SME and White City Internships
The SME and White City Internship Schemes offer Imperial students and recent Imperial graduates the opportunity to apply to paid, project-based internships over the summer vacation period.
Internship hosts are encouraged to submit project proposals to the Imperial College London Careers Service through the SME Internship Fund or the White City Internship Fund. Eligible projects are then selected to be advertised exclusively to Imperial students and graduates.
Advertised on behalf of start-ups and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) based in the UK, these exciting summer internship projects provide experiences that allow you to apply your skills, learn, grow and be challenged, often with a high level of responsibility and the opportunity to make a lasting impact on an early-stage company.
SME Internships are open to all students studying STEM degrees and recent STEM graduates. Please note these internships are not currently open to students studying at the Imperial College London Business School.
White City Internships
Advertised on behalf of member businesses and charities based in Scale Space or I-HUB on the Imperial College London White City campus, these diverse and dynamic summer internship projects offer you the opportunity to gain experience in highly innovative start-ups and scale-ups across the digital, technology and science sectors.
White City Internships are open to penultimate and final year students only (including the Business School), and recent Imperial graduates.
All opportunities are advertised via the 'Exclusive Opportunities' section of JobsLive. Internship positions for summer 2023 will be added on a rolling basis from April 2023.
Please contact the Placement and Internship Unit with any queries about the schemes.
SME and White City Internships
How to find the internships
All SME and White City Internship opportunities are advertised via the ‘Exclusive Opportunities’ section of your JobsLive profile. This can be accessed by using the ‘Search’ tab (pictured below).
Internship opportunities will be added on a rolling basis from April 2023. Please ensure you check the Exclusive Opportunities page regularly for new postings. You will only be able to view opportunities that you are eligible to apply to.
If you have any questions, please email the Placement and Internship Unit.
The recruitment process
You should apply to the internships in JobsLive - please do not submit an application directly to the host. You will need to submit a copy of the SME and White City Internships Application Form (this will be attached to the job advert), as well as a tailored copy of your CV.
A strong application will detail your motivation for applying, demonstrate and interest in the company and the work they do and should evidence your suitability for the role against the essential and required skills listed in the job advert.
We would encourage all applicants to review the information and resources on the Application Process section of our website for guidance on making applications. For one-to-one support, you can also book a Careers Discussion on JobsLive to discuss your application.
Prior to the application, you must consider your eligibility to undertake an internship in the UK. To discuss details regarding work eligibility and visas please contact the International Student Support Team.
After the vacancy closing date, all applications will be reviewed by the Placement and Internship Unit. A shortlist of candidates will then be forwarded to the recruiting organisation so they can decide who they would like to interview and offer the internship to.
Internship offers are made directly by the recruiting organisation. They will pay you directly and provide you with a contract of employment, detailing duties and responsibilities, hours of work, induction, location of work, health & safety and holiday entitlement.
Internships usually start in July and August, but occassionally organisations can be flexible. Internships may be undertaken full-time or part-time at the discretion of the host organisation.
If you successfully secure an internship position, you will be required to complete a short reflective learning journal to help you learn from your experiences. Aspects of this journal may also be used for promotional purposes.
Internship Scheme FAQs
Are the internships paid?
Yes. All internships advertised through the schemes will be paid a minimum hourly rate in line with the Real Living Wage.
Are all students eligible to apply?
No. The schemes have specific eligibility criteria. SME Internships are open to all students studying STEM degrees and recent STEM graduates. White City Internships are open to penultimate and final year students only (including the Business School), and recent Imperial graduates.
What is an SME?
An SME is a small or medium-sized enterprise. According to the EU, an SME is a business with fewer than 250 employees, and a turnover of less than €50 million. Within this umbrella, there are three different categories: medium-sized, small, and micro-businesses.
SMEs make up around 99 per cent of all the businesses operating in the UK, and are therefore enormously important to the UK economy.
Can my organisation apply for the scheme if I have found my own internship?
Yes. If you have already secured an internship with an organisation that you think would be eligible for one of the funding offers, please direct them to either the SME Internship Fund webpage or the White City Internship Fund webpage where they can find further information on eligibility and submission deadlines.
Could I undertake the project part-time?
Most internships are advertised as full-time opportunities. However, often host organisations can be flexible if you would need to undertake the position part time. We would recommend speaking directly with the host oganisation if you are invited to interview.
Can I do my project remotely?
Most internships are designed to take place at the host organisations workplace. However, where possible, organisations will accommodate a virtual internship with remote working. We would recommend speaking directly with the host organisation if you are invited to interview. Some internships will already be advertised as fully remote so please check this when applying.
If you have any other queries please email the Placement and Internship Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.