Hi, I’m Sophie and I am a penultimate year student at The University of Nottingham studying Management.
Last summer I chose to spend my time volunteering for AIESEC the Global Volunteering Student Organisation and I spent 6 weeks in Lima the capital of Peru, teaching English at orphanages. During the second year of my course, I was keen to obtain some work experience in the summer to come, to enhance my CV and put the learnings from my course into action; I spent a large majority of the year applying to summer internships all over the country and learned a lot about myself in the process.
It isn’t easy applying, it takes a lot of time and balancing this with the many extra-curricular activities I was taking part in during the year wasn’t easy, but what I took away from the process is how to sell yourself in an application and create your own brand. Firstly, you need to understand what your brand is, what the message is that you are trying to get across.
I got a lot of practice in time management in the process which is a vital skill when completing an internship. Although I applied to many companies, Boots was a business that I was particularly passionate about. After venturing down one evening to see the Boots site, which by the way is apparently the size of Monaco, I was so impressed and after checking on the boots.jobs website the next day, the internship had launched! The Global Brands, Brand Management internship seemed a perfect fit to my interests of Marketing, Product and Brand.
The assessment day arrived and I was feeling excited and nervous, but my nerves were settled within the first half an hour of the day as everyone made me feel so at ease. I got such a good feeling towards the company and how friendly the culture is throughout the day, I was also really impressed with the magnitude of D90, the Boots building!
June arrived and I was excitedly preparing for my start date, a few days before I started, I received a phone call from my new team, introducing themselves and explaining a little about the work I would be completing, this really helped me feel at ease.
The first two days were an introduction to the business and time to get to know the other interns, half of the group of interns were from my assessment centre which was a great because I felt that I knew them a little already – We had a tour round the site, it was great to get an understanding of the business and the many parts.
Now, 8 weeks into the internship, I don’t know where the time has gone! I am working in the Healthcare team and have been working on 4 different projects: Viagra, Morning After Pill, Fitbit and a Cough & Congestion product. What I wasn’t sure about before starting the internship was whether I would be given much responsibility, I think it would be fair to say that I am solely responsible for the projects I have been given and it’s an amazing feeling!
I’ve been working in a team of around 15 people which is great as I have gotten to know them all and their roles throughout my time, they also make an effort to spend some time away from the desk together such as Team Breakfast and Socials. Working in a team gives you such support and contacts for when you need advice.
I spent a lot of my time during the internship networking with people from across the business, which has been extremely useful for when I need to find out information for my projects. One of the aspects of the internship that I’ve really enjoyed is the time I have spent with the other 9 interns.
We’ve become really good friends and always eat lunch together, visit the amazing staff clearance shop and go out for dinner on the weekends, the benefit of completing this experience alongside 9 other people is that they’re going through exactly the same experience as you and therefore you provide an amazing support network for each other; From sending each other new contacts, to asking directions – being in a cohort is so helpful. I definitely believe I’ll stay in touch with the other interns after the internship.
Another two of my highlights of the internship were Lenton House and The Method. Lenton house is the original house of the Boot family since 1920, we visited there on the first evening of the internship, we also met many senior people in the business and it was a great networking opportunity; the tour round the house was my favourite part!
My other highlight was The Method, half way through the internship we had an Away Day at the Orchard Hotel where The Method gave us a day of training on presentation and networking skills. The trainer taught us how to create an Elevator Pitch which you use to explain, in a short amount of time, who you are and what your USP is. After the presentation task, I really felt that my ability to present improved and I became more aware of how to present well.
I have enjoyed every moment of the internship and there truly is an amazing culture here at Boots of people helping and caring for each other; I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and I have grown so much both personally and professionally, I couldn’t recommend an internship with Boots enough.