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Nurturing home grown talent

03 Jun 2015

How Manchester Graduate Internship helps our students – and how it can help you

Sara Catalano

Manchester Graduate Internship Programme (MGIP) has successfully placed more than 700 graduates in a variety of organisations and local businesses, 250 at the University, since it started in 2008. And it has proved a tremendous experience all round. In this new series, StaffNet takes a look at why – and how it can help you.

Student Experience and Portfolio Support Intern Sara Catalano brought a lot to the office – she’s organised, logical and good at problem solving. Then there’s her youthful perspective as a recent graduate and “a lot of fun, especially when teamed up with Isabella Fairclough!”

Student Community coordinator Isabella was Sara’s colleague at Manchester Medical School (MMS), and not the only University colleague she made good connections with.

Sara set up a monthly student experience intern meeting with two other interns at the University, Joe Beeso-Cope and Elizabeth Harrett. Designed to encourage communication across the schools and faculties, the meetings grew to include all interns rather than just student experience interns, a special MGIP networking event and plans to work with sabbatical interns to organise an event for interns interested in business.

Sara, 22 – who graduated with a Classical Studies BA in July 2014 – helped her line manager, Widening Participation Project Officer Helen Franklin, with events and represented the Medical School at conferences. She also helped introduce the new electronic portfolio for the medical students and took on some of the responsibilities of the Communications Officer whilst the Medical School were in the process of hiring a new one, which included the NSS, Social Media and some blog posting.

She says: “I got a lot of experience in managing events and it has been interesting to see how different schools run, gaining a deeper insight into how the University works.

“I have been able to take advantage of the wide range of training courses that are on offer at the University, from basic first aid to managing costs and budgets and also setting up a business.

“And I have been lucky enough to have a manager who has encouraged me to develop my skills and valued my input rather than just give me meaningless tasks.”

Sara was more than happy to give something back, throwing herself into all aspects of University life: “It has been good because the Medical School puts a lot of emphasis on social responsibility, so I have had opportunities to volunteer at the Food Bank and also at Ladybarn Community Centre.”

MGIP has also been a hit with colleagues hiring interns.

Lindsay Gilbert, Head of Volunteering and Community Engagement, Student Development and Community Engagement, Directorate for the Student Experience, agrees: “Our graduate interns are an integrated part of our team. They are a way we can do more work within our limited resources whilst the interns get valuable experience."

More information

For information on how to recruit an intern, visit: