My summer internship at Brit
I remember the first day of my internship so clearly. I felt really little as I was being pushed by commuters at Bank station, and feeling so out of place when entering the Leadenhall Building for the first time.
However, it all changed when I recognised a few familiar faces. I realised I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Jumana and Evelyn, who I had met prior to starting my internship, were waiting for me, and on a count of three, we stepped into this monstrous and slightly intimidating building.
We soon realised that all our expectations of what the working office would be like were completely different to what it actually was. The open plan and modern offices were completely different to what we thought. We expected boxed and closed off desks, with dull lighting, but it was the complete opposite! I was excited to begin my internship role within Brit’s Cyber Security department.
We were greeted by the twelve other interns who we would be spending the next six weeks with. We immediately gelled together and got on so quickly. Our first week was filled with training sessions and crash courses, as most of us had not been in an office environment before, let alone worked with an insurance company.
During the sessions we all bonded and soon realised we all had common interests, and I believe the reason I’m enjoying my internship so much is because of the other people I’ve met. We are all so different yet so similar, and our banter is on another level!
We were all made to feel very comfortable and at ease by our colleagues and other members of staff. In fact, the Group CEO (Matthew Wilson) invited us to have lunch with him which was very inspiring, insightful and informative. We were honoured that he took the time to speak to us.
Working in the Leadenhall Building has been such an amazing experience. The Leadenhall Building is the sixth-tallest building in London, with a height of 225 meters. Our offices are located on the 16th, 17th and 18th floors which all have amazing views of the city. We also have the Broker’s lounge on the 39th Floor and, most importantly, the cafeteria on the 40th, which is the meeting point for all the interns. This building is great for networking with other interns or employees from different companies, such as Fidelis. Furthermore, the building has glass lifts which travel at such a fast speed and never fails to make our ears ache.
Our experience at Brit so far has been one of a kind. As someone who has never had a job before, let alone worked in an office, I have really enjoyed it. My team in IT are lovely and full of energy. IT is very hands-on and is a very important asset to Brit. As everything is done electronically, everyone comes to the IT team for help if something is wrong.
My team is very sociable too and I have been invited to many events, such as garden parties and lunches. We even talk about TV shows, such as Love Island or sports events like Cricket. This has helped me build a good relationship with the people around me. After speaking to other interns at Brit, everyone agreed that people have treated us as part of the team, rather than just an intern or school leaver. We were all worried this wouldn’t be the case and our teams would treat us as junior members of the team, giving us useless tasks such as making tea and coffee. Instead, we have been given a substantial amount of work, which has a large impact to the company and is even being used in reports.
My desk has an amazing view of London and I must admit, my snapchat stories are full of pictures of the view. My desk is very spacious and definitely not what I am used to at school or home. I usually have a cup of hot chocolate (which is provided free by Brit), as well as the reports I’m reading on the side.
Overall, I have settled in very well. I love the team I am working with, as well as the other Interns (which I will remain friends with even after the internship). This internship has given me a taster of working life and has allowed me to demonstrate and apply some of my other skills which I have gained previously and put them into play. I have also learned that work life isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Brit is quite flexible compared to school; but of course, you have to remain professional and punctual at all times (which I have been able to do most of the time). I hope that I am a valuable addition to the company and I hope to learn a lot more about Insurance and IT as the weeks progress. I was quite worried when I started because the company is going through a busy period at the moment and I was afraid that I would get in the way. Instead, they always have the time to help me if I’m stuck with anything, and they always give me work to do. I have already gained a lot of knowledge and my notes are impeccable – to an extent that I had to ask for another notebook! As someone who is interested in IT, I am very happy with the tasks I have been given and I now know that I would love to work in an environment like this.
I am very grateful that I was chosen for this role, as I was competing with a large number of other students my age. The application process was very competitive, and I was even rejected from the first internship I applied to, but that didn’t knock me down. Instead, I took the feedback they gave me, and I applied it to the next internship. I am very grateful for The Brokerage for granting me this opportunity because if I didn’t have this internship, I would probably be at home watching Netflix and being unproductive. Instead I am gaining experience which will 100% help me in the future and make me stand out from others when I’m applying to jobs in the future. I believe every young person should have access to internships to allow them to develop SMART plans and develop their skills before they start their careers, and The Brokerage have been so helpful in providing such opportunities to us.
Over the next few weeks, we will be expected to attend regular meetings with clients and other colleagues. We will also be shadowing other people within our department. At the end of our internship, we have been put in pairs to create a presentation on our time at Brit, which will also be a great way to give our feedback and show our gratitude and appreciation to some of the senior members of Brit.
If I had to give advice to students applying to internships next year, I would tell them to not let failures knock them down. If I gave up after I was told that I didn’t get my first internship, I wouldn’t be working with Brit or even have an internship this summer. This also applies to life in general. For example, if someone receives bad exam results, they should take the time to reflect on what mistakes they made and what they can do next time to come back bigger and better, and hopefully it will all work out in the end. I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and stay tuned!
Written by Aadil Sonvadi, 2019 Summer Placement Programme intern