At a glance…

Graduates of St Chad’s College are among the brightest and the best in the UK; our graduating classes regularly achieve the highest proportion of first class degrees of any College at the University. However, this talent and energy is largely lost to the North East when the vast majority of these students leave the region to begin their careers, most often in the South East – this is what is referred to as ‘the brain drain’. We would like to challenge our students’ assumption that you can begin or progress your career only in the South East with our regional internship scheme partnering with businesses and organisations in the North East. A promising graduate who has engaged with a North East business or organisation through an internship during their studies is more likely to consider working in the region after graduation. This helps the region retain prized talent and energy, and gives North East businesses valuable early access to some of the most accomplished graduates in the UK.

Since 2018, 14 of our undergraduate students have completed summer internships with businesses and organisations in the North East, including Womble Bond Dickinson, COCO, Swinburne Maddison, The Auckland Project, and Marie Curie. In future, we would like to grow the initiative to involve more regional businesses and more of our promising students.

Information for NE businesses

Information for St Chad’s students


Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK)

Selected reports on previous Intern:NE internships in 2018 and 2019

Hannah Fougner (International Relations) interned with Durham-based law firm Swinburne Maddison in summer 2018.

Click here to read about how Hannah Fougner, one of our first Intern:NE participants, got on during her internship with Durham-based law firm Swinburne Maddison in July 2018.

Jonathan Moreland, Partner says, “We were very pleased to be part of the Intern:NE initiative and delighted that it worked so well – the more so because Hannah was the first student to begin her placement on the scheme – so she has set a high standard. If the region is to have a sound economic future, companies must attract and retain as many talented graduates as possible. That begins by working closely with universities and undergraduates to showcase the type of career opportunities that exist on the doorstep so that career decisions can be made with the benefit of experience, not in ignorance. Over the short time she was with us, Hannah made a big impression and I am sure that she will be an asset to whichever company and career path she opts for in the future. We would certainly like to provide opportunities like this again for Intern:NE students and would strongly recommend the initiative to other companies.”

Kiera Dodds (Chemistry) and Olivian Wong (Law), pictured with Paul Stewart (Training Principal and Graduate Recruitment Partner), completed internships at Womble Bond Dickinson on Newcastle’s Quayside in summer 2018.

Helen Marr, Graduate Development Specialist at Womble Bond Dickinson , said “We were delighted to be part of the Intern: NE programme and are pleased to hear how much Olivian and Kiera have benefited from their time with us. Olivian summed up her experience by saying “the internship has shown me that there are definitely fantastic opportunities for a legal career outside of London, especially up here in the North East. Kiera, a non-law student, valued the opportunity to gain an insight into the different legal sectors and particularly appreciated working alongside “people who have a genuine care in the success of the firm and are passionate about promoting the North East region.” We would be very happy to continue our involvement with the programme and would recommend it to other businesses.”

Anna Gray (History) completed an internship with Womble Bond Dickinson in summer 2019.

Anna says, “As part of Intern NE, I spent a week at Womble Bond Dickinson in Newcastle in summer 2019. Over the course of the week I had the opportunity to experience three different departments at the firm, strengthening my understanding of how a large law firm operates. As a non-law student, it was really good to spend time in a variety of teams as it exposed me to wide range of legal work, including employment disputes and real estate. I was impressed by the quality of the work undertaken and it showed me that you don’t have to work in London to be exposed to high-calibre, engaging work. Everyone was very welcoming and answered all my questions about working in the North East and as a lawyer in general. Thank you to Helen Marr and Jemma Lewins, from Graduate Recruitment, for organising such a great week for me. The experience has made me seriously think about working in Newcastle after graduation as it has highlighted the great opportunities available to graduates.”

Robbie Bell (Natural Sciences) completed an internship with COCO, the Newcastle-based charity founded by Steve Cram CBE, in summer 2018.

