Hi, my name is Hamza and I am currently a graduate intern
within the widening participation team at the University of Manchester. As an undergraduate, I studied Law with
Criminology. Over the course of my degree, I developed a strong interest in
helping the wider community through volunteering as a student advisor in the
University’s legal advice centre and as a student ambassador. As a student
advisor, my role was to prepare case files, speak to clients from the local
area over the phone, interview these clients and draft letters of advice for
As an ambassador, I
was able to work on the University’s widening participation initiatives, the
Gateways Programme, Greater Manchester Higher and the Manchester Access
Programme (MAP). These schemes were aimed at increasing progression to
university from particular underrepresented demographics (e.g. Young people
from low income households). My role as
an ambassador was to facilitate activities for these students on campus and
really engage with them, in order to raise their aspirations.
Alongside being a student ambassador, I also used to work
with the Donor Relations team at the University. I would meet regularly with
donors and prospective donors- to talk about my experiences at the University
of Manchester and how the MAP scholarship I was receiving helped me during my
undergraduate studies. I was more than happy to express my gratitude for the
scholarship and meet with donors, especially if there was even a slight chance
that a prospective donor would consider donating a gift which would benefit the
future generation of MAP students.
A combination of both these experiences have led to me to my
current role as an intern in one of the widening participation programmes that
I worked on as an ambassador, the Manchester Access Programme (MAP). My role
involves monitoring and communicating with students who are on the programme
but also to plan and run large scale events for students to attend on campus. I
also deliver presentations
regularly, write pieces for the University website and manage teams of student
ambassadors on these event days.
So why is Widening Participation something that I am really
passionate about? Well, it’s because I came through the same programme that I
now work on, MAP, as a student. I was
given a chance to come on to the University of Manchester campus and take part
in various activities- from Academic writing workshops, Research, Revision and
Referencing workshops, Personal Statement support and the opportunity to attend
a University Life Conference (which involved delivering a group Enquiry Based Learning
presentation during the day and an option to spend the evening in the
University’s Halls of Residences).
MAP made me realise that progressing on to higher education
was not a distant dream. It gave me the
confidence to actually believe that I was capable and deserving of a place at
university. It is no surprise to see that I now currently hold a role where I
get the opportunity to help other students who were like me. I understand the barriers that students face
as I have faced them myself. Having the chance to be involved in a programme
which is attempting to level the playing fields and give students, who have the
ability to succeed at university, that extra support that they need is something
that I am extremely passionate about.
In terms of the future, I am still unsure as to where it is
I will end up. The option to pursue Law is still there at the forefront of my
mind but with my current role, the idea of engaging with young people and raising
aspirations is something which has become increasingly attractive as a
potential alternative route. What is for certain however is that I want to
continue to help those who may be less fortunate and come from similar
backgrounds to myself, as I wholeheartedly believe that everyone deserves an
opportunity- once you have been given an opportunity, it is up to you to pass
it forward to someone else.
http://www.access.manchester.ac.uk/ useful link to the widening participation
schemes the university of Manchester run- Can check eligibility for each
programme on the webpage!
http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=4294 Might be slightly text heavy and aimed at
an older audience but really useful to see all the work and statistics behind
My name’s Jake and I went to school in a small sleepy town
in North Wales, followed by sixth form where I studied Maths, Physics and
Chemistry A-levels. After this I was
accepted onto the Physics course at the University of Manchester, is one of the
most exciting, friendly and liberal cities in the U.K. - a really exciting
change compared to the slow pace of life in Wales! After a jam-packed few years of study, work,
fun and travel, I’ve fallen in love with Manchester and now work as a Student
Recruitment and Widening Participation (SRWP) Intern at the University.
I began university with absolutely no idea about what I
wanted to do in terms of a career. I
knew that I liked science, helping people and travel, but there was no
particular job that took my interest, so I decided to do an MPhys Physics
degree as my science grades were good, I liked Brian Cox documentaries and the
idea of academic research, as well as this Physics is a very well respected degree
with broad career prospects.
I assumed that over the course of the following four years
that I would have an epiphany moment – that everything would fall into place
and I would exclaim ‘Eureka! I’ve found
my life’s passion!’, and start doggedly pursuing an exciting career to
eventually become a world-leading researcher in an exciting and dynamic field.
