree with an internship or part-time job – as I have. At Inspiring Interns we arrange placements all year round, and by going down that route you are proving your work ethic at the same time as you show your intellectual worth.

Are online games the future of graduate recruitment?

From the moment I first picked up the controller of a Nintendo Entertainment System as a wide-eyed youngster, I understood the impact that computer games would have on my life. Never has there been an invention, a medium, more detrimental to personal success and aspirations. Their power lies in their ability to create a false sense of achievement whereas in reality you have achieved nothing; the fact that you managed to complete Metal Gear Solid in less than three hours is not going to help you in your quest for success. So when I heard that L’Oreal had created an online ‘business’ game to aid their graduate recruitment, I thought that this is it, it’s finally here: a productive computer game.

Reveal is the latest in a long line of ‘business games’ produced by L’Oreal, to aid them in their bid to attract the hottest graduate talent. Dubbed ‘the first multi-vocation talent detector’, it claims to separate the wheat from the chaff whilst suggesting possible livelihoods for the player. During the game, the hapless applicant takes the role of a new recruit at L’Oreal’s Head Office in Paris. Here they are set a variety of tasks by a group of increasingly bizarre characters, supposed to address several potential career paths. There appear to be many evangelists who believe that this technology is ‘the future’, whereas others have dismissed the process as a gimmick. I decided that the only way in which I could pass judgement was to give it a go myself.

The first thing that struck me about Reveal is its distinct style. Somewhere between Pokémon and semi-erotic manga, I couldn’t seem to fathom the link between the game and L’Oreal, stylistically speaking. The result is a game in which the L’Oreal testing labs are portrayed as a place of a truly threatening and nefarious nature, and I was left wondering when I was going to have to save the world from a debilitating super virus; albeit one that leaves you with gloriously, silky, smooth hair of course.

Upon beginning the game, I needed to assign myself an avatar. Most of the options were of fairly standard fair but one in particular stood out.

What I can only assume to be a product of L’Oreal’s animal testing in the early 80s; I was amazed to see that these animals are now being considered for graduate marketing roles. That aside, in choosing this as my on-screen icon, I’m moderately sure that I have been disregarded from the hiring process before it has even begun.

The other characters didn’t appear to fair much better with notable mentions going to a facsimile of Brittany Spears in the video for Toxic, and a cone-headed barman named Tim.

The ‘game’ itself played out a little like a cross between Broken Sword and a choose-your-own-adventure novel, extra points if you know what either of those are. You are required to question characters for information and scour rooms for clues, whilst every now and then being asked droll questions about account management. The game feels drawn out and monotonous, and after playing for half an hour I felt as though I would have preferred the questions without all of the contrived dialogue.

This is clearly a brazen attempt to be ‘down with the kids’ with the tagline for the whole project (What R U up 4?) being excruciatingly cringe-worthy. I acknowledge the attempt to make recruitment a more exciting process, but judging by this wayward effort there is still a lot of work to be done.

Thomas Riegel, L’Oreal’s director of recruitment explains the motivation behind the project: “We had the idea because the concept of the ideal career path has changed from 10 years ago. Then the goal was to become a senior manager on a steep career ladder; today, it’s flexibility. Graduates want to choose when and how they work, and don’t necessarily want to be in an office face-to-face with colleagues.” This may be true, but I personally like recruitment to be concise and to the point. The game draws out the process and takes the total time of application to upwards of an hour. I’d rather spend this time crafting intelligent and relevant answers instead of ordering imaginary beverages in a cafeteria.

Riegal goes on to say that “students in the UK don’t do many internships and often don’t have a clear idea of what’s available to them.” I think that this is slightly naive of him as students and graduates are increasingly partaking in internships as a way of bridging the gap between university and their first job. Inspiring Interns offer internships over a variety of sectors, the majority of which can lead to full time employment; all without the aid of a pink critter and an insufferable barman.

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Jun 2010
AUTHOR Sammy
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What is social media and is it a career for you?

Inspiring Interns has placed many graduates in social media roles. If you have a flair for words you might be considering a job in copywriting or journalism, dismissing social media as a serious career option. In the past 24 months, this has all changed. Brands are crying out for talented, web-literate graduates with an innate understanding of social media.

The essence of SM is engaging and connecting with others- your peers, your friends, brands, communities, and celebrities. It allows you to share photos (Flikr/Twitpic), conversations (Twitter/chat rooms), your life (Facebook), knowledge (Wikipedia), videos (Youtube), your CV (LinkedIn) and your views (WordPress/Blogger). Social media is powerful. Facebook has 500 million active users and could hypothetically form the third largest country in the world. In May 2010, FB overtook Google as the most used website in the US.  FB captures an intricate insight into users’ views and interests, and its ads are therefore highly targeted and relevant.

