My Summer Internship

London Embankment

Last summer, student Fiona Cowley secured a London-based internship with Pearson English, giving her a hands-on experience of the world of work and an insight into a fast-paced business environment.

Fiona's Internship

During July 2014 I completed an internship at Pearson English for a duration of three weeks. Pearson English is based in three locations; 80 Strand, 190 High Holborn and Harlow in Essex. It is a division of Pearson plc which provides English language learning resources and tools to people at any stage or age. Pearson English has recently rebranded itself so it was a very exciting time for me to start my internship; in the midst of a big change.

When I arrived at Pearson English on my first day I was reunited with my interviewer, Helene, who was to be my go-to-person if I had any problems and she could not have been more welcoming or more helpful. During my time there I worked at all three locations which provided me with a lot of variety and highlighted contrasting cultures within different office locations. I worked in the Human Resources department which is a topic I had studied and gained an interest in at Pearson College just before the internship. It is extremely useful to work within a department that I had previously studied because it allowed me to put theory into practice and contrast the subject from university to the real world of work. I chose to focus on recruitment within HR because it is something that I think I might like to do in the future. This involved attending interviews, making notes and reporting these notes to the relevant hiring manager- it was definitely strange to be the person doing the interviewing for a change! I also looked through CVs and made informed decisions about which candidates should progress to the next stage of the interview and which shouldn’t and I also did some head hunting using a recruiter account on LinkedIn. These activities proved to be very useful to me because I was able to gain insight into what makes a good candidate and a good application which will help with my own employability. Something else that I found very useful was setting up short meetings with different people around the office that were willing to give up some of their precious time to let me pick their brains.

It turns out that the world of work is not as scary as I thought and can, in fact, prove to be a chance to gain invaluable experience through meeting and networking with people with a wealth of knowledge and advice. I was motivated by the responsibility I was given and I really felt as if I was making a difference with the work I was doing. My perception of working in HR has changed quite significantly because I spent a lot of time away from my desk meeting different people and attending interesting meetings and it also offered a lot of variety in terms of what I could get involved in.

I feel as if I am one step further to being ready to leave university with the knowledge and experience I need and would encourage anyone with a positive attitude to apply for an internship with Pearson English because it is such a great business with such a welcoming culture.