Sim joined us at Carbon Global last October 2021 through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. As the Business & Operations Intern, she shares in this interview insights into her experience and tips to make the most of an internship. As I have been working closely with Sim, I found it interesting to hear how much she learnt in three months and to look back on what we have already achieved so far.
More information on the scheme can be found on GOV.UK here.
Elodie: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what motivated you to apply to the government’s Kickstart scheme?
Sim: Last Summer, I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Law. As soon as I graduated, I was looking for opportunities in both commercial and law to gain professional experience. During my studies, I had the chance to undergo internships and also had some part-time jobs but they did not have a commercial focus. One of my friends recommended the Kickstart Scheme as she had also been on it. From my point of view, this was a great way to get my foot in the door and to gain experience in business to round up my knowledge and feel ready to enter the market place. So, Carbon Global was a great chance to gain more of that commercial awareness I was seeking and I have also learnt plenty about lead generation.
Elodie: Can you please describe your role at Carbon Global?
Sim: I am the Business & Operations Intern at Carbon Global. This means that I have a mix of responsibilities that are both commercial and operational within Lead Generation. For instance, some of my day-to-day activities include researching marketplaces and building contact lists for our business development team as well as doing more internal work such as the transfer databases and dealing with our B2B client requests. Fortunately, I also get to participate in team meetings to have a glance into the strategy that goes behind project delivery and I have played a keen role in supporting the team to hand client projects in on time. So my role is quite mixed and interdependent which will help me in my future career goals and to develop personally and professionally.
Elodie: Any tips on how to start a new role as an intern?
Sim: To be open to learning and also definitely to be flexible. As an intern, you have a good advantage because you’re here to work of course, but you’re also here to learn and your employer knows that so don’t be afraid to take on new responsibilities and to ask questions to the team and your manager. I would say to definitely take on new responsibilities and be flexible with the opportunities that are given to you.
Elodie: Would you say that it’s a good opportunity to take more risks too?
Sim: Definitely, I think it is. It’s the one time in your career when you are kind of expected to not know everything. So, it’s a good opportunity to take risks and indulge in areas that you’re not comfortable with. Since you are assigned a manager or mentor, you will have someone to ask for support if a task becomes tricky. In return and by the end of your internship, this is going to give an amazing set of new skills and you will feel more confident in future jobs.
Elodie: What are some of the key skills that you have learnt so far and how do you think you will be able to apply them in a future role?
Sim: Whilst there are a lot of skills that are required in a lead generation agency, in general I think some of the main skills that I’ve learnt and observed are prioritisation, time management and problem solving. The ability to think laterally and on my feet while under pressure has definitely been important. Also, as I was aiming to do, I gained knowledge in thinking commercially because, at Carbon Global, we really want to make sure that our lead generation client’s needs are met and strategised. These are some of the skills that I’ve learnt so far. I would also aim to develop further in terms of strategy and client relationship as well as account management.
Elodie: In terms of maintaining a good relationship with a B2B client, what have you learnt or observed?
Sim: I think having good communication skills is definitely key because you need to know what your client wants and you need to make sure that you are on the same page as them. So I have been learning more about this and observing the team during client meetings. A thing that we do at Carbon Global that is a good takeaway is how we take the time to understand our B2B clients through a ‘wishlist’ that we build and update with them. It has been interesting to see how we progress and fulfill client expectations.
Elodie: Who would you recommend the Kickstarter scheme?
Sim: Definitely either students like me who just finished university and are yet to enter a full-time career or students who are not yet sure which career path they want to take. It’s definitely a good way to ‘kickstart’ your career and Carbon Global has been a great opportunity to do this. Also, for anyone who wants to learn new skills, it’s an experience that can be adapted to your ambitions. Here, I have been lucky that everyone has taken into consideration my own wishlist so that I have a tailored experience that helps me develop both personally and professionally.
Strategic Operations Manager