To my dismay, this career revelation never occurred, and
actually as my degree went on I became more and more unsure about a career in
scientific research. For my MPhys
research, I investigated the effect of graphene upon bacteria, in the hope that
one day graphene could be used in a new generation of antibiotics. However, despite the amazing applications of
this research I learnt that a career in research is not for me (at least not
yet), as I’m not cut out for long hours in the lab and fiddling with computer
But by all means doesn’t mean that my degree was a waste of
time. On the contrary, my time as a
student was the best in my life – I’ve made fabulous life-long friends, gained
extremely employable skills, travelled to amazing places, and my
self-confidence has sky-rocketed.
One of the most important things that I’ve gained is that I’ve
learnt much more about myself, and what I like and what I dislike. I’ve discovered that I’m hugely passionate
about science communication, helping people, and spreading public awareness
about science, education, and social issues.
I also love working with people, using my creativity to blog and solve
problems, and enjoy variety in my work.
I’ve recently began work as a Student Recruitment & Widening
Participation Intern at the university and love it! In this role, I coordinate the University’s Aspiring
Student Society (UMASS), which helps people considering higher education to think
about their options and gives application and career guidance. I represent the University of Manchester at
UCAS fairs, help organise Open Days, and give talks to young people to help
them make more well-informed decisions about their futures. I work with the public on a regular basis,
every working hour is different and I feel proud working for such a prestigious
institution for which social responsibility is one of their core values. As term starts again soon I’m hoping to get
back involved with science and LBGTQ+ outreach too!
I’ve got no idea what’ll I’ll do after my internship, but
I’m sure as I carry on learning more, getting involved with more things and get
to grips with the job, I’ll have a clearer idea of what my next step will be.
: The University of Manchester Aspiring Students’ Society – a good resource for
anyone who’s considering applying to any academic institution.
: The Widening Participation programmes at Manchester, which encourage students
of all educational backgrounds to apply to Manchester.
: Manchester’s hugely popular annual science festival – a great opportunity to
learn about different areas of science, its importance and impact. You can also speak to world-leading
: The University of Manchester’s Student Blogs.
These give a valuable insight into university life and offer tips
covering all parts of student life.
Hi, my name is Sarah and I graduated last summer from the
University of Manchester with a 2:1 in French and Italian. I chose French because
it was a subject I’d enjoyed at school and Italian because I wanted to try
something new. Throughout my degree, my knowledge and passion for languages
grew exponentially but I also had the opportunity to develop many key
transferrable skills that would put me at an advantage in the job market. For the past year, I’ve been undertaking a
paid internship at the University, which has given me even more opportunities
to develop my skill set, and I’ve now secured a permanent position at the
What is MGIP?
The Manchester Graduate Internship Programme offers Paid
Internships working at the University and in other businesses across Manchester.
They are only open to Manchester Graduates so there is a smaller pool of
applicants to compete with than most other internships and graduate schemes.
They vary in length from 4 to 12 months and have different start dates between June
I applied for an Internship in the Student Recruitment and
Widening Participation (SRWP) Team as I had previously worked as a Student
Ambassador and I wanted to work on similar events as a member of staff. The SRWP Team take on 5 Graduate Interns each academic
year to support with their delivery of events to promote the University and
provide accurate information, advice and guidance to prospective students.
My internship involves supporting the pre-16 team, in
particular, the University’s Gateways and Primary Awareness programmes, who
work with targeted groups of young learners across Greater Manchester to raise
aspirations and promote Higher Education. The ethos of the department, that
Higher Education should be accessible to all regardless of social or economic
background, is something that I am really passionate about and one of the main
reasons why I have enjoyed my time here so much.
Throughout the year, I have hugely developed my pre-existing
skills, such as Communication, Organisation, Working as part of a Team and
Time-Management but I have also gained many new skills, such as Data Analysis,
Report Writing, Event Planning, Leadership and Staff Supervision. I have has
the opportunity to take part in Higher Education events all across the UK and
make a real contribution to the development of systems and programmes within
the team. …And all of this whilst being paid!!
I’m really glad that I chose to do an MGIP, especially as I’ve
now used the skills I developed to secure a permanent position in the
International Programmes Office at the University, and I would recommend it to
any graduates who maybe aren’t quite sure which direction they want their
career to take and want to gain new skills and experience.
To find out more about the scheme you can visit the website:
where you can read stories from other Graduate Interns as well so you don’t
have to take my word for it!
Or if you need further convincing, watch this video: