The Strive Internship aims to offer up to 75 paid internships to Black, Asian and minority ethnic university students living or studying in the West of England. Internships will be available across a range of organisations and sectors in the West of England. Internships will last for a minimum of four weeks, starting in June 2022.


In 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic and rising unemployment amongst young Black students, Chris Hill, CEO of Hargreaves Lansdown and Marvin Rees, Bristol Mayor, identified a need to take action to create opportunities for Black students. Inspired by the simplicity of the #10000BlackInterns initiative, Hargreaves Lansdown launched the ‘West of England Black Interns Pilot’, in partnership with Bristol City Council and The Mayor’s Office. The programme created 45 paid internship opportunities, across 20 organisations in the region for Black students living or studying in the West of England.

Building on the success of our pilot programme, the Strive Internship was created, offering a paid internship opportunity to Black, Asian and minority ethnic university students, living or studying in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. It is a cross-sector internship programme offering a range of opportunities for interns to gain valuable work experience within an organisation and build their professional network.

For more information on what we achieved in 2021 please read our West of England Black Interns Impact Report.

Key information about the Strive Internship

  • When will the Strive Internship commence?

    Internships will begin in June 2022 and will last a minimum of four weeks. The length of the internship will be agreed between the organisations and interns, with the flexibility of internships being up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

  • How do organisations get involved?

    If you are a company or organisation based in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire then you can pledge to take on one or more students for at least four weeks starting June 2022 by emailing us at The deadline for signing up is 30 November 2021.

  • How does the programme work?

    The Strive Internship will offer paid work experience across a wide range of sectors each year, supplemented by training and development opportunities. Our aim is to have organisations across different sectors join together and provide up to 75 internships for 2022, building on the success of our previous pilot programme in 2021. This programme will continue to evolve each year over the next four years.

  • How will the programme's activities be coordinated?

    This programme is being coordinated by Hargreaves Lansdown and a steering group with members across The Mayor’s Office, Bristol City Council, and University of the West of England.

    Hargreaves Lansdown and the steering group will be responsible for, amongst other things, encouraging firms’ participation, advertising the opportunity, running initial sifts of applications and running basic competency assessments. Organisations will be responsible for coordinating their own organisation specific recruitment process for the final stage of assessment. Hargreaves Lansdown will run briefing sessions with organisations to clarify the process, roles and responsibilities.

  • How will candidates be sourced and selected?

    Hargreaves Lansdown and the steering group will promote the initiative through universities based in the West of England. Candidates will apply to the Strive Internship by sending a CV and cover letter to

    Hargreaves Lansdown will ensure candidates meet the programme and basic competency criteria (teamwork, communication, willingness to learn and resilience).

    The steering group will then distribute applications amongst participating organisations who will then run their own assessment process for the final stage of recruitment based on their preferred processes and criteria. They will then select at least one applicant for an internship.

  • Will internships be paid?

    Yes. At a minimum, interns must be paid the Real Living Wage for the region.

  • Is there a requirement to offer a fulltime job to the intern(s) at the end of the internship?

    No. The aim of the program is simply to provide a life-changing experience in the workplace by broadening horizons through great quality work experience. If an internship were to lead to a permanent role, that would be a fantastic outcome but is not a requirement.

  • How will the internship be advertised?

    The Strive Internship steering group will work with universities based in the region to attract students to apply to participate in the programme. We would encourage organisations to promote the programme on their social media too.

  • What happens to the data and information provided during the application process?

    Any personal information interns provide will first be used by HL to ensure that they meet the programme criteria and basic competency requirements. This will take place via reviews of CVs and remote interviews. Personal data processed by HL will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Notice which you can view here.

    If successful during the initial stage of the recruitment process, the CV and cover letters of interns will be shared with a third-party organisation who will run the final assessment stage. Any personal data provided to third party organisations providing internships will be handled in accordance with their Privacy Notices and data protection obligations.

    If you have any questions or concerns about the processing of your personal data please do not hesitate to contact us at .

  • What is the programme criteria?

    You’ll need to:

    • Be a Black, Asian or minority ethnic student
    • Be living or studying in the region, or have graduated from University within the last 12 months
    • Be available to work full-time from June 2022 for a minimum of four weeks.
  • Why should I get involved and apply for the internship?

    You’ll have the opportunity to get ahead by having a paid internship where you’ll:

    • Work with some of the leading organisations in the West of England
    • Gain valuable work experience
    • Have training and development opportunities
    • Explore a sector you’re interested in
    • Start building your network and gaining key industry contacts
    • Build essential transferable skills
  • How do I apply for an internship?

    Applications are open now and the application submission deadline is 31 December 2021.

    You will be required to submit your CV (no more than two pages) and a cover letter. In your cover letter you will need to answer the following questions (maximum of 200 words per question):

    1. What is your motivation for getting involved in this internship programme? What are you hoping to learn or achieve by the end of the internship?
    2. What do you think people you have worked with in groups would say are your strengths and weaknesses? How have you tried to develop these?
    3. Scenario: You’re given a task to do which you have never done before, and you are unsure of where to start. What would you do to make sure that you deliver a good piece of work?
    4. How do you feel when you are faced with a sudden obstacle to your plans? What do you do to resolve it?

    You will also need to confirm that you meet the programme criteria.

  • What are the stages of the recruitment process?

    Send in your CV and cover letter to by 31 December 2021. Please note that if we receive a high volume of applications prior to this date then we may close the application window early so please apply as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of obtaining an internship.

    After an initial sift, successful candidates will be invited to share their internship preferences in terms of sectors, roles and/or organisations.

    If you are successful in reaching the final stage of the assessment process, this will be run by the third-party organisation offering the internship. We will try to match opportunities with role preferences where possible, but this is not guaranteed, and you are encouraged to be open-minded. You’ll receive more information from the organisation directly about this stage of the process and what you need to do.

  • What happens next?

    You can send your application in now to . We will be sharing further information about the programme here and on our social media over the next few weeks so please keep checking for updates.

  • What happens if I don’t get an internship that matches my role preference?

    Where possible, we will try to match interns with an organisation which meets their preferences, however, this might not be possible for every intern.

    If we are unable to match you with one of your role preferences, you will still have the opportunity to gain great knowledge and understanding of a new role within a new sector, start building your external network and work for a market leading organisation which will help you get ahead and stand out.

    An internship in any organisation will enable you to utilise the transferable skills you have gained from your university degree which you’ll be able to apply to lots of different roles and organisations. During this internship you’ll develop transferable skills which you can utilise during your university degree and as you start your career.

  • Which organisations are signed up to be involved?
    • Avon and Somerset Police
    • Bishop Fleming
    • Bristol City Council
    • Business West
    • Encounters Festivals Ltd
    • Environment Agency
    • Ghyston
    • Hargeaves Lansdown
    • IntellectBooks
    • Jacobs
    • PeopleScout
    • Planning Portal
    • The Ambitious Consultancy
    • True to Nature
    • UWE
    • West of England Sport Trust

Have a question?

Email us at

Our partners

We're launching the Strive Internship with our partners Bristol City Council and Bristol One City.

Offer an internship

By registering, you agree that your company or organisation will commit to offer at least one internship to Black candidates starting in June 2022.

If you'd like to register your firm’s interest in the programme please make sure you have decision-making authority to hire, or have relevant internal approval.

Please email to register to offer an internship.

Apply for an internship

If you'd like to receive information on how to register your interest please email us at