10,000 Black Interns Programme

I joined Birchwood Knight as an intern as a part of the 10,000 Black Interns Programme on July 11th 2022. In the summer of 2021, I gained exposure to the world of not-for-profits and their recruitment processes. This made me curious about a more corporate angle of recruitment, and so when I applied for the 10,000 Black Interns Programme, I picked the Executive Search and Recruitment sector and got an offer from Birchwood Knight.

Since the start of my nine weeks at Birchwood Knight, I have been embraced by a welcoming, friendly and helpful team. The team entrusted me with real responsibility and provided me with continuous support, which has allowed me to thrive at Birchwood Knight. I was given the opportunity to run my own projects, from carrying out research for Birchwood Knight’s bespoke diagnostic tool, Cultureview to being responsible for my own search with an oil and gas company.

While at Birchwood Knight, I have supported primarily in a research capacity, assisting with the search of senior corporate affairs and communications professionals. I have enjoyed the research aspect the most, the nature of research has challenged me and required me to be continuously inquisitive. As an intern, I was pushed out of my comfort zone, which in turn increased my confidence. The work that I have been involved in has had a measurable impact and the ability to leave a mark on the projects that I have worked on has been a truly exciting aspect of my internship.

My internship has given me valuable skills for corporate life and will allow me to tackle the next stages of my career with confidence. It has improved my collaborative skills, communication skills, attention to detail and research skills – all valuable skills necessary to secure a graduate role.  Additionally, my time at Birchwood Knight has helped me realise that Executive Search is an exciting, fascinating space to work in (especially in corporate affairs!) where you are constantly learning and have the capacity to deliver a tangible impact for businesses.

In the run up to my internship, I received great support from the 10,000 Black Interns team, through their online portal Backstage as well as their various preparatory webinars and workshops. I recommend that other black undergraduate students apply to the programme. It is a great opportunity to build your skill set, make you more employable and expand your knowledge of a career that you may wish to pursue.

I am very thankful that I was able to take part in this programme. It has been a highly valuable experience where I have been able to learn continuously and build my confidence substantially. Black students continue to face additional challenges and disadvantages in an increasingly cut throat graduate job market. I would hope that other companies would pledge to take on a black intern next summer, particularly in the Corporate Affairs and Executive Search space, to support black students achieve their career goals and to commit to diversity and inclusion.

This blog was written by Leona Letts, who is continuing to support us as a Research Associate while she completes her final year of studying.

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14th September 2022

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