Just one month ago, I started my first ever internship. The role for the internship was within sales and marketing, with a focus on creating marketing activities for old corporate customers, who are not active customers at the moment. My responsibility would be to win them back, to reengage. When I first saw the details of the internship I knew right there and then that it would be the perfect match for me. As I came from sales background I was very interested how businesses function in UK, especially in IT Industry since I have worked in IT all my career.
First day was full of surprises! Company impressed me with its friendly atmosphere, warm and welcoming attitude to me. I immediately felt part of the team and not just summer intern. However, my job turned to be completely different from what we have discussed during the interview: I was assigned to do cold calls and offer people who once used company’s services a free trial for their new online database. That was not exactly my dream job but I decided to give it a go, especially as I never did cold calls before. I did it for one working week and realised that this kind of job isn’t getting me anywhere. That seemed to be more like an internship for undergraduate student, not for an MBA. It wasn’t developing my managerial skills, didn’t give me insight of UK’s business and didn’t add any valuable experience, which could be useful for my future career.
I shared my concerns with Westminster’s Business Experience Team, and said that I’m thinking about quitting. The university business experience team was very supportive, and we agreed that quitting wouldn’t be the best option. They suggested that I should talk to my employee about a more challenging job. Next day I met with my manager and we talked through my new responsibilities. Cold calls were taken off, and I’ve been given very interesting marketing tasks to fulfil: competitive analysis, SWOT analysis, creating company promotional materials, such as presentation and corporate video.
Now I’m working directly with the owner of the company, developing a concept for one of the business unit in the company and creating a price model for new product. These are very creative and challenging jobs, which allow me to apply all my knowledge acquired during MBA study and to gain skills which I’m sure, will be useful in my career.
My advice to future MBA interns: you are in charge of modelling your career prospective. School gives you a tool, a placement in our case, but it’s entirely up to you to make your internship extremely beneficial for your own career development. Unpaid nature of internship could be an issue. For me, a professional with 10 years of experience, it was very unusual to work for free. However I figured out for myself a good way of dealing with it: treat it as part of your study, learn every minute from everything you do and everybody you work with. Even speaking in English at work is a huge learning opportunity to gain some business English skills, if you are an international student like I am.
Good luck !
This blog post is written by Yulia Tustanovskaya , current MBA student doing an internship as part of the studies.
If you would like to know more about internships and available jobs you can search for them in our Career Development Centre
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