Alex Woods took a year-long work placement at Vodafone Group as part of his undergraduate studies. The internship has given him lifelong skills, new friends, and a place on the company's graduate scheme.
Tell us about your placement
I had to apply to many different internships and got offered one at Vodafone and one at L'Oréal. I worked in digital marketing and external affairs, so this ranged from tasks for social media marketing to creating reports and analysing policies.
My Modern History and Politics (BA) course gives lots of different skills which were able to help me directly, from framing campaigns through wording choices to analysing sources, as well as general understanding of political institutions like the EU.
Did it help your learning or personal development?
This was the first time I had a long-term office job, so it gave me lots of skills for when I leave university. Although the placement was entirely remote because of COVID-19, I was still able to learn how to prepare for meetings, create and present presentations, and learn proper email etiquette.
I also made good relationships with my teammates, as well as the other interns. I've kept in contact with some of the interns, and we've visited each other during our final year of study.
What was the biggest challenge?
It was remote working, which made it harder to make connections with teammates and with colleagues in the wider company. To overcome this, I had to reach out to people via email and set up catch up calls and introduction calls.
Was the placement helpful for your career plans?
I did an end of placement presentation, where I had to present my accomplishments to my team, wider stakeholders and senior staff. It was described as 'one of the best presentations by an intern' by a senior member of staff, so I was very pleased with myself.
I've been offered a place on their graduate scheme for when I finish university, so the placement has been very helpful.