Financial Researcher - Estates & Facilities, University of Bradford
What did you do on your Internship?
The main task was to find new funding avenues for Estates and Facilities, and come up with new ways to continually improve the ‘green’ approach that the University takes. I unearthed millions of pounds’ worth of funding opportunities through my research, and put new ideas forward to managers and directors about how to continue to expand and develop. The internship was a success – and I am going to contact Estates before I leave University to see how much of that funding they have applied for/received!
Why did you apply for the Summer Experience Internship?
I wanted to broaden my skills and find work experience in new areas, that I potentially hadn’t realised existed or wasn’t sure if it was ‘for me’. I was in a transition between letting go of wanting to get into Medical School and looking for new opportunities, and I realised that it was important to gain transferable skills wherever possible in order to add to my CV and broaden my scope in the search for career options. This was the first time I had done something ‘office based’ too, and so it added valuable personal experience to what was previously a very clinical CV.
What did you enjoy about the Internship?
I enjoyed working with new people from various backgrounds, taking part in a number of team tasks. It was useful to be led by management to complete a project, of which at first I knew nothing about. I was congratulated highly for my efforts upon presenting my project in a senior management meeting at the end of my internship, and I later went on to receive an outstanding achievement award at the University awards ceremony. I did get out of this internship a strengthened set of transferable skills; of which was my intention. The extra money for summer wasn’t too bad either!
What tips would you give to prospective students?
I would encourage future students to engage with any internship they have the opportunity to apply for, because even if it is outside of your intended field it adds an alternative to your CV and shows that you can apply yourself to a given situation/project. It is hugely important to be able to demonstrate transferable skills, as I have found out recently at various graduate assessment centres, and I feel strongly about the fact that my internship, alongside various other pockets of work experience equipped me to be able to answer competency-based questions to the best of my ability. This has resulted in a graduate job offer from every assessment centre I have attended so far, with consistent feedback that I succeeded in the presentation and CBI tasks. This suggests that the skills I have learnt through this experience and others are 100% transferable, and that I have highlighted these well.
What support did you receive from Career Development Services?
The Employer Services Team was a great help in enabling me to secure an internship; I applied for a couple and some had funding issues etc. I was grateful to finally secure a place and this was with huge thanks to team in pushing my CV forward. I was also lucky to have a section of a module dedicated to Careers & Development during year 2 of my degree, which highlighted new career paths and allowed me to feel confident moving forward.
What actions are you taking to improve your employability whilst at university?
I have continued my part-time work alongside University and in each summer since being here, I have engaged in different forms of work experience. This has included the internship and also laboratory/research experience to complement my Clinical Sciences degree. As mentioned, I’ve now secured a few graduate job offers whilst moving into my final exams which is a great feeling and gives me even more to work towards.
What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?
YOU have to be pro-active. Do not rely on those around you to find the opportunities. It’s great to use others for advice and support but this is your future, and if you find these opportunities yourself you can also talk about this in any future interviews. It is impressive to any employer to see such dedication and organisation alongside a degree, part-time work, sporting commitments etc. Make sure you highlight everything you have done in securing work experience, as well as what you learnt. Trust me, it works!
Any last words?
Thank you for the opportunity and I recommend it to anyone.