If you would like to read feedback from previous GBP employers, take a look at our case studies.

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

The Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) offers employers, the opportunity to recruit recent graduates to fulfil your business need.

GBPs can be employed to undertake challenging roles and projects in a wide range of sectors; on a full-time basis; available to start throughout the year for a period between 2-23 months.

In return your business can gain from the latest academic knowledge; individuals who can quickly grasp new skills and concepts; problem solve with a fresh perspective; test out new roles; trial new employees; and help with short-term cover.

(If you are a recent graduate please see our graduate page.)

This is a summary of the GBP recruitment steps. For details on how you carry out the following tasks, please click on the relevant boxes below.

  1. Employer completes the Internship Vacancy Form (if you are a University of Exeter employer you need to have the GBP role approved through the University's ESR1 process). 
  2. The vacancy is advertised for 2 weeks (or longer if targeting final year students- see below  in 'advertising and promoting your vacancy' for the recommended times to advertise your vacancy.
  3. Interns apply using our standard Internship Application Form sending to internships@exeter.ac.uk.
  4. We communicate with applicants before the closing date to advise if they need to improve their application form.
  5. The next working day following the closing date, the Internships Team will send via email, the applications and guidance on the next steps.
  6. Employer can send rejection emails to those not called to interview, or ask the Internships Team to do this.
  7. Employer needs to shortlist and call selected candidates to interview asap (remembering to use the SCP Recruitment - Right to Work Process) 
  8. Employer conduct interviews.
  9. Employer offers GBP role to successful candidate.
  10. Employer rejects the unsuccessful candidates.
  11. Once job offer has been accepted, employer completes the GBP Appointment Form and return to internships@exeter.ac.uk.
  12. The Internships Team will send the employer an Internship Agreement and further guidance, on the next steps.
  13. The Internships Team will send the intern a congratulations email and guidance on the next steps.
  14. The Internships Team will send up to 6 follow up intern emails, including a request for a MCZ internship feedback form in the last email.
  15. The Internships Team will send up to 6 follow up employer emails, including a request for a MCZ internship feedback form in the last email.
  16. The Internships Team will create an Internships Case Study and upload it on the Internships Case Study Portal.

 What Exeter graduates are looking for in a potential employer:

  1. Work type
  2. Location 
  3. Quality of training & development programme 
  4. Quality of staff already working for the organisation 
  5. Work-life balance
  6. Overall reputation of the organisation  
  7. Organisation’s business performance  
  8. Starting salary & additional benefits
  9. Potential to work for employer long-term
  10. Culture of the organisation
  11. Opportunity for overseas experiences  
  12. Employer’s corporate social responsibility


What Exeter graduates are looking for in a graduate role

  1. Being challenged and stretched on a day-to-day basis 
  2. Having a good social life around work 
  3. Having genuine responsibility from day one 
  4. Having a job that allows you to ‘give something back’ to the community 
  5. Early opportunity to work with clients or customers 
  6. Being part of a structured graduate training & development programme 
  7. Doing a series of placements in different parts of the organisation 
  8. Opportunity for rapid promotion 
  9. Not working evenings or weekends 
  10. Working towards a professional qualification 
  11. Working with senior managers and executives 
  12. Using the degree subject you studied
  13. Responsibility for managing other people
  14. Joining the part of the organisation you want to work in straightaway 

Best time of year to advertise for a graduate

To recruit a final year student as a graduate, to begin working for you between July-September, we recommend that you open your graduate vacancy from October-first week of April, with an interview date in the final week of April (in the Easter holidays). If you want or need to do a second round of recruitment for graduates to start between July-September, we recommend an advertising period of Mid May-End of June.


If you would like to employ a graduate between October-June we can take a vacancy from you at anytime and advertise it for two weeks. We will be promoting this to graduates who have already completed their degree within the last 3 years.


To raise your profile with current students you may wish to consider offering part-time student internships during term-time or student summer internships, to raise your company profile with Exeter students, through the Student Business Parternship  scheme.

