Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Further information

Find out more about internships and work experience at the Leeds University Careers Centre Pages

Case Study: Olivia Standish

Internship with a Global Risk Consultancy

My motivation
In my first year studying Politics at Leeds I became interested in finding work experience that would aid my studies, develop my skills and allow me to experience the working environment. I felt that if I could get an internship at the end of my first year I would stand a better chance of gaining as much experience as possible by the time I finished my degree.

I had always taken an interest in political analysis and the politics of the Middle East. During my first year I had been studying aspects of the uprisings so I began to look for an internship where I could put what I had learnt into practice.

My search
I began by searching for short placements in Easter initially by browsing through internet sites for NGOs; I sent my CV to a few but heard nothing back.

A few weeks into my search, I was chatting to a family friend about my degree and possible career options for the future. I was then given the email address of a contact in a Global Risk Consultancy and sent over my CV with a covering letter.

So, I was excited when about a month later I heard that I had been selected for an interview which was scheduled for June. I had never had an interview before and was unsure what to expect. I did a lot of reading up about the organisation, what it did, their markets and possible questions and answers.  I was very nervous during the interview process, which was conducted by a panel of 4. It was a detailed and rigorous interview and at the time I was unsure how well I had come across. However, my interview was successful, I had good feedback and I was offered a placement in the department for Iraq and Afghanistan.

My experience
The department I worked in was involved in providing the appropriate security for companies operating in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During my time I performed a number of duties including the following:

  • Helping to write proposals and Letters of Engagement
  • Researching prospective clients 
  • Updating records on client relationships
  • Helping the Iraq and Afghanistan team keep up with developments in other relevant departments as well as keeping others informed of their developments.

The benefits
Throughout my internship I was able to experience the workings of a global corporation; I was able to see first-hand how a team split across the world can work together to achieve goals. Also by being involved in the network I was able to improve my communication skills and learn how to use different information sharing systems. I feel very lucky to have being given the opportunity as it has given me an idea of what it would be like to work in the corporate environment.

Most importantly my internship  really enabled me to  see how I could transfer what I am learning at University to a working environment. This will be invaluable in the future.

My future
I am still deciding on what I may do when I leave university but would love the opportunity to work for a Risk Consultancy. I am looking at doing work placements abroad next summer and feel that my experience this year will be incredibly helpful in securing that opportunity.

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