Case study

Virtual intern — Joesph Caddick

Joseph completed an internal communications internship at Schroders and has since secured a job in communications with the University of Liverpool

Why did you opt for a virtual internship over a more traditional in-person one?

It was during the Covid-19 lockdown, so it was the only option at that time.

Where did you find this internship opportunity?

The internship was coordinated through the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which helps students from low-income backgrounds with things such as employment. They work with a lot of different employers to provide internships and host career days.

What was the application process like?

I applied through the Social Mobility Foundation, and the application process was much simpler than if I'd applied on my own. They approached me and asked if I'd like to take part in the internship. Once I said yes, I sent over my details and was enrolled.

What did your internship involve?

 I wrote copy for the Schroders intranet and updated the digital screens in the cafeteria to include that day's menus as part of my day-to-day responsibilities. The copy usually involved news directly relevant to Schroders as a business or concerning people from the company.

What did you enjoy about your internship?

It provided me with valuable experience of what it was like to work in a professional environment. My colleagues were also very friendly, which made the first few days much calmer. I also really enjoyed the work because it was varied and engaging. It was a positive experience for me and gave me more confidence in professional environments.

What were the challenges?

As it was my first time in a professional position, I had a real sense of impostor syndrome to start. Thankfully, the fact that my colleagues were so welcoming meant that this subsided after a few days. I also pushed myself quite hard to begin with to create a good impression but found a better balance towards the end of the internship.

What are the benefits of completing a virtual internship?

Not having to worry about commuting is a big plus.

What are the drawbacks?

The main drawback is perhaps the most obvious one, which is that it can be more difficult to connect with people through a screen than it is in person.

Was the internship a paid opportunity?

It was over the summer, and was a helpful source of income, especially considering that the next student loan payment wouldn't arrive until the beginning of the next academic year.

What are your career ambitions?

Since I was young, I have aspired to create and write for TV shows. However, I've also developed a growing interest in podcasting.

How will the internship help your career?

The initial professional experience was incredibly valuable because it gave me the confidence to take any future opportunities that were thrown my way. It was also excellent experience to add to my CV, leading to me securing an internship through the university just a few months later.

What advice would you give to others considering a virtual internship?

Do it. It's a fantastic opportunity that enables you to learn a lot. I'd also say that it's important to not overwork yourself in such a way that you burn out, which is something that can affect a lot of people who are still early in their careers.

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