How did recruiting an intern via the Professional Pathways programme benefit you and your company?
Professional Pathways came at a time we were looking to start expanding our market reach and also to look at exporting in general. The analysis that the interns conducted was really useful to filter out markets that we shouldn’t spend time on and those we should. On the ones that we should, they conducted further analysis on the procedures and compliance that would need to be carried out at a later date. Their independent and objective view from outside of the company was important because as we all know we can all be too involved in our businesses to make the right decision. Their reports enabled us to make quick decisions on what would otherwise have taken us a long time to achieve.
What advice would you give to a student considering applying for Professional Pathways?
Do it! We had to operate remotely during the pandemic and so it didn’t have that hands-on approach that we would normally look to have, however, making the connections with businesses is vitally important at this stage in your career. Do lots of research on the company beforehand and clearly understand the objectives that are being sought. the information you are gathering will be taken very seriously by the employer and the time you take should look to answer their question exactly. Don’t go off on a tangent and answer a different question. The businesses that you will work for will know their business inside and out and they will have a clear idea of what they are looking for. Ask questions to clarify any issues you have so that you do exactly what the employer is looking for. Even if it isn’t the exact fit that you would have liked, at least you now know it isn’t something for you!
Why would you recommend Professional Pathways to other employers?
We would highly recommend Professional Pathways. We had a very good experience with our interns and they clearly worked hard on their given roles. It was important to work that they carried out and we have used the reports for many months after the internship finished. It is really important to keep them focused and meet with them on a daily basis to ensure that they are working in the right direction for what you are looking to achieve from them. There is obviously the cost-benefit of using the interns, but we found that they were enthusiastic and really willing to help. They came up with ideas that we had previously not thought of and it was a very rewarding experience.