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Santander SME Internships Programme

Santander SME Internships Programme

Attracting and retaining the very best talent is important for many ambitious small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Santander Universities SME Internship Programme can offer up to £1,500 grant funding for eligible SME who wants to offer internships to students and recent alumni from the University of Cambridge and are eager to begin their new career. If the match is right, you could even employ them on a permanent basis.

If you would like to participate in the scheme, you can find more information on the Santander Portal.

Criteria for SMEs

  • UK registered company or charity.
  • 250 or less employees.
  • £50 million or less turnover.

Organisations are encouraged to advertise vacancies on the Careers Service website. Students can then apply to the vacancy. The company selects a suitable candidate and then applies for the SME Internship grant via the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre.

The aim of the Santander SME Internships Programme is to secure paid work experience for University of Cambridge students and graduates. We look for companies who are able to provide the best work experience.

Criteria for interns

The programme is open to all final year Cambridge students (undergraduates or postgraduate students and PhD) and recent alumni (graduated 2017 or 2018).

Interns are paid £306.25 per week for placements between two and ten weeks. Half of this is paid by the SME and half by Santander. All placements are based on a standard 35-hour week, although part-time roles are acceptable. Internships can last longer than ten weeks, but funding from Santander is limited to the first ten weeks. Interns must submit a short, written report at the end of their internship.

How to take part

If you fit the criteria and would like to take part, please register your interest with the programme co-ordinators at the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre by emailing

Please note that eligibility criteria and full terms and conditions will apply.

As an SME, it's hard to compete against more established companies to attract top talent. The Santander SME Internship programme - which funds half of the costs of an internship - was invaluable to us. We were delighted to have Tom Higgins Toon, a Cambridge graduate, over the summer to support us with our marketing activities and day-to-day operations.
Caroline Pegden, co-founder of TempaGoGo, an online temporary recruitment marketplace
At careers fairs, it can be hard for students to distinguish between the hundreds of internationally renowned companies jostling for fresh talent. Yet thanks to the Santander SME Internship programme, I have had the opportunity to make a real difference in the world of startups. Mentored by the delightful Caroline and Phil Pegden, co-founders of TempaGoGo, I have been able to chance my arm at everything from digital marketing to operations. It really is like doing a "mini MBA".
Tom Higgins Toon, Marketing and Operations Intern, TempaGoGo