As we begin recruitment for our next internship vacancies, our current interns sat down to talk through their past year working for the Trust.  

We’re currently recruiting for interns within our Programmes, Development, and Research, Communications and Policy teams. To give you an insight into the roles, we’ve asked our current interns Alice, Emily and Joely to come together and share what it’s like to work for the Sutton Trust.

What was your recruitment experience like? 

Emily – Overall the process was really smooth, although virtual recruitment and online interviews were very different. However, the resources provided by the Trust allowed me to gain a great insight into the role and what to expect from the day. All of the staff were so lovely and authentic when it came to interviewing, which helped put me at ease! 

Joely – My interview consisted of two panels made up of staff from the Programmes team, so it was great to meet lots of people I would potentially be working with and have the opportunity to ask them questions. I also had a task that was similar to the kind of work I do now. Although the task had a time limit, it was a chance to showcase my skills in a practical sense.  

What was it like having a remote induction, and how have you found working from home? 

Joely – The previous Programmes Intern created a great handover pack with all the main things I needed to know for my role. I also had the opportunity to meet all the different teams and sub-teams at the Trust so I felt fully integrated and could chat with everyone straight away, despite it being all online. The team is super approachable so it’s easy to ask questions at any time when working on something, and right from the start I have had regular check ins with my line manager to go through my task list and ask questions. 

Alice – I’ve really liked the increased flexibility around working from home over the last few months. The office has been open on certain days for staff who want to go in, so I can go and spend time with some of my colleagues, but still spend most of my week working from home*. 

Emily – The induction allowed for a gradual intro into my team, and the Trust at wide, which I really appreciated. Meeting the previous Development Intern and getting their informal advice made the process feel less ‘remote’. I’ve also really appreciated the buddy system that forms part of the internship scheme. It ensured that I could still have informal chats and catch ups with someone from another team throughout my time working from home. The Trust is also good with socials, which we help organise, and has meant that despite remote working there’s still been the opportunity to socialise. 

What kind of work do you do in your role? 

Joely – I work in the Programmes team so work on the different programmes the Trust runs in partnership with universities and employers. I have been involved with applications, planning and delivery and have been able to (virtually) meet lots of students and employer partners and facilitate panels, webinars and other activities. I have also found and created content for our online platform Sutton Trust Online, which has gone through some big developments in the past year. 

Emily – I work in the Development team which focuses on fundraising, but this encompasses a lot of different things. I support donor stewardship, for example prepping for meetings with key donors, or doing research projects on potential prospects in different industries and networks. I also support with report and proposal writing, events, and cross-team projects.  

Alice – I work across the Research, Policy and Comms team, which essentially means that my job is really variable. Mostly I write briefings for our CEO and Chairman, or for the media, and help with research reports. I’m also involved with our social media, helping to draft social media plans, create Instagram posts and help with other parts of digital comms.  

What kind of work have you done outside your team? 

Emily – The internship scheme provides the opportunity to get involved with things across the Trust. I’ve really enjoyed getting involved in Programmes work. Hosting a Pathways panel and therefore getting to engage with students who benefit from our work was really rewarding. I also minute for our advisory groups which allows me to meet and hear from some of our corporate partners. 

Joely – I worked with the Alumni team to help prepare resources for our very first Alumni Festival. This was a fun project to be involved with and great to work more closely with people outside my home team.  

Alice – I helped with our recent alumni policy event, assisting with the event itself and doing a policy write up, so that we could publish a blog on the event which summarized the discussion and conclusions. I worked with the Development team on this project, which was a really great way of spending time with other team members.  

How have you developed since working for the Trust? 

Alice – I’ve massively developed my knowledge of the education sector since starting to work for the Trust. I do our media monitoring every morning, which means I’m really up to date with what’s going on. Also I have definitely improved my time management skills, which will be really helpful for future roles.  

Emily – I’ve gained massive insight into the variety of avenues your career can take through my research on such a range of different donors as well as through in-depth chats with different staff members here at the Trust. I’ve grown in confidence and as a Sutton Trust alum myself I’ve also appreciated learning how the Trust runs internally – there is so much going on! 

Joely – I have learnt so many new skills I didn’t have before, and a highlight for me has been running our Instagram account. Before the internship I had never used any social media for business purposes, so to use new software and design content has been a big learning experience and responsibility, but also rewarding! 

It has also been beneficial to gain a strong understanding of how a charity like the Trust works on a day to day basis and see how projects and programmes come to life. I am an alum like Emily, so it was great to see how a programme like our UK University Summer Schools is put together! 

You can apply for the Sutton Trust Internship Scheme 2021-22 here. If you’re interested in hearing more, check out our Instagram page @sutton_trust, where we will be answering some more questions about what it’s like to work at the Trust. 

*Please note that from September 2021 we plan to move to a flexible blend of both office work and home work, depending on future government guidance. 

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