Sofia Ahmed – My Lockdown Story

This week’s blog comes from Human Resources Management student Sofia Ahmed, who took the opportunity to take part in a online internship when her plans changed due to the lockdown…

I began studying Human Resources Management at the University of Bradford in 2018 but  I never thought that a pandemic would be one of my problems. I was looking forward to doing a placement year but I guess COVID-19 had other plans. So instead of looking for placement opportunities I started to look online for ways to improve my CV.

I was still able to carry on volunteering at the beginning, but my plans of gaining real world experience had been well and truly thrown out of the window until a careers adviser suggested I apply for a Bright Network online internship with a focus on Business, Operations and Marketing (there were six different subject areas to choose from). I applied not knowing what to expect, thinking it might be like uni lectures. I was wrong – it was so much more…

The virtual internship was supported by well established companies like P&G, M&S, Google, Enterprise and GSK. The Internship consisted of seminars and self-managed sessions. There were networking opportunities to meet peers too. The seminars were delivered by professionals from business backgrounds who shared their knowledge of marketing, competitive analysis, consultative selling and even top tips for teamwork and collaboration dos and don’ts.

Alongside this we were given a work sample which made us apply our knowledge of the seminars in a real world problem which was both challenging and rewarding. The main tasks were to provide Enterprise with a marketing plan of a launch in a new city and provide a SWOT analysis on the cities to pick the best option for Enterprise. We were given a £50,000 budget to advertise the new campaign and finished with recommended tactics to measure the outcome of the project.

Sofia’s notes from one of the sessions

One of the main takeaways from this experience is that employers aren’t necessarily looking for someone who is perfect at their job but rather someone who is resilient, reliable and perseveres in the tasks that they have been given, and most importantly asks for help when they need it.

Sofia’s certificate for the Internship Experience

I am now applying to summer internships and keeping my volunteering going. Hopefully my workplace will be able to open safely soon. Although COVID-19 has shaken all of us I think that it also brings opportunities for development and all we can do is hope that one day things will be better.

Thanks Sofia. The Bright Network Internship Experience live sessions have now finished, but you can still take part with the on-demand sessions which cover the same topics (deadline 20th July to start on 22nd July).