“I would wholeheartedly recommend that employers get involved with Professional Pathways”
Line Manager Name: Jack Watts
Job Title: Direct Marketing Executive
How was your experience of hosting a Pathways intern?
Ellie was able to join us in the office on each day of her internship and met a range of colleagues from across the charity, either face to face or by video call. We purposefully scheduled her work days around when others would be in the office and on one day we had a scheduled Team Day where Ellie was able to meet the wider team and join us for lunch. We agreed to spread Ellie’s five working days over two weeks which gave me time to arrange her workload in between her work days and to review any work she had done before she started her next working day. Overall, we found that it worked really well and I know Ellie appreciated the flexibility we offered around when she could start and finish, as well as having the option to work from home if she needed.
Given the Professional Pathways internship is 35 hours in total, how would you recommend ensuring both you and your intern(s) gain as much as possible from the experience?
I’ve managed several Professional Pathways roles now, from different programmes and at different organisations. I’ve learnt that it’s really important to get the balance right between ensuring the experience is valuable for the student and that the outputs are useful for the employer. This can be a difficult balance to strike and weighting the internship too far in one direction or another will mean one of you may not get what you need from the experience.
To help both Ellie and myself meet our objectives, I made sure to manage expectations from the beginning of the internship. I had a quick call with Ellie before the internship began to find out what she was hoping to get from the experience and what areas of work she was most interested in, and I also explained we would have to balance work she found the most interesting with tasks that were high priority. Ellie completely understood this and we checked in regularly throughout the internship to make sure we were getting the balance right.
I think it’s easy to underestimate what students may get from certain tasks; things that are ‘business as usual’ to you and your colleagues may be more interesting to a student who has never done anything like it before.