Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme: Market Research Intern with Careers Network

What I learned in week one

The words internship and work experience, for me, conjure images of making tea, washing up and being the office skivvy, however my experiences in Careers Network have been far from this. The only tea I have made is my own, the only person I have has to wash up after is myself and the only photocopying I have done was for my own benefit.

My first week with Careers Network has been a busy one. I am a Market Research Intern and I am required to undertake a competitor analysis of the services offered by the Careers Network, create promotional material and collect information for a graduate scheme and internships database. I have been given a list of tasks to do and I am slowly working my way through them, learning how to prioritise and to manage multiple tasks over a prolonged period of time.

One of my first tasks has been to create a database of all the services offered by university careers departments across the UK to enable a comparison. I know I am not very good at using Excel and by creating this database I have been able to develop my knowledge and to create a user friendly document for future reference. I have learned to be persistent and to steadily work through a task even if it seems to be never ending! I am about three quarters of the way through and I am determined to complete it sometime this week!

Alongside this, I have been creating case studies of mentoring schemes and marketing material for work experience and bursary schemes. I have learned that I can be creative, I am better on computers than I thought and that I should trust my English a bit more; it is not as bad as I thought!

I have also been to a team meeting, an ideas meeting for future services for students and to a training session about professional etiquette. I am quite a chatty person anyway but these meetings helped me to develop my confidence at speaking about what I have been doing in a more formal setting. I feel that this has been a very rewarding opportunity to have been given.

I have found it difficult to be sat at a computer 9 til 5! I am quite an active person and by the end of the day I have become fidgety and my eyes are sore. I have learned the importance of getting out of the office in my lunch break, even if it is just to pop over to have lunch with a friend or down to Spar.

I have enjoyed the friendly nature of Careers Network and the fact that I can just get on with what I have to do on my own. My confidence is growing and I am pleased with the work I have produced. I would have liked to have got further through my list in my first week, but I still have time to complete them in the next three weeks.

I am very glad that I am not a tea making service, washing up fairy or office skivvy that I associate with the word internship. I know that my time with Careers Network will help me to develop my transferable skills and be a very rewarding way to spend my summer break.

Caroline Saxon 

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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