Internship leads to permanent position for recent Keele graduate

The UK’s leading provider of live chat software and business process automation has thanked Keele University and its Santander Universities programme for helping in the appointment of its latest member of staff.

Niamh Reed, a recent Keele graduate, initially joined Stoke-on-Trent-based Parker Software on a ten-week internship in October 2017. However, she immediately impressed colleagues and was offered a permanent position at the company in January 2018.

Roxanne Abercrombie, Content Manager at Parker Software and a previous intern herself, praised the scheme: “The Santander Universities SME Internship programme is a wonderful opportunity for businesses and graduates alike, and has enabled us to find a great addition to the team who would never have crossed our path had we used a traditional recruitment method.

“Keele University showed great skill in sourcing candidates who would be the strongest possible fit for the role – without the hefty price tag that usually comes with the recruitment process. Not only did we find the perfect person for the job, their internship pay was also partially reimbursed through the programme.”

Speaking about her experience of the programme, Niamh added: “I’m very grateful for the opportunity that the Santander scheme has provided and would definitely recommend it to current students and recent graduates who are looking to gain some invaluable real-world work experience. I’m now looking forward to building on my placement and developing my skillset further here at Parker Software.”

Roxanne concluded: “We would certainly hire an intern again – not only for the cost-effectiveness compared to traditional recruitment methods but also for the opportunity to give worthy candidates a break in a tough job market. We’ve been able to upskill a talented young graduate and give them their first break, which is rewarding in itself. However, the company has also been rewarded in return, as the investment in our intern has blossomed into fantastic work and strong foundations for the future.

“I would certainly recommend the Santander Universities SME Internship programme – there is nothing for a participating business to lose and a great deal to gain.”

To find out more about the internship and business support opportunities available to SMEs, please contact Keele University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or email