I always wanted to pursue a career in the big wide world of business when studying my A-Levels, so I decided studying Business Management with Finance would suit me down to the ground. In order to differentiate myself from other people who will be graduating from such a popular course it was a no-brainer for me to spend a year in industry. Cardiff Met were able to facilitate this through an optional sandwich year.
After copious amounts of applications and interviews (a very long process, but so worth it!) I accepted a 13-month internship in Sales Strategy & Planning (SSP) at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) who are ranked as 12th in the top undergraduate employers in the UK.
I was keen to gain experience in the technology sector in particular; it’s ever-changing, in high demand, growing, and an innovative industry. HPE are an IT company who provide servers, storage, networking, consulting and support, so this was not an opportunity I could turn down.
I really feel like the work I produce on a day-to-day basis is valued and don’t feel regarded as the stereotypical ‘intern’ – we’re not all expected to just make coffee all day and photocopy everything!
I have been able to produce worthy reporting, provide analytical reports and even been able to get involved in the forecasting process for my department. I have gained more skills than I would have ever imagined through the placement. I have learnt to conduct myself professionally, been challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone, shown a willingness to learn, and become a more confident individual within the work place.
Through networking and showing professionalism outside of SSP I was also given the chance to support the internal talent management programme at the company. This enabled me to get an insight into other parts of the business and see that there is life on the other side of who you are emailing everyday.
I was able to help organise the allocation of tickets to Discover, a sought after event that showcases technology for current and prospectus customers. They say hard work pays off, and it really did – for my work on this I was rewarded a ticket to the event at the ExCel in London, which was an invaluable and unique opportunity that I will never forget.
Thirteen months in an office might sound dull to some, but interning at HPE is much more than that. Throughout the year I have been able to get involved in charity events such as Race For Life and Color Run as well as Children in Need fundraisers. And as HPE employs 50+ interns in their UK headquarters alone, it has meant that social events are never sparse. From an intern ball to Royal Ascot, you name it we’ve had the opportunity to do it, and this has allowed me to find some of my forever friends.
I cannot recommend a year in industry more. Working at HPE has allowed me to apply what I have learnt at university so far as well as preparing me for my final year and the ‘real’ world in a way no lecture ever could. Not only have I made some friends for life and created some unforgettable memories, but this experience has put me in good stead for when I am applying for graduate roles.
Hopefully it’ll be the gateway to my dream future job!
Read more about Cardiff Met students improving their employability.