The Intern 101: Part 3 | Tips From a Young Professional in the City
Contributed by: @JFrimpong_
Adefolahan Oshinloye is a corporate auditor at a professional service firm in the City, currently studying for his ACA. As an established young professional, I thought it would be interesting to sit down with Ade and get his perspective on internships, graduate schemes and the like. I hope you find his tips useful and trust that you will flourish in your working environment if you follow this #Adzvice.
JF: What tips would you give to students and young adults going into the working world?
1. Start as early as possible
When it comes to applications, particularly for internships and graduate schemes, it is important to start applying as early as possible. Many recruiters give feedback on applications. This feedback can be useful when applying for other future roles - your application technique and content.
2. Be open- minded
There are a lot of opportunities out there, not just in London but across the country. Research and get out there. Be open-minded when it comes to firms and roles.
3. Be a sponge
In whatever position you occupy, aim to learn as much as you can. Approach every new role as though it is an advanced coursework module. Absorb absolutely everything – this will definitely put you in good stead especially if you are looking to convert this into a graduate role.
I believe that these three tips combined will give you a good chance of succeeding in the workplace.
JF: How would you advise accommodating the culture of your firm whilst remaining true to yourself?
1. Engage in the office culture
Over the years, firms have become accommodating to new graduates and starters. From team excursions to mentoring schemes, there are so many things you can get involved in. It is in these sort of activities that you can get to know people in various departments, as well as get advice from more senior colleagues.
2. Be confident in yourself
Authenticity and quality always shines through. By remaining true to yourself and confident in your abilities, you will ultimately develop your interpersonal skills.
JF: What tips would you give on leaving a lasting impression?
1. Take ownership early on and display leadership skills
It is very likely that you will be delegated a task or project in whatever role it is that you occupy. Taking ownership of tasks will show that you are indeed interested and willing to take on more. It might not be ‘in your nature’ to jump at leadership opportunities, however taking yourself out of your comfort zone will promote growth! You will set yourself apart from other candidates and also learn a great deal in the process.
2. Be diligent
Diligence is key! The standard of your work should never drop – remain consistent in performance and constantly ask for feedback and advice on how you can improve your work.
Effectively demonstrating these two skills will promote acceleration because management will indeed notice you. Being committed to your role will put you in a position where your colleagues and superiors can provide you with invaluable advice and insight.
JF: Professional self-development is an interesting one. How important do you think professional self-development is?
1. Stay informed
You do not want to be left behind in this fast-paced world. Stay abreast of the developments in your industry. Commercial awareness is essential so please ensure that you are developing your knowledge on a daily basis.
2. Don't stop learning
Taking up training programmes and professional qualifications that are inclined to your personality and interest are imperative to growing as a young professional. Your value as a candidate will go all the way up! Many organisations fund such programmes. You will be doing yourself a great disservice if you fail to take these up. I am currently studying full-time whilst working full-time as a corporate auditor. It can be challenging, juggling both commitments but the knowledge I am acquiring from studying is proving invaluable in my daily workings with my firm.
A big thank you to Ade for these tips! I will definitely be implementing some of these in my current workplace so make sure you do too! Ade is a part of Capital Moments, a social enterprise formed by young professionals working in the City. They aim to promote commercial awareness to maximise personal development. The Capital Moments Guide to Internships and Graduate Jobs is a comprehensive guide for students and includes fantastic tips on CV skills, interview skills, more details into the transition from students to professionals.
Be sure to check out the other parts of the Intern 101 Series