Placing your job to advert

To discuss your vacancy please contact Jo McCreedie, Employer Liaison Officer on 01392 722617 or j.mccreedie@exeter.ac.uk

The next step is to complete the ‌Internship Vacancy Form

As an University recruiting manager (this stage does not apply to external employers) you will need to raise an ESR1 with your Human Resource Advisor, attaching the Internship Vacancy Form in the recruiting section. The Internships Team will be notified the day after your ERS1 is approved and will have access to the Internship Vacancy Form, but if you wish to speed up the process you can forward the approval email and link to your ESR1 once you receive notification it has been approved.

You can send your completed Internship Vacancy Form to j.mccreedie@exeter.ac.uk, copying in internships@exeter.ac.uk. We will review your vacancy and place it to advert within 2 working days.

Promotion of your vacancy

We will then advertise and promote your GBP vacancy by adding it to:

  • 4 x graduate recruitment websites
  • University of Exeter 'Working here" vacancy page
  • Jobs.ac- advertising jobs at Universities
  • My Careers Zone- our careers portal
  • Other universities' careers portals x 9
  • Targeted emails to graduates by career sector; occupation; and discipline
  • Social media- Career Zone; Internships and Alumni: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Jobs bulletin sent to over 3000 graduates
  • The relevant Societies to add to social media
  • Employability Officers in the Colleges to add to social media


  • Applications will be made using the Internship Application Form and sent to internships@exeter.ac.uk
  • On average you can expect to receive between 5-20 applications.
  • We check all applications meet the GBP scheme eligibility criteria and highlight any issues i.e. disability; right to work; and restrictions on working hours
  • We send all the applications by email the following working day after the closing date.



  • The employer shortlists the applications. You may wish to use  the University's Shortlisting Scoring Grid
  • The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is 'Disability Confident'; as such, as an institution and as a scheme, we have committed to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities. Applicants are advised to disclose whether they have a disability in their Internship Application Form and it is the responsibility of the recruiting manager to ensure that any disabled applicant who meets the minimum essential criteria is offered an interview.
  • The employer invites the shortlisted candidates to interview as soon as possible. We tell graduates to expect to hear if they have been shortlisted 5 days before the scheduled interview date. We recommend you call candidates to book an interview time and date and follow this up with a confirmation email. You may wish to use this Invitation to interview email.
  • For the candidates you do not wish to call to interview we ask you let them know as soon as possible by email. You may wish to use this not called to interview email. Alternatively the Internship Team can do this for you, if you send us the names of the rejected candidates.
  • Please remember the University as the employer requires recruiting managers to ensure candidates coming to interview are invited to bring along their Right to Work evidence.                             


Conducting the interview

  • Assess each candidate against the selection criteria published in the Internship Vacancy Form. You may wish to use the Interview Scoring Grid for this purpose.
  • You may wish to use these Interview Questions or these Strengths based interview questions.
  • You may also wish to conduct a short test e.g. manipulating data in a spreadsheet or writing a short communciation with a client.
  • We ask that you respond to candidates who have not been successful at interview and be willing to provide constructive feedback if requested by them. If this is not possible you may wish to use our standard email unsuccessful after interview.
  • Please check all interviewees' right to work.

Informing the interviewees of the outcome of their interview

  • At the end of the interview please let the interviewees know when you will be in touch to let them know the outcome of the interview. We require this to take place within 3 days of the interview and that you make all efforts to speak to the candidates.
  • When you contact the successful candidate to offer them the job, please ask them to confirm they would like to accept the job and agree a start date. 
  • For the unsuccessful candidate we ask that you offer feedback. Inexperienced graduates really benefit from learning what they did well on in interview and what and how they could improve. If you thought they were appointable (just not the top candidate), please let them know! 

Once your chosen candidate has been identified and has accepted the position, we will ask you to complete the relevant Appointment Form so we can issue the Internship Agreements and further guidance on the next steps.

External employers will issue a Contract of Employment. Graduates must have employed not self-employed status. For more information please go to the HMRC website.

