NGO Internships in London

If you are ambitious and looking to change the world, you’ve probably thought about working for an NGO. It is the perfect fit for someone motivated but hoping to put their hard work towards a cause and change for the better. Whether you’re interested in change on a local or global level, one thing is certain – experience is everything and there is a lot you can learn internationally that you might not learn domestically.

What is an NGO?

A non-governmental organization is an extremely broad category. This term describes organizations that are non-profit, have specific aims and can be organized on a local, national or international level. The UN defines an NGO as any kind of private organization that works independent from government control, which is not-for-profit, non-criminal and not simply an opposition political party. This term covers a wide range of organizations whose focuses vary from malaria prevention to climate change. Here’s some information on how to gain experience and prepare yourself for a career in this sector.

A Competitive Sector

The NGO sector is quickly becoming one of the most competitive sectors for graduates. In terms of recruitment, there is one thing that all NGOs are searching for: experience. NGOs accept applicants from a broad range of degree backgrounds, but experience is much more of a factor when it comes to looking for a job in this competitive sector. It is important to gain as much experience as possible in as many different fields as possible. One way in which you can do this before and after graduating university is by looking for internships with NGOs that interest you. This will give you a greater insight into the sector, will make you a stronger candidate when it comes to applying for long term employment, and will help you develop the necessary skills for your future.

International Experience

Gaining some international experience will set you apart from other candidates. NGOs function differently depending on the country in which they are based or whether their work is on a local, national or international level. This aspect is particularly important if the NGO aims to bring about policy change. Different political systems in different countries lend themselves to different approaches; this is why picking up as much as experience as possible in as many different countries as possible will turn you into a well-rounded candidate.. During your internship you may be involved in tasks involving publicity, data collecting, fundraising, education, and also grant writing. Even if you decide to work in other sectors in the future, this experience will develop your teamwork skills and demonstrate that you can work well under pressure with a lot of responsibility.

There are also differences between what you will be doing in your internship depending on the city. There are many NGOs working in the UK and London, and larger international NGOs with international programs will most likely base their headquarters in London. Working in the head office can give you a greater understanding of the running of the NGO as a whole as well as an insight into how they focus on a particular city.

Tips

The most important thing to do is to find a cause you are passionate about. Genuine passion shines through at an interview and no interviewer will fail to notice this. If you have a strong interest in something, preparation for the interview will come naturally to you, as you will want to stay informed and be up to date with the current situation. There are so many causes out there, so do your research and figure out what speaks to you most.

If this sounds like the sector and destination for you, check out our London Program.

Be sure to also check out our article on NGOs in Melbourne!

Sources:

Photo 1. based on London, Tower Bridge, by hans-jürgen2013, CC-by-2.0

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John Monahan

Before joining The Intern Group in 2014, John held senior positions in the investment operations field, including Senior Manager for Investment Application Services at Liberty Mutual (one of the USA’s largest insurance companies), and AVP at Bank of New York-Mellon. John holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University with a field of study in Economics, which he earned while working full-time. A travel enthusiast, John has visited over 30 countries, and believes deeply in the value of international experiences as a lever for educational, professional, and personal growth.

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16 Comments

  1. kitchen refacing ct on June 1, 2016 at 9:20 pm

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    a quick visit this webpage on regular basis to get updated from newest
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    • Kirstie Weston on June 1, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Hi there,

      Thank you for your comment. We’re glad that you find our blog useful!

      Best,
      TIG

  2. Salma Hussain on June 3, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Can you please let me know if you have an internship program in 2018 for which am interested. Thank you

    • Kaylea on June 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Salma,
      Thanks for your message and your interest in our program. Yes, we have internship start dates year round, usually the first Saturday of each month. All 2018 start dates for London are open to receive applications now. I’ll send you more information on how you can apply!
      Best,
      Kaylea

  3. Hafiz Latif on June 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Hi There,
    Happy to see good comments and healthy feedbacks.
    I am interesting doing internship in the field of sport for development in the very start year 2018 in the u.k. Can you guide me in this regards?
    Many Thanks
    Muhammad Latif

    • Kaylea on June 16, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Hafiz,
      Thanks for your message. Sure, I’ll send you some more information today on how you can apply. We recommend applying around 6 months in advance from your desired start date, so it’s the perfect time to apply for January start dates. Keep an eye out for my email today.
      Best,
      Kaylea

  4. Farnaz Vakil on August 26, 2017 at 5:30 am

    hey! i’m a Law student and i need to do an internship in a NGO as a part of my academic course. it would be really helpful if you could guide me in this regard.

    • Danielle Ortiz-Geis on August 28, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Farnaz,
      Thanks for your message and interest in our program. My colleague Kaylea will send you more information about NGO internships via email today.

      Best,
      Danielle

  5. hellen on October 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

    hie, i would like to apply for an internship for sometime next year February (2018) can i get more information please on how to apply and if there are any requirements, in the NGO sector please. thank you

    • Kaylea on October 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Hellen,
      Thanks for your message. You will definitely want to submit your application as soon as possible for a February internship as spots are filling up fast. I’ll send you some more information today via email.
      Best,
      Kaylea

  6. Ria on November 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Hello,
    Ria from India here. Could you please forward information regarding the internships in Ngos in Londonfor 2018?

    Thank you.

    • Kaylea on November 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Hi Ria,
      Thanks for your message and your interest in our program in NGOs & Non-Profits. I’ll happily send you some more information, specifically regarding our London destination. Keep an eye out for an email from me.
      Best,
      Kaylea

  7. Victoria on November 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Good afternoon,
    i’m very interested in your program in NGOs. Could you please send me some more information about the internships you provide ?
    Thanks a lot,
    best regards,

    • Kaylea on November 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Victoria,
      Thanks for your message and your interest in our program in the field of NGOs. I’m very happy to send you some more information – keep watch for an email from me today!
      Best,
      Kaylea

  8. Chrys on November 16, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Hi, what organisations in London or New York have you guys partnered with under Government and Politics or NGOs ?

    • Kaylea on November 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Chrys,
      Thanks for your message. I’ll send you an email today with some host organization examples as well as some additional information regarding our programs.
      Best,
      Kaylea

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