Ashley gains valuable experience in a wide range of sectors with NPS Group

Ashley Bilverstone_Picture for blogLike many aspiring interns feeling the pressure of competition for a decent internship, discovering that UEA CareerCentral was hosting a ‘Summer Internship Recruitment Event’ was the light at the end of a gruelling tunnel of endless applications. It promised a single, but intense day of interviews organised by the university with various organisations. It was extremely beneficial to have all of the host organisations in one location ready to conduct short 12 minute interviews with, but also have the support of the university and a chance to network with other host organisations. I had five interviews that day which meant carrying out a lot of background research on each of the individual roles and organisations – however, fortunately my hard work paid off! Days later, I got a call from one of the organisations about a role I was shortlisted for and they explained to me that after looking at my CV in detail, they found that I was more suited to their ‘Project Management’ internship position, rather than the ‘Marketing’ internship I originally applied for. Thrilled and trusting in their decision, I was eager to accept.

I was lucky enough to secure my Project Management Internship at NPS Norwich – a multi-disciplinary company that develop and maintain buildings and assets, working alongside Norwich City Council. From day one, NPS made sure that I was gaining a wide amount of experience in various sectors by organising several mini secondments for me to transfer to – These included spending a couple of days gaining experience with companies working with, but external to NPS Norwich and also internal NPS departments.

The first of my secondments was spent looking at project management from a ‘New Build’ perspective on-site with Huber (a company specialising in building multi-storey carparks around Europe) specifically looking at logistics. I then spent a couple of days with building contractors local to Norwich (Fosters Property Maintenance and T Gill & Son) which showed me project management within refurbishment projects. In addition to this, I also spent some time with the various departments that make NPS Norwich – I had a day with the Engineer Team going from site-to-site to look at how Project Management has an influence on specific parts of buildings and looking at the process of how the team attain their work opportunities. I also had a day with the Interior Design team and the Graphics team (Ten Creative) with a purpose to expose me to different atmospheres and to have fun in creativity and design. Finally, I worked with the team who look after the scheduled and listed buildings within Norwich.

Alongside all of these mini secondments, I also attended various meetings for various projects my employer was undertaking and completed administration work for these, as well as contributing to a Business Continuity Plan for the company. I also had my own marketing project that I was working on for the duration of the seven weeks that I had to pitch to my client on the last day of my internship which was a huge responsibility but was a fantastic way to wrap up my internship.

Overall, I have been extremely fortunate in the amount of experience I have gained in seven weeks, networking with people at different levels of the organisation and throughout the activities and tasks I have been set. From my internship, I have found that gaining a little experience really helps to apply what I have learnt throughout my Business Management degree and has allowed me to challenge, support and question certain theories – which is priceless. So for that I would like to sincerely thank the UEA Careers Service and NPS Norwich for this valuable experience which has truly helped me to gain transferable skills and better career prospects!

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