The Big Picture
Joanna completed a summer internship for FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency) as a Market Research Analyst to help maximise profits and understand where and why they were falling behind competitors.
The Learning Curve
Applying to an internship was something that Joanna had never experienced and she found the University of York’s CV checking service to be invaluable.
“It was the first time I had ever applied to a job that required a CV.”
Due to studying physics, Joanna was confident in her research abilities.
“I wasn’t scared of the data analysis, I was scared about presenting my findings in whichever format, and being perhaps challenged over my findings.”
Joanna was able to work up to giving an hour long presentation at the end of the placement to various heads of departments and received positive feedback. The senior staff said that what she had done was valuable work, and that they had chosen her for the position initially because she seemed to be the most able to work independently.
In Joanna’s Own Words…
Full video transcription
I was terrified upon graduation that I’d try and graduate with a CV that had lots of things I’d done with societies on [and] perhaps lots of things I’d done inside the university, but nothing outside of [that]. I didn’t want that. I wanted to make sure employers knew that I could work on my own merit.
I worked for the Food and Environment Research Agency. I worked as a Market Research Analyst, so pretty much looking at who FERA worked with and who their partners were. Just trying to get the maximum amount of money and seeing why their partners were more successful than them or why their competitors were more successful than them at getting money.
The Careers Service [at the University of York] offers a service where they will check over your CV and I booked an appointment to get this done, and as it was the first time I had really ever applied to a job that required a CV, that was invaluable. They helped me tailor it very well. There were so many embarrassing mistakes in it.
Research, I can do. I wasn’t scared of the data analysis, I was scared about presenting my findings in whichever format, and being perhaps challenged over my findings. In the end I gave an hour long presentation to various heads of departments, at the end of my project, and they all thought it was really valuable work that I had done. I actually asked them at the end why they picked me above all the other candidates, and it was because I seemed the most independent and able to work on my own merit which is what they were looking for. I’ve actually just been offered a job and at the interview for that they asked me loads of questions about my internship because it was proof that I’d managed to work with people before outside of my degree.
The Next Step
Joanna was offered a graduate job after completing her internship. At the interview, she was asked many questions about her experiences at FERA and her contributions to the company.
“It was proof that I had managed to work with people before outside of my degree.”