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Intern success

17th February 2016

A short term internship programme set up by Northumbria University’s, Newcastle, Business School is helping SME’s grow their business and giving final year students a first step on the career ladder.

Doctor Matt Sutherland, from Newcastle Business School, developed the Marketing Internship Programme in 2013 to help final year students gain “real-world” business experience. On average, the internship runs between 8-10 weeks within semester one of their final academic year, with students working on a voluntary basis between for 3-4 hours per week. To date, students have worked on projects in the areas of digital marketing, marketing planning and research, marketing communications and customer relationship management.

In one example Business Studies student Joe Machin, secured an internship with a company called Gospelware, which designs and develops a range of digital products. 

Using mobile, web, wearable and sensors, they turn ideas into a reality by using technology to transform traditional processes and innovate the future for businesses, brands, and people.

“I was fortunate enough to land an 8-week internship with Gospelware, which involved carrying out a competitor analysis of their market on a local, national and international scale”, said Joe. “Keeping with the digital focus of the company, I decided to build an animation to present my findings at the end of the internship. I also had the opportunity to attend a networking conference. The experience as a whole has been top draw. The guys over at Gospelware welcomed me with open arms and were fully invested in working with me to get the most out of the 8 weeks.

Once I graduate, I plan to go back and work for Gospelware - something I’m really excited about getting stuck into come September.”

Claudia Thompson, Marketing Manager at Gospelware, is also a Northumbria University graduate and has managed Joe in his short placement. She said: “It was great having Joe join our team for several weeks. He was an appreciated support for our marketing department and brought an outside perspective on the digital sector and our marketing activity within it. It’s a positive thing for both industry and students that Northumbria has these invaluable internship programmes, and it was great for us to give something back to the university of which a few of us are alumni."

So far there are 6 North East based SMEs involved in the Marketing Internship Programme, based within the private and third sectors.

Dr.Sutherland said: One of the many benefits of the programme is that it provides SMEs with skills and knowledge to help support their existing or new marketing ability. In recent year an internship with The Glass and Art Gallery in Consett helped the small business double its turnover. Students can work on new projects that require additional resource with a specific brief. Participation is on a voluntary basis outside their degree, which not only shows a positive work ethic but also gives them valuable real work experience to enhance their career prospects when they graduate.”

In 2015 Newcastle Business School was awarded the prestigious Small Business Charter, largely in recognition of its active participation in supporting small businesses and start-ups.

For more information about Newcastle Business School visit

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