Robbie says “As part of Intern: NE, I spent two weeks with COCO in Newcastle. It is a small charity working with communities in Eastern Africa to help provide and supplement educational provision in areas of poverty. The work was a lot of fun, and I had a lot of responsibility, helping with numerous different aspects of the charity’s work, including drafting e-mails to supporters and potential supporters, branding, graphic design and designing surveys for research purposes. 10/10, would do again.

Beth Gray (Social Sciences) and Alice Rich (Geography) completed internships with COCO in summer 2019.

Beth says “Just before the start of term I completed a short two week internship at COCO, a small charity in Newcastle that focuses on sustainable development through education in East Africa. My role during my time there was very independent, and I spent most of my time researching and writing reports for the charity. My reports focused on assessing the charity’s impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the national development goals of the countries it works in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. By the end of my two weeks there I had completed and formatted 4 main reports and some have since been published on the charity website and shared with donors and supporters online. The staff were all really friendly so it was easy to quickly feel part of the team. Having done other bits and bobs of work experience, working at COCO was quite refreshing as I felt very trusted to take my own initiative and work at my own pace on the tasks the charity had set me. As COCO is such a small charity with very few paid employees, you feel valued in the contribution you are making to its work through volunteering rather than feeling like a spare part just there for the experience. I was pretty interested in international development before, so to be included and integrated into the office setting there really gave me a feel for what a job in the sector would be like.Overall, I found the opportunity to work at COCO a really valuable couple of weeks.  I’d like to thank Chads for the support in accessing the internship and would recommend the charity to anyone looking for good experience in the charity sector.”

Alice says “As part of the InternNE program during summer, I went to the Newcastle-based children’s charity COCO (Comrades Of Children Overseas) for a short internship of two weeks in July. My role was as a fundraising and events assistant for mostly their UK-based events but some international challenges. I did a lot of administration work, updating contact details on their records and contacting people about events that were happening. I also filed lots of documents and generally ensured that their data about events was backed up and filed appropriately. For the more creative aspect, I had the chance to design emails and resources that would be sent out to various contacts about events such as the COCO birthday for this year for which I designed the display boards and several emails. Further opportunities included the chance to design emails for the COCO ball as well as making the July newsletter. One project that I was working on involved coming up with ideas for COCO’s 20th birthday for next year. These ideas involved themed sporting events, challenges, and social events that could take place over the course of next year to celebrate 20 years since the formation of the charity. My experience at COCO showed me some of the background about how the charity works. I loved seeing how both the social and fundraising events that they ran pulled together, from the very beginning stages of planning right up to the event itself! I gained experience in their administration programmes including Donor Strategy and in their email system which used Mailchimp. COCO taught me how important the right marketing skills were to get people involved in events and I learnt a lot about making catchy designs and slogans for emails and posters. I would recommend COCO as an internship placement because of how welcoming the staff there were. The office was very relaxed and there was a lot of communication about different ideas that they had. They were also very friendly and open to any and all questions and new ideas and they all obviously cared a lot about the work they were doing. The staff also had many interesting stories of the times they had spent in Africa which showed a different perspective on the education system out there. Two weeks almost wasn’t enough time and went by very quickly!”

Emily Kitching (Theology and Religion) interned at Marie Curie, based at the Hospice in Newcastle, in summer 2018.

Emily says “Volunteering and working with charities has been central to my time at university so being able to spend the summer interning with Marie Curie in Newcastle was a great experience. The team were really accommodating and allowed me to have some choice over which projects I could get involved with. This meant that I was able to complete projects for both the corporate and community fundraising teams, where my tasks ranged from contacting local businesses to sending thank you cards to local supporters. It was a great way to learn about national charities and how they operate. Newcastle was a fun place to work and the people at Marie Curie were really welcoming so I’d highly recommend the internship!”


Nissan Skills Foundation at Nissan Sunderland

Pink Boutique

Swinburne Maddison LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson

Marie Curie

COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas)

The Auckland Project