HCUK-CES Internships

Harvard is committed to ensuring that Harvard College students have an international experience during their undergraduate careers. The Harvard Club of the UK (HCUK) and the Harvard Center for European Studies (CES) have proven to be excellent partners in this matter, and together offer the HCUK-CES Summer Internships Abroad Programme to match Harvard undergraduates with alumni interested in sponsoring an internship.

Why Hire a Harvard Student Intern?

Hiring a full-time summer intern can be a wise decision for any organization, one that adds value on both sides of the equation. You gain an additional staff member who can be assigned where need is greatest, while the intern gains an opportunity to acquire new skills and explore a career field. Harvard student interns in particular are bright, talented, curious, energetic, and passionate about the work you do at your organization. They faced stiff competition to be selected in the first place, so you know you’re getting the best of the best, and they are ready to work hard for you!

Do you have a specific project that you need help completing? Are you facing a business challenge that could use a fresh approach and tireless enthusiasm? Maybe there is there someone within your organization looking to develop his or her management skills? Harvard student interns offer:

  • substantial work with quality results
  • a wide variety of skills and abilities to contribute to your productivity
  • intelligence, integrity, and tremendous ambition
  • youthful vitality and the potential to energize your workforce
  • creative ideas and new ways of looking at things
  • significant value at a relatively low cost to you

"I was so impressed with the caliber of candidates [CES] presented to me and think I would have been happy with any of them…[My student] was a brilliant intern. She was intelligent and quick to learn numerous tasks in very short periods of time… More importantly, though, she had a very pleasant demeanor and an unbreakable ‘can-do’ attitude. I don’t believe she ever complained or showed any reserve or hesitation when asked to do something… I can easily say she was one of the finest interns I have ever worked with in my past five years as a museum curator."

– Ladan Akbarnia, British Museum

Harvard students are members of the next generation of changemakers; graduates consistently do great things and go on to become great leaders. Wouldn’t you like to have one of them on your professional team, and have a substantial influence on the direction of his/her career? Harvard interns can do meaningful work, bring value to your organization, and make an impact if you let them. Please consider welcoming a Harvard student intern to your workplace this summer.

How to Participate in the HCUK-CES Summer Internships Abroad Programme

For the past five years, CES has worked closely with alumni to create internships that will be mutually rewarding for employer and student. Since CES is on campus and closely tied to the undergraduate community, it can effectively advertise and recruit students. By taking the time to understand exactly what the employer is looking for in an intern, CES can relieve him/her of the tasks of answering repeated questions and enquiries.

Alumni begin by submitting an Employer Agreement Form to CES, who will then set up a phone call to discuss the proposed internship. After one or several discussions, both the alumni and CES will craft a detailed description of both the internship itself and the ideal student candidate, and settle on details such as start dates and compensation. The final, revised Employer Agreement Form is then signed and resubmitted to CES, and the internship position is advertised to students.

Please note that participation in the programme requires that you “save a spot” specifically for a Harvard student, and that your intern be paid a minimum compensation level.  More details can be found in the Employer Agreement Form. You are not expected to find or provide accommodation for your intern, but if you do wish to offer assistance in this regard, it would be welcomed.

If we could, we would have already submitted our application to get an intern for next year.”

                                                             —Ivan Mazour, Innova Kapital


Description of the Application and Selection Process

Student applicants submit to CES a cover letter stating interest in and qualifications for the position, an essay, a CV, and a reference from a current or former employer. The CES selection committee reviews all the applications for each position and rank-orders up to five choices. In most cases, CES conducts on-campus interviews and makes the final selection. However, if employers prefer to make that decision themselves, CES will electronically send the top-ranked applications. Employers who choose to make the final selection must conduct phone interviews with their top three candidates; this allows both the employer and the students to get a better sense of each other. Employers do not need to obtain work permits/visas for the interns – CES handles that entire process.


CES and HCUK communicate with interested alumni, answer questions, and help structure internships and fill out forms. Fall

Employer Agreement Forms are due.

CES publicizes internships at activity fairs and on websites.  December-January

Student internship applications are due. 

CES reads applications and selects top candidates.  Employers who choose to review the top 3-5 ranked applications receive them via email.  

CES conducts on-campus interviews and makes final selections. Some alumni instead choose to interview students themselves via telephone, then make decisions and offers to students.

Students find out results of funding applications. mid-March

Students accept or reject CES internship offers.  In case of the latter, offers may be extended to second-choice candidates.

CES manages entire immigration and work authorization process, and guides employers on how to fill out their [limited] paperwork. April-May

Students arrive and begin their internships. late May through early June

Anyone who has doubts about the value of interns should suspend that disbelief and try the Harvard scheme just this once. I thought I might regret it – now I know I will regret it if I don’t do it again!"

– MP for Blackpool North & Cleveleys, Paul Maynard
As an example, you can download a copy of the 2013 Timeline here.

Employer Requirements

Please note the requirements for employers wishing to participate in the programme.  As an example, those for 2013 can be found here.

Please Join Us

CES is committed to finding interesting and stimulating opportunities for Harvard students that make a meaningful difference in their college careers. The HCUK is eager to match our alumni with students who can contribute real value to their workplaces. Together, we can develop the kinds of exciting prospects for students that make internationalizing education at Harvard both feasible and truly desirable. We hope that you are inspired to support the CES-HCUK Summer Internships Abroad Programme by sponsoring a student intern at your own organisation or business.

Janice Bunstead EdM ’75
Chair, HCUK–CES Internship Programme
Past President, Harvard Club of the United Kingdom 2004–2006

Dr. Aida Vidan
Student Programme Coordinator
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies