I have really enjoyed my internship - I have learned a lot about the company, how it functions and more specifically about the directorate that I am working in: Philanthropy and Partnerships. My team have been incredibly welcoming and given me a good amount of varied work, depending on my interests, whilst still giving me freedom to explore different teams, through shadowing. There is a big focus on self-development in this internship too, which I have found rewarding, with a variety of workshops organised by HR. One thing I have particularly liked is the work culture - no one is ever too busy to have a coffee and chat with you and explain their role, or to help you out. I have really been introduced to networking in this internship!
I have felt very valued by my colleagues - they welcomed me and made a real effort to include me in work, be it with my own small projects or just by helping implement Agile working into the team. To begin with, I felt insecure and unsure what my role was meant to include but I think that over time, my colleagues trusted my ability to do certain tasks more and began asking me more to do tasks. Also, my colleagues are of course busy with their own work, so I had to build the confidence to ask them for work - which was a good skill to learn. My role hasn't included big 3 month projects, but I have had a few smaller projects along the way - I think the majority of intern roles would include larger projects, however.
I was given clear support from management and my supervisors, especially from my manager who has been so supportive to me - I couldn't have asked for a lovelier manager. I feel that at the beginning of the internship, my initial tasks were outlined but then it was quite slow from there in terms of further guidance for projects. However, as time went on I received more guidance in terms of projects from management - as I asked for more work. However, in regards to support - I have had amazing support from management and my whole team. In the team, they really encourage a supportive and 'psychologically safe' environment, which I appreciated.
I was pretty busy on a daily basis - I had a lot of meetings, to be honest I didn't realise how many I would have! At the beginning of the internship, I didn't have a huge amount of work to do so I forced myself to be proactive, with encouragement and support from my manager, and had a lot of meetings with different people from around the company to learn about their roles, met with everyone in my team to learn about them and develop a good relationship and I also contacted other teams to see if I could do any work for them, which I did. I also signed up for (probably) too much on the online portal FUSE and went a bit self-development-mad. Essentially, I think I made myself busy because I really enjoy it and having a variety of tasks to do. Even when you're not busy though, there's always something to do - you just have to ask.
I haven't been given loads of responsibility (but I'm not too bothered by this) as a lot of my team are specialists in what they do so their say counts the most, which is fair enough - of course! I have been given a couple of projects to lead, which I have enjoyed doing and being the key contact for. I would have liked a little more responsibility though - as it's a good way to boost confidence.
I think it will help me a lot. I have learned about various online tools (so helpful because I am awful with tech), self-evaluation, interview skills and CV and cover letter skills - all things which are extremely relevant to today's workplace. I have developed a lot of transferable skills, especially confidence in my ability to work well in the workplace, relationship management and prioritisation. I think I could definitely take these skills to another job.
Very fun, collaborative and friendly. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and nothing was too much to ask - which was a little disconcerting at the start as I couldn't quite believe that everyone could be that nice (coming from a retail background). There is a lot of collaboration in the office, which the Stratford office is great for, and it is a fun place to be in!
It was set up pretty well with regular workshops with HR and a good welcome/induction from my team. I think that with my team, perhaps there could be more planned for the intern to do - however, it was also refreshing to be given freedom to choose what I wanted to do. Everything communications-wise was smooth and there were no hiccups in the general organisation of the internship.
The company invested a lot in terms of personal training and development! There were workshops for all of the interns, a volunteering day at a college in London (great fun) partnered with another charity and so many other resources and workshops online for personal training and development. We were also given a buddy (a previous intern) to mentor us and help whenever was needed.
They are very appealing, with a lot of the intern going on to apply for permanent roles and quite a lot of interns having stayed on. I am planning to reapply for a job and have been offered a lot of support, resources and encouragement in doing this. There are a lot of entry-level jobs available too.
There's definitely a good social scene amongst the intern cohort as we are all interested in socialising and have had socials outside of work around the office which has been very fun. It has been nice to get to know other people from around the UK and internationally as well.
The cost was quite a lot - as you would expect for London. I was commuting in from south of London and so is cost quite a lot to get to and from work which wasn't amazing, but I did know this when I was applying. The cost of socialising was average London prices, with some cheaper options in Westfield in Stratford.
There were some bars and places to go after work but not a huge amount as the office wasn't in central London. However, the tube station is quite near and so you could travel into central if you had the time/money. There are a few cool bars around the office though, they can just get quite busy!
There were definitely opportunities from intern socialising to doing activities with new people you meet from the company and also within the team. Within my team, they quite like to go out and so I have had good opportunities to get involved in these activities and have never felt left out of them.