Dell is a classic social media success story. They’ve used social media to engage with their customers, improve their products and improve brand loyalty. Their Twitter page has been used to provide immediate online support for their customers. Their acclaimed blog IdeaStorm has their customers sharing ideas and feedback on their products, which effectively helps Dell improve their designs for free. Dell’s SM has resulted in a significant increase in its sales.

Careers in SM vary widely. Every brand wants to harness the power of the masses. It’s cheap and it can be hugely effective if done right. Good social media managers are like gold dust and the industry is mushrooming.  SMPs can work in-house for a company/brand, as part of an in-house marketing team or for a specialist social media agency such as Alterian.

Social media professionals write blog posts, analyse audience’s reactions and act accordingly. SMPs need to be able to think on their feet, as timely responses are an imperative. You need rock-solid written and oral communications skills.  Because things are changing so rapidly in the ‘real’ world and online, you’ll need to be able to challenge thinking and create new solutions.  If you can create order from chaos and find clear pathways through disparate ideas, then social media might be up your street. It’s important that you have an inquisitive mind- that you are curious about the world around you and the social media industry as a whole.

Because social media is so popular with companies and graduates, it is usually quite difficult to secure a job with little experience. They usually hire interns or give the job to people who are already working in the company. Inspiring Interns can provide the perfect gateway into this industry, finding meaningful three month internships in social media roles that lead to full-time employment.

Why Degree Subjects are Irrelevant upon Leaving University

The Telegraph recently reported that the majority of recent university graduates are turning to employment outside of their field of study. Is this a sign that the government drive for higher education for the masses is “counter-productive”? Can an internship help you in your career in as many ways as your degree?

In 2009, almost 13,000 students graduated from university with a degree in History. Yet there is only one David Starkey and history, as a profession, is waning in popularity. So do all of these students begin their courses with a career in History in their sights? The answer is probably ‘no’, and I imagine much the same can be said for many humanities and language students.

I graduated last summer with a 1st in English and I am currently working in the marketing department of Inspiring Interns. Does that make me part of the “disillusioned generation” that the article refers to? Technically, my current position is not directly linked to my degree but many of the skills I have developed in Higher Education are imperative to my current role.

Before I first submitted my application to UCAS to carry on drinking at the Fountain of Knowledge (or just drinking), I pondered heading straight into work. Many people spoke of the importance of work experience over education and I was sorely tempted. I eventually decided to continue studying and whilst at university I learnt many useful skills: researching, the ability to reason, discuss, rationalise. University for me was about learning transferable expertise that I could apply in the professional domain.

To make the assumption that all college leavers know exactly what career path they want to follow is ignorant. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that graduates choose to follow different paths in later life. Where internships can prove important is bridging that gap between university and employment, especially if you want to move away from your degree subject.

All it takes is dedication, enthusiasm and persistence. With this, and the skills that you have developed whilst at university, you have the opportunity to pursue virtually any career path (that dream of becoming an astronaut, however, may be a little out of reach).

We want to hear your stories. Have you deviated from your degree subject? Has it been easy? Is there too much pressure put on young people to establish a career path at an increasingly early age?

Inspired solution to the global NEET crisis

I am currently completing a placement at graduate internship agency called Inspiring Interns. And it’s a company that lives up to its name.

I have found that an ABB A-levels, a 2:1 from a red brick uni and a MA leaves me close, yet so far from an elusive full-time ‘graduate’ job.  To my frustration even ‘graduate entry level’ jobs require experience of some sort.

Graduates are faced with a catch 22 situation. Without a job, you can’t get any experience, but without experience you can’t get a job. That’s where Inspiring Interns comes in.

They hook you up with a company who will take you on and train you. The company will pay for your travel and lunch expenses, which many scream is exploitation, but I think is the lucky break that most graduates desperately need. And it’s one of the few offers open to them. Moreover, the majority of Inspiring’s internships lead to paid, full-time roles.

After many a day looking for jobs online, I opted to work for free at Inspiring Interns because I wanted to get out of my house, and proactively do something to get a job.

I’m very lucky. I’m not on the dole. Because if I was, I wouldn’t be allowed to take up this opportunity. I’m not working in Mc Whatever to pay the rent, because I live at home. To put it simply, I’m relying on my parents. But it’s the only way I can move my life forwards.

