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Owen Smith

Sports Studies

Who was your internship with?

YouTrain are one of the leading training providers of IT and Microsoft training in Scotland. They work within both the public and private sector delivering a range of Modern Apprenticeships, IT technical training and soft/employability skills programmes.

How did you find out about the internship?

I was aware of the potential opportunity at YouTrain as a friend at university had attained an internship through the same Stirling Internship Programme the year before. I looked out for the vacancy posting through the Career Development Centre’s Job Shop and applied immediately. This was during the final year of my degree course.

What did you enjoy most about the internship?

It is hard to pin-point a particular area, task or moment which is a most enjoyable. The experience as a whole has been fantastic, and therefore I would say the most enjoyable aspect has been the manner in which I have been nurtured, and thus grown to become part of the team, and hopefully a valuable member of staff.

What skills do you feel you have gained from the internship?

I have developed several existing skills, and gained even more new skills during my internship. I have extensive experience in resourcing/recruitment and have further enhanced my communication skills (both written and oral). I also have a far greater understanding of the day-to-day running of a successful organisation, developed my confidence in a professional environment, have further enhanced my IT skills and knowledge, as well as improving basic work-based skills such as time management and organisation.

What do you see as the benefits of an internship with a small organisation?

In my opinion, the predominant benefit of an internship with a small organisation is the time and resources they are able to dedicate to you.  Within a bigger organisation, you may be reporting to a line manager and working within a specific department.  Although I am based in one specific area of the business, its smaller size has allowed me to interact, and gain experience, in all aspects of the company. This has allowed me to gain a more complete understanding of specific organisational processes and the workings of a professional environment, which I believe would not have been as available in a larger company.

How do you think the internship has helped towards planning your future career?

I now work permanently for YouTrain as a result of my internship, so this opportunity looks certain to play a crucial role in shaping and planning my future career. Hypothetically, if I hadn’t been offered the permanent position, the influence of this internship would still have been immensely positive. I have gained invaluable experience in several areas of a successful, growing company. I have developed an understanding of what it takes build and maintain professional relationships. Most importantly, I know what full-time employment involves, a thought which can be quite daunting upon completion of university studies.

What advice would you give to students considering applying for an internship through the Stirling Internship Programme?

In a nutshell, go for it!  There is so much potential to gain, and nothing to lose.  As previously touched upon and what I feel the internship offers, that is scarcely available elsewhere, is the ability to ease a graduate into the working world.  It provides a nurturing environment, where a person can develop and progress, so that when the time comes they are not only ready for full-time employment, but will thrive in it.

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