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Interning at globalbridge

My name’s Harry James and I’m currently a student at Newcastle University studying Computer Science and have just recently joined the team at globalbridge as an intern over the summer.

I started out in Whitley Bay High School as a user of the globalbridge platform myself when applying for universities, and still continue to use it for opportunities to this day (but now for jobs!). I use a Resume/CV to detail how I’m a fit for a role and link to my globalbridge profile to evidence all of the awesome things I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with. This helps me to showcase a wider picture of myself to employers, which demonstrates my further skills and shows how I meet the character and culture fit, as well as having the necessary qualifications and experience.

As someone who used the platform a lot, I was invited to provide feedback about my experiences of using globalbridge, to help inform the release of the new version. I was then offered the chance to intern at globalbridge as a Test Analyst (that’s the fancy title I get) over my summer break and I excitedly undertook the role!

It’s a bit of an unusual time to be taking on this role, given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 right now. Luckily, globalbridge being an online platform has meant that I’m still able to do everything I normally would, just through video meetings rather than in an office!

I feel like opportunities like this are incredibly important throughout every industry. I never knew if I wanted to go to university or not and remember when I was studying for my A Levels, I would change my mind daily. In the end, I thought:

“who better to ask about whether I should get a degree, than the people who will actually be employing me”.

That’s exactly what I did. I asked a few companies related to the development industry I was interested in, whether it’s something they look for people to have or not. This is something that’ll differ for everyone — so I’d recommend you find out for yourself, but there was one key message that stood out from everyone I asked.

“If you do decide to go to university, we won’t employ you on that alone. We want to see what else you’ve done outside of your course”.

If you’re going to take anything from this, I’d recommend getting involved in as much as possible. Employers are (more often than not) incredibly keen to speak with you so don’t be afraid to reach out to them! It is important to be aware that if you are studying at the same time though, know your limits! Your studies should be the most important thing right now so if someone is asking too much of you, let them know! It’s a two-way relationship! You should only commit as much as you’re comfortable with, whether that’s just dropping by the office for a chat for a day, or spending more time working alongside others — it’s all great experience, something you can add to your own profile and something you can talk about in future employment!

Part of it is also just knowing people! Volunteering, work experience, apprenticeships and internships are all ways of increasing your connections and they don’t just have to be in the field you’re interested in working in. More often than not, I’ve found just by discussing with people what I’m up to, whether that’s looking for work experience or studying at university, they might reach out with an opportunity they think you’d be interested in or give you the details of someone they know in the industry. Ideally, you could also ask them to introduce you to them; if they know you they can help you to build up a bank of references and endorsements which looks great!

Going forwards with my internship at globalbridge, I’m able to talk about the industry experience I’ve acquired. It’s great that I’ve had the academic experience of my field of study, but I don’t feel like that’s enough to set me up for the workplace. Over my time, I’ve gained the skills of working in a team that I’m not able to get from my university course, and see how the academic skills I’ve learnt are actually put into practice. I’ve also gained a greater picture as to how the whole company works — from the business side, design, marketing and the development I’m used to.

Hopefully as we gradually recover from the effects of COVID-19, we’ll see more and more businesses showcase their opportunities available and provide students with the much needed industry experience that no course is able to teach.

Article written by Harry James.

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