What I do:

I currently work with Pearson as a Finance Intern in FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) in the Central and UK Schools Divisions. Pearson is a multinational publishing and educational company. I myself had first heard of Pearson when completing my A-Level equivalent Subsidiary BTEC Diploma in Business. To be able to work for such a dynamic company is becoming a treasured life experience for me.

I found out about the opportunity through Pearson Business School’s Guaranteed Internships Scheme. The scheme works in helping students find guaranteed internships specifically with Pearson Business School students in mind. For Pearson College students, it gives us that competitive advantage in industries, whilst also being able to look at other internships to increase your chance at success. Internship courses are designed to benefit you on your current degree pathway, by allowing students to apply their course-related content to a real-life scenario.

Projects and highlights:

Working within FP&A means I’ve been able to work with so many amazing people from loads of different parts of the business, including finance analysts, business partners and even supply chain! The main purpose behind FP&A is the analysis of a business’ financial information in order to better understand and manage the performance of a business.

It is an amazing insight to be an intern and experience a huge company experience change during one of the most volatile and unprecedented times in modern history, as we all adjusting to a digital lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Some of the highlights of my current position include being able to meet Sally Johnson, the CFO of Pearson, and receive advice from previous interns on how to make the most of the internship experience.

What this experience has taught me so far:

Pearson have an internal system that allows employees to build knowledge independently via their intranet, it has been such a huge asset to my role. In this experience I have been able to learn how to time manage, build communication, gain public speaking skills and build a more comprehensive understanding of excel spreadsheets and how to understand financial information. One lesson I’ve learned is to be okay with not knowing everything. I initially entered the internship with the expectation that I would have to completely know what to do and how to do it, but the great thing about internships, as opposed to traditional employment, is that it is a learning experience.

I have made several mistakes so far, but I haven’t been shamed or reprimanded for it. I have been supported and guided on how to correct them and been able to learn, which only adds to my adoration for the workplace culture within Pearson. Internships are not about scolding interns for lack of knowledge or pushing small task on to them. It’s about facilitating an experience in which students are able to gain valuable insights in a real-life work environment, and being able to ask questions, communicate and learn systems through practice. No internship will make you a master of a position in a few weeks, if that was the case anyone and everyone would be over qualified! However, it will give you a solid foundation and build your confidence in your industry. So, use it to your advantage, don’t get in your head about it too much and just be in the moment to enjoy it and you’ll be fine!

Getting an internship doesn’t seem that easy! Where do I even start?

The shortest answer: Communicate!

You have to actively reach out to the network in Pearson College London. If we had all the answers then we wouldn’t be studying! I humbly admit that I used to think that I had most of the answers, and that the reason I was not getting any luck in applying for jobs was due to some factor I wasn’t able to help. This simply wasn’t the case, you have to be willing to ask questions and seek answers, even if it’s something you feel you may already have your answer to, because someone else may have a different answer to enlighten you. So, stay inquisitive! Be willing to learn and apply the advice. Here are some of the resources that I made the most of during my searches:

  1. Work Fitness Centre resources
    As I previously worked with a recruitment agency, I believed my CV was highly readable and accessible to recruitment agencies. However, when using the CV360 CV scanner in the Work Fitness Centre, I realised that my CV was scoring relatively low for AI systems which most employers are using. Another example is attending the ‘Get Noticed on LinkedIn’ with Sacha Clark (as part of Work Fitness Week 2020), where I had my account audited. The advice I was given allowed me to grow and improve my LinkedIn network by 50+ connections, and saw a 20% increase in employers reaching out to me through LinkedIn, you can find out more about my experience in this article here!
  2. Utilize platforms such as Pearson College London’s bubl
    As you communicate, you’ll find out about so many options out there that are available for all kinds of places! This includes using the Work Fitness Centre to apply and find jobs, using normal search engines such as Indeed, Employment4Students, and Reed to search for internships. You have to be proactive and be willing to dedicate time to applying for internships. I have also been able to work on the Beta for bubl, and can say for certain that it’s going to be a strong asset for the college and be a brilliant way for students to gain internship experience, and I’m very excited for its launch!

Departing advice:

My last piece of advice (which I think often gets overlooked): be okay with hearing NO, unfortunately you will hear this, before you find your feet in the place where you’re meant to be. Despite landing this internship, I was rejected by at least 35+ other places. Do not let rejection dissuade you in applying for other places, just congratulate others wins with the knowledge yours will be on its way to you soon!

For most of us sat at home, hearing news anchors preaching about how times are unprecedented, makes me feel connected to my fellow students who have also felt daunted by the idea that we are at the helm of our educational progression and the beginning of our career; and with many concerns around the ambiguity of the future and lack of prospects we may face. I would like this article to reassure you, that my experience with gaining an internship through Pearson College London has proven to me that the tutors, staff and ambassadors at the College are dedicated to the cultivation of your opportunities, I hope this article urges you to invest in Pearson College London as much as it invests in you!

-By Dillon A. Chuhan (BSc Professional Business in Accounting student)