8 December, 2017

Internships: get a snapshot of what a job is really like

We must have made quite an impression on Alice during her internship. Because she’s now back with us on a year’s placement. We took the opportunity to ask her about her experiences – then and now.

“The internship was such a great experience! I did it when I was 19 and had just completed my first year at university. It was very much a ‘thrown in at the deep end’ scenario. On my first day, I was shown to my desk and given a laptop, phone and project brief and hit the ground running.”

There were more surprises in store for Alice, not least what she was actually going to be doing. She continues, “When I began, I wasn’t entirely sure what a food technologist did and what the job involved. This is what made it such a valuable experience. It was a taste for all the jobs in food at a retail level, not just the technologists. Eight weeks was enough time to confirm that the job is perfect for me.”

Alice was keen to stress all the support she had during her internship – you always have a line manager to mentor you and give you direction, but there’s plenty of room for you to take responsibility. “By the last week, I was expected to write a report and give a presentation on the progress I made with my project and what further actions need to be taken to put this in place.

That report and presentation was Alice’s most memorable moment from her internship. “It was great to see all my hard work come together and get praise and feedback from my team.”

Now that Alice is working in the Deli team as a Food Technologist, her job can take her anywhere. She adds, “I could visit a ready meal business one day, attend a panel on prawns with a supplier the next, then fly to Aberdeen to find out how a smoked salmon provider prepares for the Christmas rush!”

We couldn’t let Alice go without asking the talented Food Technologist what her favourite M&S product was. “By far, it’s the melting middle chocolate lava cake. I gave my presentation on this for the internship interview and have appreciated the science behind it ever since!”

An internship is a great way to get a ‘snapshot’ of a job. It could even be your way into a placement like Alice’s. Find out more about the scheme here.

Inside M&S