The Insights Programme

About the Insights Programme

Our Insights Programme helps Widening Participation students develop the confidence, skills and connections to consider a range of careers through introductions to Edinburgh alumni working in an exciting range of sectors, environments and global locations. Thanks to the alumni volunteers who give their time and the generous funding of alumni donors, in partnership with the University, the programme helps students benefit from unique opportunities to explore different careers.

We want all our students to have the opportunity to achieve their full potential when they graduate, but the transition to a professional career isn’t always easy especially for those students whose family, financial or personal circumstances may prevent them from accessing the opportunities to fully explore and prepare for future careers during their studies.

Our Insights Programme can help and is a central component of the University’s Widening Participation Strategy. Through connecting with Edinburgh alumni and hearing about their experiences, students can sample a range of different sectors in Scotland or overseas and develop the personal and professional skills needed to prepare for their career journey. 

How does it work?

Students are placed into small groups and given the opportunity to connect online or in person with Edinburgh alumni. From early career graduates to those in senior roles, alumni  share their career stories, advice, and insights about what it is like to work in their sector.

Students take part in a series of events and activities involving alumni working in a cross-section of sectors, who are either based in Scotland or in one of our host cities around the world.

Experts in the University’s Careers Service will help prepare students for their interactions with alumni through a development programme including skills workshops. There is no financial cost for students taking part.

Who is it for?

The Insights programme is designed to develop students’ confidence and skills for the workplace, so it’s specifically for students who have reached university through non-traditional routes or who come from families, schools or communities where university is not a typical destination. This means students who meet the University’s Widening Participation criteria.

Insights destinations

Insights student in Washington

Insights students have the chance to learn more about career opportunities from global alumni based in a range of cities across the world including in:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • South East Asia
  • Scotland and the rest of the UK

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the Insights Programme was re-designed to be delivered exclusively online, with students able to take part in a week of activities and skills sessions, and connect with alumni based in Scotland and internationally. Due to the success of several online weeks delivered since, this is now an integral strand of the Insights Programme.

Previous Insights experiences

Students have enjoyed some amazing experiences, thanks to our alumni volunteers, including:

  • Learning more about tech start-ups in Edinburgh
  • Experiencing the corporate world in New York
  • Touring the EU Parliament and speaking with the alumni who work there
  • Learning about curiosity from a panel of 5 global alumni from a range of sectors including marketing, finance, government, aerospace and broadcasting

Find out more about other people's experiences of Insights

Supporting Insights

Thanks to support from University of Edinburgh experts, the alumni volunteers who give their time, and funding from donors, our Insights Programme helps students benefit from unique opportunities to explore different careers without worrying about expenses.

If you’d like to support Insights, get in touch or find out more about getting involved.