Business and Commerce Internships and Vacation Programs
The job market for students of commerce is large, but so too is the pool of job-seekers. Internships and vacation programs greatly increase a student’s employability.Fortunately pro-active commerce students have many chances to find the perfect and most relevant experience for their chosen specialisation as the variety of internships and vacation work opportunities available to students studying business or commerce is greater than for any other field of study.
Commerce itself has various specialisations – graduates may work in the fields of finance, economics, risk assessment, business management, marketing, international business, human resources, and accounting – as well as statistics, information systems and law in a business context. However, all industries within the economy require knowledgeable and experienced business professionals to help manage their income and investment – whether they work within small to medium businesses, within large corporations or in the public service. Financial services firms, banks and consultancies as well as large commercial, services, manufacturing, retail, mining and government organisations will usually offer internships or vacation programs every year. Some small to medium businesses will also offer internships, although these might be not be as advertised.
Vacation programs are offered by large companies to students in their penultimate (and sometimes to students in their final) year of university. In contrast to ordinary internships with smaller businesses, vacation programs are well paid and take a structured approach to student work experience. Usually they involve an induction period, mentoring and “buddy” programs, opportunities to network with and impress senior management, social events – and most importantly – the chance to contribute in a real way to the running of the business. As a result, and because of the fact that the programs are pipelines for graduate recruitment vacation, vacation work is highly desirable and competitive.
Summer vacation programs are the most common form of this kind of internship – taking place in the November-March holiday for an extended period (usually around 12 weeks). Applications for these placements typically open in June-August. Some companies however practice “rolling recruitment” (remaining open for applicants throughout the year and giving extended internships/vacation work to students whenever they have a vacancy).
For more information on the differences between internships and vacation programs, and for tips on how to successfully apply to these programs, check out our general internships and vacation programs guide.
More information about graduate programs in business and commerce can be found here.