Black Interns Pilot Initiative

We were one of the organisations taking part in the West of England's Black Interns pilot scheme this year which aimed to offer up to 50 paid internships in a range of companies to Black students living or studying in the region. Aseel Salih joined our team for a four-week placement as part of the initiative.

Ghyston
Ghyston

The regional focused pilot scheme supported by Bristol City Council was instigated by Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and the CEO of Hargreaves Lansdown who was inspired by the ambition and simplicity of the national #10000BlackInterns programme and wanted to create something similar for ambitious young people in the South West at a time when unemployment is rising. The cross-sector programme which launched in September offered Black students living or studying in the region the opportunity to gain valuable experience within an organisation.

45 internships were offered and feedback is currently in the process of being gathered. So far it is clear that it has been a real success both for interns and organisations involved. Planning is now underway to increase the number of internships offered and broaden out who the programme is open to, so watch this space.

Here is what Aseel had to say about her time at Ghyston:

How have you found the Intern placement at Ghyston?

I’ve found my internship at Ghyston very fun and informative. I had immense amounts of support from my peers, technical lead, and line manager whenever I was stuck or needed any help. This not only made me feel confident to go out of my comfort zone and try new things but also is a big reason why I’ve learnt so much. Being surrounded by such an incredibly skilled and talented group of people meant that I got to absorb all the best knowledge and practices which I hope to implement in my future, hopefully, as a software developer. The wider team at Ghyston has been the most friendly and welcoming bunch ever. From casual chats at lunch to the weekly company-wide tea-and-cake meetings to the multiple morale events (including a showstopping summer party!) every day at Ghyston was enjoyable and different and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Did anything unexpected come out of the experience? Has the experience helped give you a focus or direction for your career?

At the start of the internship, I came into it to learn as much as I can and try to see if Software is something I wanted to pursue. Coming out of the internship, I’m now switching courses from Engineering to Computer Science, so I think it’s safe to say this has been an impactful and insightful month for me. My passion for programming has been reignited during my time with Ghyston and (sorry about the cliché) I can’t wait to see how bright this flame grows!
I now know that this is a career path open for me and my place in the Software world is waiting for me to fill it.

What was it like working in a professional working environment and reporting to a line manager?

I thought I would find this awkward to transition to as I’d never experienced anything like it, however, my line manager Jake was so relaxed and supportive that it calmed me going into the internship. Getting into the daily groove of coming into the office was an adjustment compared to university and how unstructured my days were. I felt it made me more organised and allowed me to account for my work better.

If you were describing the experience to a friend, what would you say?

I would say that it’s the most challenging and rewarding work experience I’ve had so far. I’ve been exposed to so many technologies and languages that were new to me and given the best introduction to build on for them. By the end of my internship, I’ve grown my soft skills and professional industry skills to a level entirely higher than I thought possible for me. I would tell them how my internship has given me the tools I need to combat a whole load of challenges unprecedented to me.

What was your favourite part of the experience?

My favourite part of the internship would be the feeling that I got when a new concept clicked for me or an error, I was stuck at got resolved. I had moments of doubt in my ability but thinking back to that feeling always kept me going and believing in myself. The feeling that I am a capable software developer and the confidence boost that gives me is invaluable to me. It cements to me that I can conquer anything that comes my way with the skills I’ve developed and the lessons I’ve learnt.

For more information about the initiative
please visit https://www.hl.co.uk/black-interns-pilot

If you are interested in getting involved in September 2022 register your interest by emailing WestEngInterns@hl.co.uk

Ghyston
Ghyston

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