Our guest blog is written by Sam Stevenson, a Business student from Nottingham Trent University, who recently completed a Data Migration Internship with Step at Shredall; one of the UK’s largest independently owned shredding, document storage and document scanning companies.
At the start of my second year at Nottingham Trent studying BA Business, my plan was to go on a year long placement for my 3rd year. After some unsuccessful applications I started to look at alternatives, as I did not want to be in a position where I did not do something during the sandwich year. Fast forward 6 months and I am now writing this blog in Spain just about to begin studies in the University of Valencia as part of the Erasmus programme.
As I got accepted on to this programme I was wary that, as much of a good experience and opportunity a year studying abroad is, it did not provide me with the work experience my peers were getting on placement. With this in mind I was keen to have an internship over the summer to try and negate my concerns of missing out on the development of skills that can only happen at work. This was around April/May time which became an issue in itself as a lot of ‘big’ companies that offer internships had already found someone. I was starting to worry that again I was not going to get much needed work experience so began to apply for summer work in bars/call centres etc, albeit good work experience but not the relevant business experience I was seeking.
This all changed after talking to a member of the Step team at my universities recruitment fair, he explained to me the process of how Step works with SMEs and reassured me that I still have a great chance of securing an internship. True to his word in around 3 weeks’ time from this, Step phoned and told me to update my profile as there is a great opportunity that has arisen at a company that was really local to me (less than 3 miles from my home). It was a speedy process and soon after this I was having an interview and the Monday after that I started.
The internship itself was great I worked in the operations department at a company called Shredall, who provide services to companies who need to securely destroy their confidential waste. During my time there I was given different individual projects that provided me with real responsibility. A real rewarding aspect I found about working in a SME is that the impact of your work can be felt around the company, you really are classed as an integral part of the company whilst there which is definitely a motivator. As well as this the founder of the company was keen to give me chance to experience situations I may incur in my future career, this included sitting in management meetings and other important departmental meetings. The variety and responsibility of my work has given me a good grounding into the business world and I feel has developed my skills as well as my employability tremendously. I will certainly be looking to repeat this process next summer when I return.