Sam Cooper

Company name 

Academic Internship Council (AIC)



Power Group

Business Services


Samantha places international students in internships in London so they can gain experience as part of their degree. Company partners range from large, multinational corporations to small, entrepreneurial start-up organizations and placements are designed to be mutually beneficial for both the employers and student interns.  She has worked in international education since 2001 and is passionate about intercultural and experiential learning. Samantha holds a Masters of Public Administration from Portland State University, specializing in non-profit management, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in French and Psychology.

Our story

The Academic Internship Council (AIC), part of CIEE, is a non-profit that places international students in academic internships in London.

If you, a colleague, client or friend are looking for an intern, then please contact me. The students we work with come from a variety of backgrounds (with many interested in business, tech, design, startups, financial services, engineering, and communications) and we help these students connect with a company in London so that they can gain practical experience in their industry of interest. We work closely with companies to pre-screen, interview, and assess students so that you are matched with students suited to your project needs. There are no costs to you as an organisation; most placements are set up on an unpaid basis (but paid internships are possible), as students are receiving academic credit towards their university degree. All the students are able to work part-time or full-time (depending on your needs) as they are sponsored for UK visas by the AIC, a visa sponsor, or their university

What we bring to the table

We help provide additional student talent to your projects without charging a fee to your organisation.

Saves you time.  We individually pre-screen, interview and assess students to offer candidates best suited to your project needs. We provide a simple and defined process to make working with us as efficient as possible.

Creates value.  Employers benefit from motivated students with international perspectives that help you accomplish more and enhance your brand. Students undertake project-based practical work placements (that can be unpaid or paid) in exchange for academic credit through their home institution as part of their course of academic study.

Provides local support throughout placement.  We partner with employers to receive feedback and provide support throughout the placement.  We initiate a mid-term and final review to be incorporated into student grades.

About me

Likes: Great communicators
Dislikes: Pretention
What word or phrase best sums you up: Resourceful.

Quick fire questions 

How long have you been a BNI member? 

Since Jan 2017

What does your role entail, in a nutshell?

Matching interns with companies, and helping students navigate their careers.

How do you help your community?

I like to help people, whether that be helping a company establish an internship programme or helping students better understand their professional selves.

What is the most exciting / rewarding aspect of your role?

Making a great match, where a supervisor and student both feel that they gained something from the experience.

What has BNI done for you?

Helped me connect with companies that I wouldn’t normally have been able to.

Any pearls of wisdom for fellow entrepreneurs / Business Professionals?

Be curious.