As a University recruiting manager we ask that you allow at 10 working days between sending the Appointment Form back and your intern's start date with you. This is to provide enough time for HR to issue the contract of employment and for us to issue Internship Agreements and guidance. If your GBP starts after the main payroll deadline for the month you wish them to start, your intern will not be added to TRENT until after the payroll ‘lock-down’ has been lifted, usually on payday.  Hence your intern can start work within 5 days of notification, but they may not be able to get their University staff card and access to IT until after that month’s payday.

‌‌Successfully placed graduates will be expected to be released from work to attend a GBP Employability Training Day at the University. The GBP will soon be sent an invitation to training to their home email address.

Graduates employed by the University can also access staff learning and development opportunities.

You are expected to undertake an induction process with your intern within the first two weeks of employment. You have been sent an Internship Induction Checklist for your reference. If your company does not have an established induction, please complete the Internship Induction Checklist with your intern.

You should set clear objectives for the intern.  If your company does not have an established PDR/appraisal process, please use the Internship PDR Form.

As an University of Exeter employer you do have to option to offer your GBP, apprenticeship training (under recruiting tab). GBPs need to be employed at least 12 months to participate and released from 20% of their work time. 

The University will support both your organisation and the GBP intern throughout the internship to ensure both parties get the best out of their GBP experience.

Jo McCreedie will be available to meet with Interns to discuss placement issues and provide assistance with employability issues for the future, and will be inviting them to meet with me at least once during their internship. We ask you release them from their work to attend this meeting.

Should you have any concerns regarding your Intern or their performance that you wish to discuss Jo can be available to assist.

We ask that the GBP intern meets with their line manager regularly.

GBPs employed by the University are also able to access staff wellbeing services.

Management Fee

External Companies

  • £400+VAT per internship.
  • £200+VAT if you appoint a second GBP intern from the same internship advert.
  • £50+VAT if you extend your GBP intern within 23months of first appointment

University of Exeter Employer

  • £300 no VAT per internships.
  • £150 no VAT if you appoint a second GBP intern from the same internship advert.
  • £50 no VAT for every GBP extension you make.

This fee covers:

  • Advertising - includes advising on job details and person specification, advertising your role in a variety of places, and appropriate timescale;
  • Managing the application process - includes handling general enquiries and applications;
  • Training – One day employability training for GBPs;
  • Contract/Agreement support – includes providing internship agreements and liaison with HR about contracts for GBPs
  • Support and guidance – For interns and employers on placement and employability issues.


We ask that graduates are paid a minimum £18,189 per annum, based on a working week of 36.5 hours. When setting the salary we ask you to consider pay expectations in your sector, for that role, and the location of your business. 

Salary On Costs

Internship Salary On Costs (update 23.8.2017) will provide you with those additional costs based on the £17,764 salary.

Annual Cost of Living Increase

GBPs employed by the University are subject to the annual cost of living increase which is reviewed in August, but often not agreed and implemented until January. 

Incremental Rise in Salary

All GBPs employed by the University salary scale c.9. Pay increments to salary scale point c.10 will automatically be given to GBPs in post more than 6 months on the 1 August each year and payments will be made in the August payroll.

If your intern is employed at the University of Exeter and they are leaving, here are a few actions to undertake to end their internship: Actions to be taken if your graduate leaves.

In addition: if your intern is employed by the University and has had access to My Career Zone as an administrator, please contact careers@ex.ac.uk  and advise that they have left.

We ask that you please complete the Internship Feedback - Employer Submission and also encourage your intern to complete the Internship Feedback - Intern Submission

The following terms and conditions detail the obligations of all parties:

Any data provided to the University by any party will be processed in accordance with Student Employability and Academic Success (SEAS) Privacy Policy


Our Employment Services team would welcome a discussion on your internship opportunity. Please contact:

Jo McCreedie
Employer Liaison Officer (Streatham Campus, Exeter)
Tel: 01392 722617
Email: J.McCreedie@exeter.ac.uk

Josie Turner
Employment Services Officer (Penryn Campus, Cornwall) 
Tel: 01326 255756
Email: j.turner@exeter.ac.uk