This year, for the first time, we have worked with the Open University’s Internship Programme to give students the opportunity to broaden their work experience and help us move forward with some of our strategic projects.
With the help of the OU’s Careers Team we published our vacancy on their OpportuntiyHub, and received a huge response from many suitable candidates.
After two rounds of interviews we offered the 9 week virtual programme to two interns: Kerri, a second year Computing & Psychology student, and Punit in the final year of a Business Management and Accounting Degree.
Both have been a great asset to the business.
Virtual Internships – Do They Work?
For us at Assent – YES!
The majority of our team have been working from home for some time now, using collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, so our interns join on equal terms with the same tools and challenges.
We were able to take them through our detailed induction process using our various online tools and elearning packages.
It has also improved the way we communicate as a whole team, leading to us starting a weekly virtual drop-in session where we can catch up with each other!
“Remotely working has been a great experience and given me the ability to feel less anxious when having video calls and group meetings, and although I never physically met any of the team, I still felt very much part of a team.” – Kerri
“Studying Business management and Accounting at the Open university [I’ve] been upskilling throughout the pandemic and was grateful to be chosen to be a business intern here at Assent Risk Management. A completely remote basis […] has worked in my favour, making it possible to replace commute times with more productivity.” – Punit
Why Did We Choose the Open University?
The Assent leadership team has a long association with the Open University as students themselves, so we know the unique value that the OU brings.
We recognise that educational programmes are a valuable way to grow our team and we felt that the OU’s internship programme enabled us to access fresh perspectives and knowledge at the higher education level.
The support from OU’s team has been excellent from helping us find the right interns for the role to regular follow ups during the programme.
What Did Our Interns Think?
“This internship has been a wonderful experience and has helped with building my confidence through achievement. I have gained many new skills and gained knowledge in many different areas thanks to the Lorators courses. The training given was a highlight for me as it gave me the opportunity to learn lots of new skills and abilities that I wouldn’t have learnt if it hadn’t been for this internship. The knowledge and skills that I had already gained through being in the second year of a Computing and Psychology degree were able to be used.“ – Kerri
“Being passionate for the environment and looking forward to the current talks for action on going greener for the planet. I am glad Assent shares some of the same passions as myself and was happy to help with some of the ongoing projects that the firm are currently undertaking. I feel that I have gained the most amount of experience in shadowing some of the consultant’s days on the ISO implementations for client’s business and getting a real-world perspective on this has been useful.” – Punit
Real Business Benefits
The 9 week programme seemed to pass by very quickly, but in that time we saw real benefits to our business including:
- Editing and Publishing Over 30 FREE ISO 27001 Document Templates Released on our Resilify.io Platform.
- Establishing international Tax Policies to improve our position,
- Improvements to our Lorators courses & building a calendar for classroom courses,
- Improved SEO scores on our new Assent International website,
We’d like to thank Kerri and Punit for their hard work during the programme, and we are planning to continue working with them both!
If you are an employer who has a vacancy for an intern we recommend speaking to the Open University.
If you are currently studying at the Open University, or a higher education institution, we recommend checking out their internship opportunities. It’s been a great experience for both Assent and our interns who have been able to put their studies into practice.
Access the OU Opportunities Hub here: https://opportunityhub.open.ac.uk/students/