Beginning fresh by Bidemi King

The first day of my internship

No alarm, woke up 5:30am on the dot to a bright, Monday morning. Definitely a sign from God of a fresh beginning. It was the first of a new month and I was excited to be starting my internship at the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Before I started my morning routine I ran straight to the bathroom, stared myself in the mirror, looked myself in the eyes and said with convictions, “Let’s get it”.

My morning routine went something like this:

  • Listened to motivational speakers/entrepreneurs ( I really suggest Gary V)
  • Brushed my teeth
  • Had a shower
  • Prayed
  • Ate breakfast (Weetabix for that productive energy)
  • Slowly put my suit on and spent at least ten minutes appreciating how professional I looked

A few minutes later I was on train heading towards Liverpool Street Station before jumping on the Metropolitan Line to Barbican. It’s quite convenient for me as AAT’s offices are really close to the station – no more than a 30 second walk. I arrived at 09.27am for a late 10:00 start, due to it being an induction day.

When I first entered the building I was the only one there. But person by person, seven other interns on The Brokerage’s Summer Placement Programme joined me in the main reception, ready to start work in their own departments. We were each split into different departments, which I didn’t mind as it means more networking opportunities! Aaron, Cynthia, Tanjel, Mohammed, Taslima, Lucy and Shakib are the names of the other interns, which leads me on to my top tips on professionalism

Bidemi’s professionalism tip #1: For everyone you network with, make sure you remember their name and repeat it when you address them. Not only does it help you remember their name, but it helps them warm up to you.

If you recall earlier on in the blog I mentioned that when getting ready for work, I spent 10 minutes appreciating how professional I looked – well, as we were told at our internship briefing, it’s important to look smart on the first day, which is exactly why I did and why I plan to so for the next six weeks of my placement!

After a few minutes of waiting in reception, we were picked up by AAT’s HR and Onboarding Advisor, who did an amazing job of explaining what AAT is like, what they do, the company culture and other things too. We were brought upstairs to the induction room where we met the company’s HR manager who was also very friendly.

On my way up to the room I looked to the left and imagined the perfect LinkedIn post, so I just had to take a photograph (follow me on LinkedIn to see the post).

Bidemi’s professionalism tip #2: If you’re happy to, give every person you meet a firm hand shake, give eye contact and smile. It’s a really strong start to networking your way to the top.

The induction was quite straightforward. They explained the different departments, company policies and health and safety. We were then split into two groups of four for a presentation competition, which I definitely wanted to win. You can hear all about this and the results here.

After the competition, we were shown across the different floors and where each department is based and operates. One of the other interns, Aaron, who is interning in the Professional Standards department was really on my wavelength, and so I decided he would be my first Weekly New Network Picture. For each blog I write, I will take and post a picture of someone new that I’ve networked with, and as you can see from the picture we were both `beginning fresh`.

After a long day of inductions it was finally time for us to be picked up by our line managers and head to our own departments.

To explain more about what I’ll be doing at the AAT, it’s a six week internship within the Marketing & Commercial department, where my time will be split between the PR and digital marketing teams.  

I’m proud to say that it was a successful first day at AAT, with hopefully many more to come.
As you can tell by the mug I’m holding with hot chocolate inside (really not a big fan of any form of coffee), I’ve settled in quite well. I hope to be an asset to my team and learn a large amount from this internship to further my self-development and increase my knowledge of both PR and digital marketing. Given I am a digital entrepreneur myself, I’m most looking forward to that bit.

Before I end the blog, I want to make sure that my gratitude and appreciation for the position I am in isn’t forgotten. After a competitive application process with a tough interview, I feel lucky to be here but it couldn’t have happened without my hard work and, most importantly, The Brokerage. The Brokerage not only provided me with the chance to secure an opportunity like this but also assisted me every step of the way. I’ll also make sure to explore the area of Barbican during my lunches (when I’m not networking), and look forward to talking about exciting places like St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, the Barbican Centre and many more areas in my future blogs.

Thank you for reading – until next time!

  • The Brokerage is truly a life-changing organisation. I think I can confidently say that without The Brokerage I would not have begun a career in the insurance sector.

    Brokerage Mentee