Danielle is a recent graduate and after completing internships in both her first and second years will be starting work with Aviva in November.
Apply to absolutely everywhere, think about what location you'd like to be in and make those your priorities.
Where and when did you complete your internship?
1st year: Goldman Sachs, spring intern, Operations
2nd year: Barnett Waddingham, summer intern, Pensions
How many internships did you apply for before you were successful?
Approximately 15 in first year and 30 in second year.
Please summarise your career progression since your internship and whether it led directly on to further work experience or a graduate scheme.
I didn’t get a graduate offer from either of my internships, so I applied for dozens of other companies, only one of which gave me an assessment centre, which I passed and I’ll be starting with Aviva in Norwich in August.
How do you think these internships have helped you in your future career?
I’ve been able to talk about it in interviews, and I’ve picked up motivational, personal and computer skills which I’ve been able to apply to my degree.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying to an internship and what skills/experience do you think are necessary to be successful in your application?
I’d say apply to absolutely everywhere, think about what location you’d like to be in and make those your priorities. Compile a document of every question you’ve ever had to answer in an online application and use this to help you with multiple applications, although you will need to modify according to role and company.
Is there anything you wish you’d done before the placement to help you prepare for either the application process or the work itself?
I wish I’d asked someone to run a mock interview with me, it seemed embarrassing at the time but it’s important so you don’t use initial interviews as practice for others, because then you probably won’t get the first jobs anyway.
What was the highlight of your internship and your biggest achievement within the role?
The biggest highlight was being part of a team where people trust you to get on with the work once you’ve got the necessary skills and will trust your calculations. My biggest achievement was suggesting an event that the team should attend at my university and they actually went.
Is there any other interesting information about your internship that you’d like to include?
Be a part of their social life and the team will respect you more because they know you better. Try hard every day, and don’t assume you’re guaranteed a job at the end just because you’ve been there. You’ll learn lots if you immerse yourself entirely and go to any meetings or conferences that are suggested to you, they’ll make sense later.