The Lowdown on Internships in London

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If you’re looking to gain valuable work skills abroad in a city that is quite possibly the center of everything in Europe, then look no further: London is the place to be. Internships in London offer students and young professionals the incredible opportunity to live and work in a thriving, international city where industries such as finance, fashion, and marketing reign supreme. Here’s a breakdown of some of the internships you can participate in while across the pond in London.

The Lowdown on Internships in London

Popular Ways to Intern in London

1. Finance Internships in London 

London is not only a central economic hub of the United Kingdom, but also of the entire world. With international financial exports and a majority of Fortune 500 companies located in the financial district of Canary Wharf, London is by far the strongest financial center in Europe and an excellent place to learn the ins and outs of the finance world.

Because London is so well-known for its finance industry, competition for internships will be fierce. Be prepared to put your best foot forward from your application, to your interview, to the very last day on the job. However, all your hard work will be worth it – working in such a fast-paced, international environment will prepare you for the future, and may even open up networking opportunities for future employment.

Programs such as Global Experiences semester-long finance internship includes career development as well as personal career coaching, while programs through The Intern Group focus heavily on networking.

Woman walking in the rain with an I heart London umbrella
An internship in London is the best way to really express your <3

2. Fashion Internships in London

Paris and Milan get all the credit when it comes to cutting edge European fashion, but London is just as much a stiletto city as the rest of them. Case in point: Kate Middleton alone is leading the charge on putting British fashion and designers on the map (although she’s just following in Princess Diana’s dainty footsteps). Aside from the Duchess, London is also home to designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, Stella McCartney, Manolo Blahnik, and Jimmy Choo, among others. It also has a number of renowned fashion schools to learn from along with, of course, what you can learn from just walking down the streets. 

Interning in the fashion industry can involve working in fashion design or fashion business, allowing you to either work with a needle or behind the scenes on the marketing and business side of things. Regardless of your interests, interning in fashion in London will allow you to not only gain professional experience in your future field, but will also introduce you to the exciting, always-evolving fashion industry. Fashion is a very international field, so an internship abroad is the perfect way to learn how to connect cultures through the power cashmere and a perfect A-line.

Go behind the scenes of the fashion industry and all that goes into the business with programs such as Fashion Week Internships or CIS Abroad to learn more yourself!

Big ben clock tower and blue skies
With Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben keeping you on time tardiness shouldn’t be a problem during your internship in London.

3. Marketing Internships in London 

As the world becomes increasingly more globalized, the fields of marketing, advertising, and public relations and their strategies are being reevaluated for international audiences. For those students interested in pursuing a career or further degrees in marketing, having international, professional experience is not just a plus – it’s practically a requirement. Not only will you push beyond personal boundaries and experience new cultures, you’ll be learning different ways of thinking and of approaching marketing.

London, in particular, is an excellent place to gain international marketing experience. The city is a hub of domestic and international businesses, where the success of marketing and advertising is dependent on engaging with audiences from all over the world. Programs such as BUNAC or the Institute for Global Studies allow students an inside look into this thrilling field. 

The Shard in the overcast London skyline
Lucky for you, the weather is always a topic of conversation around the watercooler at internships in London.

4. Journalism Internships in London 

The United Kingdom is known for its highly-respected news agencies and broadcasting – from the BBC to The Guardian to The Independent, British journalism is some of the best in the world. In addition, the headquarters of most of Britain’s media companies are concentrated in London. For aspiring journalists with an interest in covering international affairs, interning in London is the perfect opportunity to see how a real newsroom works, while learning how other cultures approach the work of journalism. Plus, you have to boost up that writing sample portfolio!

Internships provided through IES Abroad and CAPA offer you that chance to finally put pen to paper and live out those investigative journalism dreams while abroad!

Other Considerations for Internships in London

What type of program do you want?

Of course, your experience interning abroad in London is entirely dependent on the type of internship program you participate in. It is important to do extensive research and read program reviews, comparing programs side by side using MyGoAbroad. You can also reach out to the alumni of internship programs you are interested in so as to get a firsthand perspective of what your time in London would be like.

the Bakerloo line in the London Underground
Learn your -loos as you explore the London Underground on your morning commute.

What’s your ideal program timeline?

Summer internships are perfect for students with tight academic schedules that don’t allow them to take a semester or even a year for an internship abroad, and can vary in length from a few weeks to 3 months. Of course, longer internships that last a full semester or even a year offer an immersive cultural and professional experience.

So, what’s the deal with paid internships in London?

If you could intern in London AND get paid for it, that would be ideal! The truth is, paid internships abroad are rare and the ones that do exist are very competitive. You’ll be competing with talent across the globe to snag that widely sought after cubicle.

Of course, They’re not impossible to nail down, but the most likely scenario is you will be participating in an unpaid internship in London. With a little extra legwork on your end, however, you’ll be able to snag one of those highly coveted paid internships in London to help settle your tab at the pub. Chat with your provider about options for paid internships, or strike out on your own and start scouring company websites and listings to find your own perfect fit. Just make sure your CV is in order to stand a fighting chance in the highly competitive pool of applicants. We all want to bring home those pounds!

Palace of Westminster in London, United Kingdom
When you tire of London you tire of life, or something like that…

Hop (across the pond) to it!

After doing all of your research and brushing up on your tube (underground subway) knowledge, you’ll be ready to take on the adventure of a lifetime! Any experience abroad is formative, and changes our perspective of the world around us. However, an internship abroad offers you the opportunity to gain invaluable skills and experiences in an international environment, which will help you prepare for your future career. London offers interns all the excitement of a bustling city, with a healthy dose of professional development. So what are you waiting for? Start applying today!

Find your *totally brill* internship in London with MyGoAbroad today!