A day in the life of a Keele-Santander Intern

Recent Keele graduate Katie Charlton recently took part in a Santander-funded internship at Staffordshire-based company, Hailstones Designs - a specialised designer in handmade fine art jewellery and pictures.

The Keele Internships team caught up with Katie after her internship to find out about her experience on the programme.

Why did you decide to apply for an internship?

Katie: Having just graduated, I was looking for an internship to introduce me to the world of work and came across the opportunity on the Keele Careers website. I was very interested in Sue Hailstones’ story and was keen to help out in promoting her business online.

What was the application and interview process like?

Katie: The application and interview process was very smooth and easy. I was made very comfortable and welcome at my interview, which made me feel more invested in the company. I was made aware of exactly what sort of tasks the role-holder would be completing from the outset and was told more about the company.

What did you do on a typical day?

Katie: On a typical day, I would start out by checking my emails from Sue as we were given our own personal Hailstones email from the outset. I would then begin creating a blogpost, which required lots of research. We would have weekly meetings with Sue to check up on progress, and record them in a diary for later reference. It was a very relaxed environment, which allowed me to feel part of a team.

How did the company help you settle in?

Katie: I was invited to an induction shortly after starting, allowing me to meet other people working for the company and others on the internship as well. It was really friendly and personal and allowed everyone to feel comfortable.

What was the highlight of your internship?

Katie: Sue allowed myself and another intern to go to a business festival in Staffordshire on her behalf, where we spoke to other companies about the business. Not only were we there to promote the company, we were allowed to go on business workshops that strengthened our own knowledge of international business and PR. We made contacts for both the company and ourselves.

What advice would you give to other students or graduates looking for an internships?

Katie: I would say that even if you don’t think that you are going to get the job or the internship, always apply anyway. It turned out that my application and CV were stronger than I ever thought they would be and I landed myself a job that I loved. I will have these contacts for life, which will really strengthen my applications for prospect careers.

What three things did you learn from the internship?

Katie: That going out into the world of work for students can be very daunting and difficult. This is because students think they will come straight out of university and get a job very quickly, but this is not always easy; I learnt a lot about international business and the Chambers of Commerce; How important it is to make good contacts.

Which skills have you developed most during your internship?

Katie: I have developed my organisational skills and ability to work within a team. The internship has boosted my confidence and has given me a strong CV and cover letter that I can refer to when applying for jobs in the future.

How has the internship affected your career plans?

Katie: It has made it clear what sort of career path I want to take. I would love to do something like this in the future, working and promoting a passionate and successful company as it is so rewarding.

For information on the opportunities available through the Keele-Santander programme please visit www.keele.ac.uk/internships. Details of other business support programmes available through Keele University’s Business Gateway ‌

Santander Universities logo (300px wide) For information on the Santander Universities commitment to Higher Education, please visit www.santander.co.uk/uk/santander-universities.