Keele internship gets Mike’s career off to healthy start

Keele internship gets Mike’s career off to healthy start
keele-SoR-IntroKeele University is one of the leading suppliers of internships for SMEs as part of Santander’s university programme, with 138 graduates undertaking placements since the partnership began in 2013 (figures correct as of end of January 2016).

Mike Wallett, a recent Geography graduate from Keele, is one such individual who has benefitted from the programme.

“After graduating, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was applying for jobs, many of which required specific experience,” said Mike. “I came across Keele’s internship programme and applied for a business development role. The application process was made easy by Keele and I was given the necessary support, including preparation for the interview.”

As a result of his successful interview, Mike was appointed as a Business Development Assistant at Tree of Life, the UK’s largest wholesale distributor in the Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle channel, supplying customers in the UK, Ireland and worldwide. In this role, he initially worked on some of the company’s smaller accounts through telesales, project work and business reports.

Mike said: “I was quite shy to start with, but everyone was so welcoming. My manager was very approachable and down to earth so I always felt that I could ask any questions that I needed to, which helped to increase my confidence.”

Upon completion of his internship, Mike was offered a permanent position at Tree of Life in a Trading Support role, taking him behind the scenes to work on aspects such as the company’s website and more in-depth stock level reporting.

“I love working here,” commented Mike, “I enjoy the environment and love the people. I travel down to London to meet with customers, attend trade shows and have also had external training on one of our biggest customer’s online systems. It’s great to know how your role fits into the bigger company picture and to know what impact it has.”

Richard Hilton, Head of Key Accounts at Tree of Life, said: “The Keele internship programme has provided us with some fresh skills and contemporary ways of working. Graduates are well-versed in the latest trends and techniques and are familiar with the way the young professional section of society live and what makes them tick – they are a key demographic for many businesses and their knowledge base is an asset to us.

“I have received many emails from some of our major customers praising Mike for the work that he does. He has advanced IT skills which have enabled us to learn new techniques in the business.

“Mike is the fourth graduate that we have taken through Keele’s programme and, whilst they come with relatively little workplace experience, they all bring lots of enthusiasm, energy, flexibility and, importantly, ambition. These attributes outweigh the modest investment needed for us to provide the requisite ‘industry’ skills, knowledge and mentoring to assist their personal transition from student to professional.”

“I would recommend the scheme to other businesses – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

For further information about Keele University’s Internship programme, please visit
www.keele.ac.uk/internships or call 01782 733403
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