With competition for graduate work placements constantly on the rise, more and more students and postgraduates are looking towards internships to build essential professional experience. We interviewed in-house intern, Panos, for his experiences applying for an internship and the responsibilities that come with it.
Panos: My name is Panos Dringos, I have lived in London for almost 2 years. I currently hold an Internship position at The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) as an Executive Officer. Previously, I graduated from the Department of Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business. I then finished my MSc degree in Banking and International Finance at Cass Business School.
What was your initial motivation for seeking an internship?
Panos: There is no better way to start your professional career in London than an internship, especially if you come from an international background. Adjusting to the new professional environment is really important for a young professional and an internship not only offers this opportunity, but it can also improve your existing academic knowledge. Personally, I feel that an internship is a great step in every new postgraduates career path.
How did you hear about this particular opportunity and what made you choose it?
Panos: I learned about this opportunity from Cass Careers Online Portal, which is Cass Business School’s Online Platform for students who seek internships or professional opportunities after their graduation. Hence, I applied via the platform after I read all the relevant documents concerning the LIBF and the specific position, I considered myself a suitable candidate for the role.
What was the process like for applying for the role?
Panos: The process was relatively straightforward. I had to apply for the role via the Cass Career’s Online Portal by sending my CV and a Cover Letter explaining by willingness and suitability for the role. A month later, I received a phone call and had a chat with LIBF’s HR Department who informed me about the role, the next steps of the registration procedure, and also about my availability and interest for the role. The next and final step was the interview at the LIBF in which I was tasked to prepare a presentation about the challenges that face Higher Education. After the completion of the interview, I was fortunate enough to be offered the position, which I gladly accepted.
How has the experience so far benefited your professional progression?
Panos: This internship experience is extremely important to me and beneficial for my professional aspirations. I had the chance to get involved in different projects concerning the LIBF’s business administration structure and take part in Business Head and Leadership Group meetings. This enabled me to gain a better insight of how an organisation functions, resolves different issues, sets new goals and makes strategic plans for its future agenda.
What is the best aspect of your internship?
The whole experience has been unforgettable so far, so it’s really difficult to mention only one aspect of it. However, participating in Business Head and Leadership Group meetings was extraordinary, having the opportunity to see in action how decisions are made has been invaluable. Having the chance to express my views freely in front of such an audience and debate with your colleagues was really crucial to enhance my self-esteem and interpersonal skills.
What was your first week like? Did you hit the ground running?
Panos: During the first week of my internship, I have to admit that I was feeling like a fish out of water! However, this could be considered a common reaction for everyone that starts a new role. Since then, my colleges and my managers have been really supportive, friendly and helpful and I quickly discarded any reservations I had about my new role. So, after the first few days, I felt like LIBF was the right place for me.
If you could offer any advice for anyone looking for an internship what would it be?
Panos: An internship is essential experience for a lot of recent graduates’ professional upbringing. Such an opportunity can only be described as an asset that can enhance both your professional and interpersonal skills. It will challenge your way of thinking while you learn new things, all while dealing with demanding projects that should be delivered on time. Being a professional is not an inherited attribute. Time and effort is needed. And this is what an internship offers: one step closer to top of the mountain!
- Panos Dringos, Executive Officer Intern.
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