Special feature: Internships

CV. Image: Xixi Zheng.

When it comes to writing job applications, internships are an essential feature on everyone’s CV.  It’s a great way to meet people, ask questions and find out whether a job is for you – or not.

Eastlondonlines has spoken to a number of East London businesses about the opportunities they offer to students.

Arcola Theatre is one of the most respected and acclaimed arts venues in London. It has staged works by top writers, directors  and actors. The place is also on a mission to become the world’s first carbon neutral theatre.

Where? 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Internship opportunities Arcola Theatre offers internships in the following departments: Front of House and Event Management, Technical Production, Arts Admin, Creative Learning and Energy & Sustainability. Interns will be asked to work three days a week, from 10-6, for three months and for one evening per month. The internship is unpaid.

What are the requirements and how do I apply? Internships are only offered after a successful interview. The requirements vary from department to department but Arcola Theatre is looking for “outstanding candidates who are committed to a career in the arts.” Send your CV with a brief covering letter stating why you are interested in the post (max 250 words) and details of your availability and start and end dates to: volunteers@arcolatheatre.com.

How to make the most of your internship:

1. Listen/read/watch the output before you apply/are interviewed/start your internship – you will create a much better impression and hit the ground running if you know what the programme is about.
2. Arrive for your interview or first day with some well researched ideas that you are sure will make it to air.
3. Don’t underestimate what you can offer as an intern. You are fully trained and can offer a valuable new perspective on things.
4. You have a voice that deserves to be heard so use it! Contribute to meetings, offer your opinion, remind people that you are here to do stuff.
5. If you are not clear about anything you are being asked to do make sure you get clarification. It’s very easy to feel a bit intimidated but people will appreciate your attention to details and desire to get things right.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6. Keep in touch after your placement – you never know when a well timed email may come into its own.

(Alex Lewis, Senior Producer, You and Yours, BBC Radio 4 and Goldsmiths alumna. Runs the You and Yours work placement scheme.)

Whitechapel Gallery is without a doubt one of the most exciting places for London’s art fans. For over 100 years, Whitechapel Gallery has shown the works of the world’s most famous artists to its visitors – from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle,Lucien Freud and Gilbert & George. The gallery also has a range of education resources, hosts art courses, as well as talks, discussions and film nights.

Where? 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

Internship opportunities Whitechapel Gallery offers internships on an irregular, project-related basis. The length of internship can vary anywhere between 3-6 months depending on the project.

What are the requirements and how do I apply? A degree helps but isn’t a must. Some skills and previous experience in the area you apply to (Exhibitions, Communications, Development, Education) are required. When internships become available they will be advertised on the gallery’s website.


Albion is a Shoreditch-based adverstising agency with a special focus on digital campaigns, offering services from brand strategy to web design. Its clients include eBay, Skype, Innocent and Absolute Radio.

Where? 1.03 The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ

Internship opportunities Albion will launch a regular internship programme in July. Candidates are asked to work for four weeks but have the opportunity to extent for another four weeks if they impress, which may then even lead to a permanent role. Interns are expected to rotate between all the departments. The idea is to give people a real insight into agency life and interns will be able to attend client meetings. They will also get their own project to do, which they can showcase at the end of the internship. This is definitely not a “making the tea and spending most of your day on facebook” kind of placement.

What are the requirements and how do I apply? Albion are looking for candidates with a genuine interest in digital advertising. You will have to be ambitious and enthusiastic, willing to learn and keen to make an impact. The internship is unpaid but travel expenses will be covered. E-mail hello@albionlondon.com if you want to apply.

How to make the most of your internship:

1. Make sure you use your time to research roles and key initiatives within the industry.
2. Network as effectively as you can in the areas you are interested in and be proactive.
3. Meet with HR to register your interest in opportunities in the business, ask them to give you career and CV advice.
4. Work hard in the role and ask your manager for feedback and advice.
5. Keep in touch after the placement

(Morna Cook, Director of HR, Universal Music UK)

The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is home to a collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts from the 1600s to the present day. More than 400,000 visitors a year are presented with dolls, doll houses, teddy bears, games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. The museum also takes part in outreach projects in hospitals and the local community, and an award-winning programme for schools.

Where? Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

Internship Opportunities Placements are available throughout the year, primarily in the museum’s Learning Team (assisting with educational programmes), the Collections Team (assisting with curatorial work) and Exhibitions Team (assisting with Exhibitions work). Occasionally, placements become available in the Marketing, Operations and Administration team.

What are the requirements and how do I apply? The majority of interns are undertaking a course or degree in a relevant area (e.g. Museum Studies, PGCE, etc) where an internship is required for their qualification.  The museum also accepts applications from other people. Applicants must be 18 or over and be available for a minimum of four weeks. In your application, please specify your areas of interest within museums, write a brief statement outlining what you hope to achieve from the internship and include the dates of your availability. Succesful candidates will be invited for an informal interview.


How to make the most of your internship

1. Always be yourself, ask questions, speak up, and have opinions. It’s really important to show off your personality, not just how well you can do the work.
2. Remember that you get very little time to show them whether your personality works with them so try to be a positive presence in the office, making tea and ask if there are further tasks etc. before you’re asked.
3. Have opinions. But also listen to other opinions because it will help you learn.
4. You’ll hopefully get a chance to chat with the boss at the end of your time there and this is a good chance to ask them how you can make your ideas saleable, if that’s what you want to do, and a chance to ask them what skills you should acquire after getting your degree.
5. Just say yes to every opportunity, whether it’s a programme recording or going to the pub after work, it all helps.

(Katherine Godfrey, Producer at Whistledown Productions and former MA Radio student at Goldsmiths)

The Bromley by Bow Centre is a community anchor organisation in East London. Working in one of the most deprived wards in the UK, it supports families, young people and adults of all ages to learn new skills, improve their health and wellbeing, find employment and develop the confidence to achieve their goals and transform their lives.

Where? St Leonards Street, London E3 3BT

Internship Opportunities: The Centre is currently offering internships in the Employment Service. A team of people that support individuals to tackle their complex barriers, come off benefits and go into work. The role includes reception work, working with unemployed local people and supporting them to apply for jobs, monitoring and evaluation development and administration. The internship also offers the opportunity to experience a range of programmes at the Centre including work with vulnerable adults and our community café. The internships are designed for students or graduates looking to work in the third sector in the future, as this offers them a valuable experience of grassroots community work. Internships are flexible depending on the availability of the individual, but generally last 8-12 weeks working 3 or 4 days per week.

What are the requirements and how do I apply? Please send your CV with a short one page covering letter explaining why you are applying. Interviews are then held shortly after and posts offered when they become available.For enquiries or to apply please email lindseyd@bbbc.org.uk or call 02087099745

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