Careers Service

Insight Days

Insight Days

Career insight days provide an opportunity to experience what it is like to work in a professional environment and learn about an organisation’s structure and culture.

Many large organisations have started to offer structured insight days, or weeks, typically aimed at first year students. These tend to take place over Easter or summer, and can go by different names, such as spring weeks (banking sector) or vacation schemes (legal sector). 

It’s possible to gain an insight into working in a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME), however this is more likely to be through arranging work shadowing. 

The Careers Service offers a Careers Insights Programme for under-represented students, which includes visits to a range of key graduate employers, as well as funding and exclusive events. You’ll receive £200 to participate, and potential access to a further £500 work experience bursary (eligibility criteria applies). 

Benefits of doing an insight day 

Insight days can help you to: 

  • develop commercial awareness  
  • understand the culture of a particular organisation, which can help you tailor your applications for further experience or graduate jobs 
  • learn about different opportunities and roles within an organisation, to help you decide where your future career interests lie 
  • provide evidence of your motivation to work in the sector when applying for graduate jobs 
  • make contacts within the sector and potentially arrange further work experience where you can take a more practical role 

Insight days don’t tend to be paid, as you’re not employed, or completing significant work for the organisation. However, they usually cover expenses such as travel and lunch. Opportunities which last a week or longer are more likely to offer payment.  

If you need financial support to enable you to take part in an opportunity which doesn’t cover expenses, you may be eligible for our Careers Insight Bursary. 

When to apply 

Applications for insight days tend to open in September and some may still be available up to March. Opportunities with large companies can be competitive and will close early in some sectors, particularly banking.  

CVs, applications and LinkedIn profiles provides useful advice on how to write an effective CV, covering letter and application form. 

Finding opportunities 

  • Careers Service Careers Insights Programme for under-represented students. Includes visits to graduate employers, funding and exclusive events.  
  • Student Ladder – work placements for first year students in a range of sectors 
  • Rate My Placement – insight programmes for first year students, mostly in finance and law 
  • TARGETjobs: Insights programme – also offers First year Banking insights to female students in their first year
  • e4s: First year internships 
  • University of Kent – list of insight days for first year students 
  • Rare Recruitment– recruitment agency offering a series of introductory career programmes for first year BME undergraduates interested in law, banking and consulting.  
  • External events – can include insight days and events aimed at first year students 

You could also consider work shadowingas a way to arrange a practical insight into your area of interestMaking contactshas information on building up your network can allow you to explore industry contacts. 

Further information 

Events to look out for 

Recruitment fairs are not just for graduate jobs. Some employers at our events may also offer insights, so go along and find out more about their opportunities. 

At ouremployer presentations, you can hear about their organisations, build your network and ask questions. They usually take place at lunchtime or after 17.00. 

We also list external events that are held off campus. These can include opportunities to find out about work experience. 

You might also be interested in 

Work shadowing is another way to arrange a practical insight into your area of interest. The Careers Service offers work shadowing programme for first years. We also run a Get ready to graduate event for final year students every June, which includes work shadowing an employer. Visit our Events page in May for more information. 

Our list of external competitions often include work experience as a prize  

To find out more about the opportunities undertaken by Newcastle University students, including case studies and top tips, visit ourBe Workplace Ready blog. 



Career Insights Programme

Gain relevant work experience, explore a range of opportunities and build strong networks with employers through the Career Insights Programme.

The Career Insights Programme is primarily aimed at under-represented students, see the eligibility criteria for more details.

This year's programme includes:

  • access to employer events and exclusive workshops
  • a team business project with a global company
  • a fully-funded trip to visit key graduate employers and build employability skills
  • a fully-funded small business experience day
  • a £200 bursary to support your participation in the programme (eligibility criteria applies)
  • an opportunity to access a £500 work experience bursary through the Career Insights Bursary

To undertake the Career Insights Programme, you would need to be able to take part in all the activities included. By completing these, you will gain the ncl+ Award.

Employers who are confirmed to take part in the 2019/20 programme are: Accenture, BBC, Clifford Chance, FDM, Hallmark, North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), STEM Healthcare, Wilton Centre, Womble Bond Dickinson, Tyne and Wear Museums, Newcastle Council.

The programme has four different strands of events and activities, related to the following sectors:

  • Business and management
  • Creative and arts
  • Science, engineering and technology
  • Public sector and law

You can choose your preferred sector when you apply. 

Eligibility criteria

The Career Insights Programme is primarily aimed at under-represented groups. To qualify for the bursary and have your application prioritised, you would normally need to have UK home fee status, be based at the Newcastle Campus and meet at least one or more of these criteria:

  • have entered the University through the PARTNERS programme
  • have entered the University through the Realising Opportunities programme
  • receive an Opportunity Scholarship from Newcastle University
  • receive a Promise Scholarship from Newcastle University
  • receive a Care Leaver Bursary from Newcastle University
  • receive a Student Parent Bursary from Newcastle University
  • receive an Access Scholarship from Newcastle University
  • receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or DSA
  • receive another form of verifiable bursary through the University

All applications are considered on an individual basis. If you are unsure whether you qualify or would like to discuss your eligibility, please contact us.

How to apply

Applications for the 2019/20 programme are now closed. 

Find out more

If you have any questions about the Career Insights Award, email us and we'll get back to you within 5 working days.