Alumni go back to school to promote the City of London Business Traineeship programme
24 Jan 13

Preparations are well underway for the 2013 City of London Business Traineeship programme, and the summer internship scheme is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet. The team are currently spending a lot of time out and about visiting schools across the City fringe boroughs to promote the opportunities available - but this year we’re bringing along some of the stars of the programme from years past!

The programme, funded by the City of London Corporation, is offering paid internship opportunities to talented students in the City fringe, along with employability workshops, networking opportunities and much more.

There’s lots on offer to those signing up, but it can be hard for prospective candidates to picture themselves applying for the programme and being successful in gaining a placement with one of the City’s biggest employers.

Zainab Lawall at The Charter School
Zainab Lawal back at The Charter School, talking about her CBT internship in 2009 and experience since then. 

So this year we are going the extra mile to help convince students that they really can be working and earning in the Square Mile this summer, and we’ve enlisted the help of CBT interns from the past decade.

We were pleased to see a huge appetite from former interns to help, and were surprised with how quickly the visits were booked up. Many signed up to visit their old school, while several were just keen to visit any school with us so they can share their stories.

We asked Jordan Wildman, who interned at Michael Page International in 2012 and volunteered to speak at City of Westminster College (his former college), how he felt when hearing about the CBT programme for the first time:

“I remember sitting in the initial presentation thinking to myself that although I had a lot on my plate with my studies, this is something that I had to get involved in. I recall being intimidated at first, and wondered if I had a chance of securing a spot. Yet I wrote (and rewrote) my application and had it checked by friends, family and staff. Perseverance pays off, that's what I remember hearing at my first presentation, because if you were organised and dedicated enough you could keep making it through each step of the process. I signed up because I was lacking a sense of direction, having only had brief work experience (none of which was in the city) I gathered that this programme was something that could enhance my CV and move me forward towards a more concrete idea of what I wanted to do with myself during and after university. And it was, among other things.

In retrospect, the only thing missing from my first glimpse of exactly what CBT facilitates was the chance to speak to and hear from other students. With previous students there it's much easier to emphasise just how much of a positive boost the programme can give you, not just as a student but as an individual in both professional and academic respects.”

As well as offering a relatable case study for prospective candidates, former interns have imparted some invaluable advice and guidance and been able to answer questions from their own perspective. Each has a very different story to tell, but this just shows that anyone with an interest in the City and the dedication to succeed should be signing up.

Jordan gave us his key advice for students looking to sign up:

“Perseverance! Hard work can and does pay off. As long as you're willing to make the effort things will happen, making a strong and meaty application tells the CBT team that you are the kind of person who tries, meaning that they'll be happy to work with you and support you. From finding an internship that suits you, to preparing for your interview and even checking up on you when you're there - there are a fair few steps to becoming a CBT intern, only because they know that it isn't easy doing an internship. So if they think you can do it you really can! Just give it 100%, this isn't an opportunity to let go.”

Nusrath talks at her old school, Mulberry School for Girls.
Nusrath talks at her old school, Mulberry School for Girls, about her internships and experiences since 2009.

Of course, the chance to simply go back and visit ones former college is enjoyable in itself and many interns couldn’t turn down the opportunity to meet old tutors and see how things had changed in the years since they had been there.

“It was a little surreal being back at my old college, the first time since results day. One or two of the students recognised me, I appreciated being able to tell them that it was entirely possible for an average student to become involved with CBT. What I wanted to emphasise was that this is a chance to get a foot in the door on a professional level, work experience in the city is one way to make yourself stand out from the crowd because, unlike just working in a sector like retail, it can give you an edge once it comes to securing employment in the future.”

Thanks to all those who have joined us at presentations so far, we’ll be visiting schools through the spring term and look forward to hearing more excellent stories from former candidates.

See our website for more details about the City of London Business Traineeship Programme and our Brokerage Alumni Network.

44 hosted visits

44 businesses and institutions hosted workplace visits in 2016

Workplace visits

Over 4,500 students visited a workplace in the City or Canary Wharf in 2016

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