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Recruitment process and selection

Recruitment process and selection

The 900 undergraduate engineering students have a very diverse range of experience and interests. Academic entry levels are extremely high at Cambridge and many of our students are also achievers in non-academic areas. Approximately 10 - 15% of our students are "deferred" entrants and have taken a gap year prior to arrival at Cambridge. Many of them have spent this time working in industry and gaining additional skills and experience.

The two key time periods for recruiting is normally around November/December (with a view to interviewing over the Christmas break) or February/March (with a view to interviewing over the Easter break) but these are just guidelines. The later in the academic year (May, June) that you recruit, the smaller pool of candidates there will be.

Our students work well to a deadline so we advise putting in a deadline for applications.

Advertising your internship

  • You can complete our summer internship vacancy form with details of the internship or provide your own advert. We will then set up these details on our internal database for our students to access, as well as circulate the details to them in our weekly newsletters.
  • If you have an online advert, we are happy to circulate this through the newsletters and make the link available through our database.

Applications process

  • You may have a process or online system already set up for applicants to follow. Alternatively, you can request students to send their CV with a cover email directly to a designated contact person at the company or we can collate CVs and cover letters for you and send them on once the deadline has passed.
  • If you have details of your internships on your website, we can provide links to this on our database.
  • If you do not have a specific job in mind, we can supply you with a number of CVs to allow you to identify opportunities appropriate to the students’ knowledge, skills and experiences.

Practicalities to consider

When advertising your internship, we find that these factors are worth considering:

  • Travel – Not all of our students are able to drive or have access to a car so your advice on possible travel routes, whether by bus or train, is valuable.
  • Visa - Any undergraduate student registered on a UK course, who is expected to return to their studies, has the right to work in the UK out of term time without a work permit. If you require any further information about this, there is a general page on the UK Government Home Office website which covers visa and immigration requirements for Non EU students here. The government also has a useful webpage providing information about the Tier 4 (general) visa. It has a link to a detailed PDF document of which the 'Vacation work' section is relevant to Cambridge University Engineering students.
  • Accommodation – Accommodation is often a factor that needs to be considered when students are looking for internships. Any advice or support you can offer would be welcomed.

Selection protocol

It is a good idea to interview or make your selection as soon as possible after you have set the deadline for applications or after interviews. Students often apply for more than one internship at a time and if you wait too long to make further contact, they may accept another vacancy that is offered to them.

Video or telephone interviews can be carried out as well as face to face interviews. We can assist in organising interviews here in the department.