The internship that's still going...

Kevin Nyatoro

Kevin studies our BSc (Honours) Business and Enterprise programme, having joined us in September 2012.

Earlier this summer I started my internship at Holiday Extras (HX), a company in the Times Top 100 best companies to work for. I was attracted to working for them as they are a small to medium enterprise and echo Pearson’s mission statement - “always learning”. HX value their staff, and have impressive record of investing in their interns, through offering great (if not the best) training and hands on experience, as well as inviting many interns back to work for them full-time. I’ve enjoyed my internship so far, and my time at HX has been extended from an initial 3 months, to 6 months, giving me enough time to learn and utilize skills that I would never come across otherwise.

I started my internship as a member of the Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising team, within the Marketing department. This involved analyzing competitor companies; their marketing messages, webpages and positioning on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. PPC Advertising has great emphasis on understanding your competition and trying to outperform them.

After serving two months of my planned 3 months internship, I was offered the opportunity to join the Business Insight Team, a department that helps support the business across all levels. I am now currently working in the team that is responsible for analyzing big data, communicating business performance and providing insightful recommendations to all other teams within the business in a way that is relevant to them. This means having knowledge of the various teams in the business, their role and choosing the best way to communicate with both individuals and teams. There is a high degree of autonomous work as every individual decides how he or she meets the user's needs or communicates information.

Holiday Extras are all about teaching you new skills while on the job. I am always learning, each day a new skill, including presentation skills, attention to detail and the value of consistency. Holiday Extras show their interns a lot of trust, which is clear from the training I’ve received. Also, both roles I’ve undertaken during my internship compliment many of the modules I’ve studied at Pearson College London so far, especially looking at performance analysis, accounting and finance, organizational behavior and managing communications.

Holiday Extras is a great company to work for; they encourage communication across departments, and there is the opportunity for your voice to be heard in many different areas of the business. The open plan office encourages a flow of ideas and there is a great team spirit and sense of belonging across the business. During my internship the people team have organized activities such as inflatables week (all kinds of inflatable fun from inflatable gladiators to an assortment of bouncy castles), sports days (with a range of activities that are designed to challenge everyone), rounders, and even a bonfire night! This has helped me meet people in other teams and network effectively.

I’ve also had the opportunity during the working day to play pool, table tennis, squash and a whole range of other activities . At first I thought this may be regarded as disruptive, but as I learnt, they all result in higher productivity levels. -stepping away from an issue and discussing it with a colleague while playing pool or table tennis allows you to think of new ways to approach a problem.

As an intern, there are no barriers set between you and other members of the business, as I learnt early on - the CEO walks around the office talking to everyone, showing that he is aware of who you are, what you do, and what you’re working on at the moment. I can honestly say I am learning a lot and during have really enjoyed my time here so far. Everyone I have met has a story worth listening to and colleagues from across the business are always happy to help me and offer advice where they can.