In your first year, after you have done some research and networked at some career events, you need to apply for what is called “Spring week” or “Insight days”. These are short internships offered to first-year students to get a ‘taster’ of business by some elite employers. You PRIORITIZE the Spring Week application in the first term of your first year. Most leading firms offer these schemes, and the deadline is usually by the end of December. However, the sooner you apply, the better. (Note if you are on a four-year programme you may have to wait till your second year to pursue such options). Thus, while starting at University in the first term of the first year, you need to focus on these applications.
Here is what a leading investment banking employer says: “If students are looking for a career in investment banking, Spring Week gives the best insight into what our industry is really like,” says Laura Pearman, head of campus recruiting EMEA for Credit Suisse. “Joining one of Credit Suisse’s Spring Weeks will introduce students to the banking industry and give you a realistic understanding of what our working environment is really like,” she adds. “They are coming into our recruiting cycle at the very beginning and can pipeline through to our summer internship and onto a full-time position with us.” *6
Credit Suisse isn’t the only elite employer to offer a Spring Week to first-year university students. Usually lasting a few weeks and taking place around Easter, they are also a feature of the graduate recruiting cycle of many elite employers from Deloitte to Unilever to Goldman Sachs.
There are also special first-year programmes aimed at supporting young women access a wide variety of careers such as a Women Spring Week programme in a particular area.
The application process for these Spring Weeks requires a focused effort. However, they are worth it as it will introduce you to the entire application process and would be a chance to get to know some prospective employers. First years tend to be less aware of the existence of these programmes compared to second-year internships and as a result, competition for places in spring weeks is less intense.
The earlier you apply for these Spring Week schemes, the better. So while enjoying all the fresher activities in your first term, you will need to start exploring these options.
In a Spring Week programme, you get an introduction to the company, opportunities to job shadow, and get to attend training sessions and networking events. The programmes are across a variety of company’s departments. It’s a great way to meet senior executives and build enduring relationships. A fruitful Spring Week could also be a stepping stone towards a prestigious summer internship and a job when you graduate. Many elite employers say that many of their summer interns have completed Spring Week programme. Below you will find details of which companies offer Spring week schemes.