After graduating from Loughborough University last summer with an International Business degree, I was unsure of what to expect. Many family friends had previously told me stories of their struggle to find employment after University due to fierce competition. Despite studying their hardest and even gaining a First Class Degree, they found that a year later after graduating, they still had no luck on the job front.
It became apparent that the main reason candidates were rejected by employers was lack of work experience. Many employers require candidates to have at least one year’s professional experience in the chosen field, which can be impossible for graduates and other entry level or career changing jobseekers to possess unless they take the internship route. In my own scenario, I was lucky to be able to obtain a Human Resources Internship at MTV three months after I graduated and then secure a permanent role as a Human Resources Assistant at MTV and Nickelodeon only two months into my internship. Prior to both jobs, I had undertaken a year placement as a Learning and Development Intern in the Human Resources department at Warner Bros Entertainment. Therefore, looking at my current career situation, I believe that with today’s strong competition for jobs, internships can be key to one’s future career.
I found my Warner Bros internship through a great website called “Rate My Placement” and after an online application, telephone interview, assessment centre and face-face interview I got the role! The reason why I applied for the internship in the first place was to gain real hands on experience to be able to apply what I was learning at University to the real world of work. I knew that an internship would be the starting point to develop professional experience and skills to make myself more employable and I can say that my Warner Bros internship was an important milestone in helping me secure a job after University.
During my internship there, I was given real responsibility such as creating and managing the training intranet, organising training courses, creating reports that were used by senior level employees and even having the opportunity to lead two training workshops for work experience students. I was made to feel like a valued member of the team as my opinions were always welcome and my team constantly supported my development by allowing me to go on many training courses to develop my professional skills.
From my internship experience at Warner Bros, I can definitely say that internships are extremely beneficial. Through this internship, I was able to gain the skills and experience necessary for the workplace. I was able to build my confidence professionally and personally through being able to interact with employees at all different levels of the organisation. I was also lucky that my line manager acted as a mentor then and still advises me to this day. Without this internship, I doubt I would be in the position I am in today as I wouldn’t have been able to have gained the valuable experience required to enhance my CV and give me that competitive edge that is essential today.
When I graduated from University and applied for the Human Resources Internship at MTV Networks, I found that my Warner Bros placement had equipped me with actual relevant work examples that I could use to showcase my experience and skills during my MTV interview. After successfully being chosen for the MTV internship, I found that this opportunity opened the door to my career today. My team gave me real responsibilities such as creating reports to go out to the whole HR team and coming up with ideas to improve our HR processes. I was able to use my internship at MTV as a platform to soak up industry knowledge from my team and to prove my skillset, so that when an opportunity for a new HR Assistant for MTV and Nickelodeon was advertised, one of the HR Managers encouraged me to go for the role. Through the internship experience I had already gained there, I was able to demonstrate that I had the skills, experience, company insight for the role and was successful in being selected for the position. Therefore, internships are beneficial and can lead to permanent employment.
I personally feel that my internships have been crucial elements in my career path to date. Without the possibility of an internship, it would have been much more difficult to access not only employment in a large well-established multinational organisation, but also to break into the media industry. I strongly recommend that people consider an internship opportunity as a building block to one’s future career.
Vanessa Richter is a 23 year old Human Resources Professional working in the Media Industry. She graduated with an International Business degree from Loughborough University in Summer 2015, following a year internship at Warner Bros Entertainment UK. She now works for the MTV and Nickelodeon brands within Viacom International Media Networks.