What advice would one intern have for another?

July 29, 2021
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In a survey of nearly 5,000 graduates, 28% of 2020’s third-year students had job offers rescinded or deferred. 

Given the turmoil many employers found themselves in, and the extensive use of the furlough scheme, this is hardly a surprise but is still shocking to read. As the market slumped, demand for entry-level roles surged. Unilever reported receiving more than 367,000 applications for 1,500 intern, apprenticeship and graduate training roles.

The 29th of July is ‘National Intern Day’ in the UK, and given how valuable an internship has become we wanted to share some advice from someone who knew what being an intern was actually like. 

Thankfully, we’ve had a few wonderful new members of our team join through internships. One of those people is Hannah Stevens, a Marketing Executive in our Harvey Nash team in the UK. David Savage, our Group Technology Evangelist caught up with her to see what she had to say!  

David Savage: As today is ‘National Intern Day’ we're talking to a recently new employee of the Harvey Nash Group, who started her career here as an intern, to get some hints and tips for other folk considering taking an internship. Good morning Hannah!

Hannah Stevens: Hello.

DS: Why did you look to an internship as an employment opportunity?

HS: I wanted some different experience. I think I wanted to experience something before fully committing to it and an internship you get to try lots of different things really quickly. So this was a three month internship originally. I just thought it was a really great opportunity.

DS: Was it your first role or have you been employed before?

HS: I have been employed since I was 16. At the beginning of the year, it was really hard to find something that was a graduate job, especially during the pandemic. But I think an internship was really attractive in the sense that you could try it and then see how it was, and try to make an impact in such a short amount of time.

DS: So to all the school leavers, students, people coming out of education looking for a job for the first time, what advice would you give them if they're looking to start an internship?

HS: Google Digital Garage is a godsend. Just loads of free tools and stuff are on there. Then it’s about believing in your capability, but being humble about it. So saying really openly, “I have experience with this”, or “I've got a skill in this”, or “I have an interest in this”, but also saying that I'm really willing to learn.

I think it's just a learning experience. You're going to fail in quite a few things, but just picking yourself back up and just going for it. I think a lot of people are scared to communicate with somebody higher up, they're scared to just try something and I think you don't need to be. There is always a bit of a worry, especially if it is your first role. Don’t be scared to make a mistake.

DS: Your internship was successful. So what tip would you give someone… the one thing that helped you make that a successful three months?

HS: See everything as an opportunity. Every Microsoft Teams call (because it was obviously all Teams calls) try to make an impact, try to have some influence; even if I just said one thing in a meeting, it’s important that you’re trying to have something relevant or impactful and sharing that.

DS: Thank you for your time. I'm sure it's useful to anyone else looking for an internship and good luck in your continued role.

HS: Thank you.

Interested in joining the Harvey Nash Group and working alongside Hannah? Take a look at our open vacancies here.

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