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About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I decided to do a placement because I was unsure on what business area I wanted to progress into following my degree. As part of my business degree I have the opportunity to take part in a year long industrial placement after my second year, these schemes are very competitive but can really help you to secure a graduate job. To ensure that the year placements I was applying for were going to be something I enjoyed and helped me in my future career, I wanted to gain some experience prior to the application process to ensure I didn't waste time applying for placements that weren't going to be of relevance. In addition to this I wanted to also boost my CV to put me ahead of other applicants, knowing how competitive they are going to be to secure.

How did you find your placement/internship?

I entered and won the competition 'The Intern', run by Enactus which aims to find the future leaders in business through an Apprentice style process. The prize was an internship with 3 top graduate employers.

Application process

The application process was mostly done through 'The Intern' which was a really great way of assessing real-life business skills which would be used within a business. The final of the process had some similarities to what usual internships' application process would be, with a whole day of assessment centres and interviews from different employers. This intense day, really made me understand how important it is to have prepared in advance to interviews, as they are going to push to see what they can get out of you and if you are going to try and 'wing' interviews, it is likely that you will not be successful in going forward. Make sure that you have specific scenarios which showcase your skills and that can be related to a number of slightly different questions. It is also likely that employers will have had a copy of your CV prior to your interview so ensure that all your details are up to date and you refresh yourself of your claims before going into an interview where you may be asked specific questions to statements on your CV.

Main responsibilities

My placement was rotational so every 1 or 2 weeks I moved departments and was given a different range of responsibilities to keep track on. It was important for me to make sure I kept a strict track in Outlook or written lists in a notepad of my responsibilities and tasks for the day, and for the week/2 weeks.

Typical day

As I previously mentioned, my placement was rotational, so every day really was different. One day I could be sat at my desk all day analysing data, and transforming this into interesting and useful insight to impact sales and profit. Another day I was in London on an innovation trip, visiting 30 different cake shops and testing what cakes were on offer in the market. Another day I could be on a factory visit, building a relationship with suppliers and discussing joint business plans and upcoming critical paths. Another day I could be whisked off into submissions for a new product development or a meetings with Haribo, Muller, Walkers Crisps or Coca Cola,

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed the fact that every day was different and due to the nature of the placement I was able to sit with so many different departments and people and see how they each worked in totally different roles but equally all worked together on each part of their process of the running of the business. It made me aware of jobs that I didn't even know existed and opened my eyes to what is available in the job market once I graduate.

Challenging aspects

Being an intern in such a large business at times meant that I felt I was a really small fish in an absolutely huge pond, but this also helped me to be confident in getting myself noticed and networking with people on all leadership levels. Also, getting used to a 9-5 job for the first time was admittedly challenging and seeing all my friends enjoying their summer at times dampened my morale but was definitely outweighed by my pay packet and the long term benefits of an internship.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

There weren't any particular skills which I learnt on my course which I related to my placement but it was very useful to see how some modules and the theories we learnt could be transferred into a real-life business.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?


Before my placement, there were so many job roles which I didn't even know existed, and this has absolutely lead me to look wider and further afield when looking for placement schemes in different business areas. Furthermore, it has also highlighted how competitive the job market it is and how important it is to network and gain experience in your desired job market.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Apply for as many opportunities as you can, it is highly likely you wont get the ONE you apply for so keeping as many doors open as possible is the best way to secure a placement.

Other comments

If anyone wants any more info then don't hesitate to contact me to discuss it further, I feel like I could talk about my placement for hours and write about it for days....

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Form completed: 23 Aug 2017

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