Most people wait for lucky breaks. I went to Inspiring Intens because they bring them to you.

Across the world, millions of graduates, are sitting at home waiting for a break. They are Not in Education, Employment or Training. Having been told my parents, teachers and politicians, throughout my life that an education will get you ahead, many young people are sat at home disillusioned and depressed, or working in a McDead-end job wondering why on earth they tried so hard at getting ahead in the first place. Luckily with Inspiring Interns, I no longer need to be a NEET.

Inspiring Interns – specialising in finding meaningful internships for students and graduates –http://www.inspiringinterns.com

Inspiring Interns welcomes push for fair internships

Graduate Talent Pool - help or hindrance?

Graduate Talent Pool - help or hindrance?

On Sunday evening Donal MacIntyre presented an investigation into unpaid internships in the UK on his Radio 5 Live show. The report highlighted the fact that some companies are using the government website Graduate Talent Pool to advertise unpaid internships that potentially break National Minimum Wage laws.

Inspiring Interns shares the concerns raised on the programme and, further, welcomes any move to draw attention to the exploitation of graduates by businesses using unemployed young people as free labour. As a company we go to great lengths to ensure that our placements offer the kind of professional experience that graduates require in today’s oversaturated job market; moreover we only work with clients interested in developing young talent, not taking advantage of it.

The other main issue that the programme raised was how expenses-only internships are deepening the class divide, with only the wealthy able to undertake longer periods of work experience on low remuneration.

Inspiring Interns agree entirely that internships should be open for all, and back the government’s current schemes to support those who might not otherwise be able to afford internships. We were also delighted to hear David Lammy MP announce on Donal MacIntyre’s show that a new initiative will launch in the summer to offer means-tested support for graduates who undertake placements. Inspiring Interns believe that by offering government financial incentives, graduates will be inspired to test the water by gaining valuable experience in their chosen fields. They also have the opportunity to work in areas which they may not have previously considered. By participating in short term internships in a variety of industries or sectors graduates can make a more informed choice when planning their career path.

Inspiring Interns would also like to express support for businesses offering genuine internships, and urge the government to avoid over-the-top intervention that could damage a very beneficial system. There must be official recognition that in the current economic climate some companies simply cannot afford to pay interns and do not have long term openings. However, by offering a placement they do provide essential experience for graduates and potentially create permanent jobs; either when the market picks up or, more exceptionally, where the intern performs so well that the company perceives there to be a business case with low risk to take the intern on full time.

Banning unpaid internships would do more damage than good, both to young people and to the economy. Therefore the government needs to clarify legislation on internships, and follow the recommendations outlined in Alan Milburn’s report on social mobility. For as Mr. Milburn argues, “Internships are an essential part of the career ladder [and] part and parcel of a modern, flexible economy.”  At Inspiring Interns we aim to provide a valuable service both to graduates entering the job market for the first time and to industry. We provide choice, experience and hopefully long term career paths for our interns, whilst at the same time offering a commercial, low cost low risk business solution for.

Slave labour graduates? Try ambitious young professionals

On the 04/02/2010 the Daily Mail ran an article entitled ‘The slave labour graduates: Cynical firms are forcing thousands of high flyers to work for nothing – or even making them pay for the privilege’. In his report Tom Rawstorne suggested that the ‘cream of a generation’ were being taken for a ride by the system of internships that is becoming increasingly prevalent in our job market.

Inspiring Interns were left rather bemused by the entirely negative picture the Mail painted. Sadly there are companies willing to take advantage of unemployed graduates – with the media sector particularly guilty – but by and large the rise in internships has been a very positive development for both businesses and job seekers.

At Inspiring Interns we rigorously check our clients before we send them candidates to ensure the placement will benefit the graduate and that the company is not using interns as a rolling staff solution.

This means that, having been trading for just over a year, we now have a plethora of grateful graduates who are now in paid employment as a result of having done an Inspiring Interns internship.

Ben Tatton-Brown, CEO of Ring Ring Mobile, has hired eight interns from Inspiring, all of whom have secured permanent positions as a direct result of doing a placement. Tatton-Brown commented: “Inspiring Interns’ service has been invaluable to our company. We have found eight superb staff members that have developed and grown within their roles, and who would not have become part of this company had they not initially completed internships.”

Inspiring Interns are always thrilled to hear when our work has helped candidates gain invaluable experience, particularly when they have gone on to secure full-time positions. We believe it is this mix of developing skills and creating careers that make our company such an attractive proposition to graduates.

Inspiring Interns – specialising in finding meaningful internships for students and graduates –http://www.inspiringinterns.com