At the start of my placement at Enterprise I was apprehensive and nervous. I hadn’t worked in a corporate environment like this before and I had this idea in my head that an internship would just involve repetitive filing and tea-making. I was particularly worried about being forgotten as an intern in such a large and busy environment. I’m not sure if this was down to ignorance or a Hollywood stereotype, but I definitely had a preconception of what my months ahead would be like. Most of all, I knew that working in a large corporate organisation was going to be very different from my university life of turning up to lectures in pyjamas. I was excited, nervous, intrigued and a little bit nauseous on my first day. However, I very quickly realised that this was definitely not going to be a tea-making exercise.
A big difficulty I had faced at the beginning of my internship search was deciding what area of business to do my placement in – there are so many options! I started by speaking to my university careers department, who at first suggested going into Human Resources because of my interests in people and diversity. I then spoke to various friends and family members about working in HR and that’s when I decided it was for me. But before I embark on a lifelong career I thought it might be a good idea to test the waters and see what working in HR was really like – so I reached out to Enterprise.
I knew they were an industry leader when it came to diversity and inclusion, which I have always had a keen interest in. So when I contacted them I mentioned I was particularly interested in these topics and that it would have been great if I could be involved in this area of HR during my internship. I had no expectation that they would be able to get me involved on these themes, especially due to the short amount of time I would be with Enterprise. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My first task was working on the Stonewall Index Project which taught me in great depth all the amazing things Enterprise does for LGBT+ employees in and outside of the workplace. I felt listened to and had the opportunity to learn and contribute to something which I was passionate about. I was a key part of the team that put forward the submission for this year, which was very rewarding. More importantly, I could point to this when asked what I did during my summer at Enterprise.
With internships it can also be difficult to decide where to apply to – there are so many options put before you. I chose Enterprise because they were so accommodating and I knew they were an extremely friendly business. My first day went so well; my team were really welcoming and I received my first project. It just got better from there! I’ve learnt so much in my time here, and at such an early stage in my career.
My internship has given me a great insight in what I want to do once I leave university – which is a relief – but it’s also taught me to have confidence in myself and my ideas and that in order to be listened to I actually have to say something in the first place.
All this is why I am glad that I chose Enterprise for my placement. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better place to have spent my summer. My advice to anyone looking into a summer placement at Enterprise would be, no matter how long your placement is, you can still contribute and make a difference, especially as this is the kind of environment where it is encouraged. Doing an internship at Enterprise will really help you gain confidence and knowledge; they allow you to engage, be autonomous and get involved. In short, as one of their values state, their doors really are always open.