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The answer is: very few! Most employers restrict their summer internships to penultimate-year students who, at the end of the internship, will be entering their final year at university and starting to make applications for graduate programmes. A student who has successfully completed an internship may be fast-tracked through that company's recruitment process.

However, a few organisations do offer internships to first-year students – see their websites for full details:

Our eight-week Summer Vacation Scheme gives first or penultimate-year undergraduates a good look at what we do – and how we do it. Lasting from July to August, it starts with a one-week induction that will give you a solid grounding in business and technology consultancy, as well as valuable commercial skills. Then you'll embark on a project which could be based anywhere in our business. Rather than just shadowing someone, you'll be a fully-fledged member of the team right from the start, with responsibilities that could involve testing software, conducting research, writing reports or analysing data.

Barnardo’s internship scheme offers a 13 week voluntary placement, which runs in one of Barnardo's offices, children’s services or retail outlets across the UK. You can volunteer for an internship at the charity in a variety of areas such as retail, policy, fundraising and digital media.

Data Connection
Telephony and data communications company recruiting from a wide range of degree disciplines. You will find yourself working on complex and challenging assignments, but with plenty of support and guidance. In terms of academics, we will expect you to have all A grades at 'A' level or equivalent. It doesn't matter whether you are in your first or your penultimate year at University, you can still apply.

Ernst & Young
We offer a number of students the opportunity to gain two weeks of real work experience during the Easter holidays. The programme provides students with a taster of life within a professional services firm in Tax. The first two days of the programme will equip you with the skills required through an intensive induction and a variety of training sessions, some of which will be tax specific. You will then work within an area of the Tax practice and have exposure to client work and gain a flavour of life at Ernst & Young.

Goldman Sachs
“If you are two years from graduation and would like a first internship experience over your spring vacation, we have opportunities in our Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities and Equities and Operations, Technology, Finance and Services Divisions”.

HM Revenue & Customs
Ethnic minority people are under-represented at senior levels in HMRC. Our Summer Training Experience is one of the ways in which we're trying to address this. Its aim is to encourage more talented ethnic minority people to join us and progress to our senior levels. It takes place in July and August and is a training and development programme which offers an opportunity to experience our business diversity. Based in one of our many locations you will receive specialised training in teamworking and a range of personal skills. It is only open to undergraduates at the end of their first year at university

HSBC Our First Year Internship programme is a seven-week programme in one of our UK branches (we'll do our best to offer you a convenient location). You could be working with either our retail or commercial customers, learning first-hand the basics of personal or commercial banking. You'll be part of the team, gaining hands-on experience of our core business. A dedicated line manager will take care of your day-to-day on-the-job training.

Windsor Fellowship Leadership programme
A two-year programme for Black and Asian minority ethnic undergraduates who are in their first year of a three-year course or second year of a four-year course. Each successful applicant is sponsored by a major organisation which offers a minimum 6-week internship. The programme also offers residential seminars, a personal enhancement plan and requires participants to commit to at least 2 hours of voluntary work per week.

There may be other employers offering similar internships programmes open to first-year students: keep an eye on our vacancy database for details

However, at this stage of your degree, it is more realistic to:



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