Updated: May 30
Hi, I'm Khizara. I've just finished my last semester as an undergraduate studying Business Management at Pearson College London. I completed a few Internships spanning several industries (Legal, Tourism, Education, Beauty, and Recruitment), business functions (Marketing, Finance, Operations, UX/UI design and Legal) and teams over the past couple of years. I have also helped manage a small business whilst studying full time and working within Bubl, as an Accounts Exec.
Before I lead you further into this rabbit hole…this blog will give you some insight into finding an internship!
As a nationwide lockdown was announced in March 2019, the jobs market was extremely 'tight', and my plans to travel, do an exchange programme and teach abroad were suddenly at a standstill. I knew I wouldn't be able to sit Idle. So, I dove deep into the pool of virtual internships in order to upskill, be more agile and adapt to tumultuous times, whilst also making an impact, albeit virtually.
I'll be honest though, the peak of the pandemic also encouraged me to self-reflect, re-evaluate, and have a Kit-Kat; time that was once taken by travelling into work and back, delays and spending endless amounts on lunch (there's food at home) was now focused on leisure, health, and family.
Finding opportunities 🔎:
Speaking to Tutors + Engaging with your Modules:
I secured one of my first internships through my Tutor, Chris Jones who introduced my peers and I to meet the founder of TripTide, Peter Richards (who is also a founder of CloudMarshal). Within some of my modules, I had the opportunity to work with various startups e.g., ERIC, and was able to gain valuable skills in design and agile principles.
The Internship Team at PCL:
Make use of your in-house teams at PCL, they are there for your development.
Scheduling in a meeting with the team to discuss your career aspirations is a great place to start. It is also a good opportunity to gain valuable feedback on your CV/Cover Letters, which will help prepare you for assessment centres, interviews, networking evenings and jobs. Shoutout to Arnold for their support in this, as the in-house team encouraged me to explore different roles whilst also matching me to companies that they saw aligned with my core values!
The Work Fitness Week:
Each term, there's often a week filled with workshops, webinars, networking evenings and industry days. This is a great way to increase your commercial awareness, widen your professional network and also be social. I attended the majority of these sessions, workshops, and networking evenings. The Work Fitness Centre is also my go to for scouting exclusive opportunities that are posted there. This not only helped to build my confidence, but also my ability to engage in meaningful conversations with peers, speakers, and employers.
LinkedIn PCL Internship Page:
Don't forget to look at LinkedIn where opportunities, workshops, and internships are posted within the PCL network. It's your own personal ‘Indeed’ page, so have a browse through the opportunities available and reach out to your tutors and the internship/Talent Development teams for clarification and questions.
Not only this, reading the newsletters from the college also helped me stay in the loop with exclusive events, workshops, and tips. Basically, you’ve got mail… try and read it.
Bubl is a FREE work experience platform designed by the college to bridge the gap between employers and our students through a range of live work experience challenges for PBS and Escape Studios.
Challenges on Bubl give you an insight into your potential role as an intern for the company. So, have a browse through the catalogue of challenges and register your interest for the roles available, so that you can fast track yourself into your summer internship. Also, there's no rule saying you only have to do one internship in the summer.
Keep your eyes open for Bubl's (PCL) Supercharged Rotational Internship Programme where you can collaborate with a series of firms across different business functions.
Utilise the in-house teams and platforms at PCL: they are there for your development
Have your CV + Cover Letters ready and ensure they are tailored to the company.
Do not limit yourself. I would encourage exploring different industries, job roles and positions. I never thought I would be interested in UX/UI design and Agile Project Management (these terms were alien to me) but I ended up doing a Code First Girls Course centred around Web Development.
Foster a ‘growth’ mindset and embrace rejections and failings-try to learn from them.
If the shoe doesn't fit… that's okay. Similarly, if one technique doesn't work to solve a problem, an alternative may be tried, instead of abandoning the work. Experiment and enjoy the process.
'Don’t let your grades define you, unless it is the only thing you can bring to the table' - A harsh truth
Good luck in whatever you choose this summer!