Published on 27th July 2016
Elema Rockson, a second year Psychology student at the University of Leicester has spent the summer working as an intern at Ambition. Here she describes her experience and gives her top tips for any students considering undertaking an internship.
My 5 week summer internship with Ambition is coming to an end, and the first thing I must say is that it has been an invaluable experience. As a second year student, I understand that after reaching the end of the academic year, all most students can think about is relaxing before entering a stressful final year of university. For many students internships may not be at the forefront of their to-do list in the summer, but for me it was, and looking back, it was such a great decision.
Internships are a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and reinforce existing ones in a new environment. In small niche companies like Ambition, it’s most likely that they will only have only a small number of interns so it will be a lot more hands on in terms of the work and I believe you feel a bit more special.
I initially came across Ambition after following them on LinkedIn and applied for one of their other jobs. I was then contacted by their Head of Diversity Services, Sally Clare who offered me an internship.
Coming into Ambition, I didn’t have many expectations, though I had a general idea of what recruitment firms did. I also wasn’t sure how much the company would immerse me into the role of a recruitment consultant. Would it be a classic case of just being the intern that makes all the other employees tea and coffee all day? Thankfully, at Ambition this was not the case, although a few cups of tea and coffee have been made!
One of the best things about working at Ambition has been the team. Ambition has such a great, positive environment. Fortunately I have been able to learn about all of their different business areas and work with lots of different teams from corporate services to the finance and accounting recruitment consultants.
I would recommend Ambition to anyone looking to start or further their career in recruitment! And I would also recommend anyone looking for a job to get in touch with Ambition to speak to someone who genuinely cares, who will find the best role for you and put your needs first.
I have learnt that recruitment consultants deal with people’s careers and livelihoods in most instances and the experience, values and manner of the consultant are crucial in providing a positive experience for both the candidate and the client. Luckily, Ambition is full of experienced specialist consultants in a number of areas. Stepping into the office and hearing consultants’ conversations with candidates, you can just hear how friendly, kind and approachable they are and you can genuinely tell that they care.
Being in an environment like that is a great place to learn from. I have learnt so much, and I am forever grateful for the experience and the opportunity to learn so many new skills which I will take with me through my career.
My top tips for students considering an internship
I would encourage every student to take part in an internship and my top 5 tips to fellow students would be:
1. Be proactive
There are hundreds of companies out there who have summer internship schemes specifically for students who will be going into their third year. However there are also a number of companies that may not necessarily have a specific scheme, but would be more than willing to take on students who show an interest and passion in a specific area and will happily offer them the opportunity to do work experience.
Do not hesitate to contact companies directly and ask them if there’s a possibility of an internship. Internships are beneficial for both students and the company as you gain experience and they gain a helping hand at work!
2. Have an open mind
Though you may want to be a Business Analyst, searching purely for Business Analyst internships massively limits you in your internship search. Find out about the role you’re interested in and if there are other roles in which you carry out similar day to day tasks. Most jobs have transferable skills, so it’s best to keep an open mind and look at different job roles within one area. You never know, you might discover you love a role that you had never previously considered (try recruitment!).
3. Be confident
Confidence is a factor that plays a part from the beginning to the end of your internship journey. From looking at roles to going through the interview process, to being in the workplace.
4. Be a sponge
Absorb as much information as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how stupid you may think they are. Everyone was a beginner at one point and nobody will judge you in the workplace for asking questions. Learning as much as you can will benefit you, even if you don’t know what you want to do when you graduate. Internships are also a fantastic way of finding out if you like a specific career enough to pursue it when you graduate. It also helps you find out specific the aspects of a job you like and dislike.
5. Enjoy the experience
As a student the world of work can be daunting, but if like myself, you get the privilege of working with such a great company like Ambition, embrace the opportunity. Get involved, speak to as many people as you can, and ask if you can try different tasks. The time will fly by so make the most of it!
by Elema Rockson