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Student lands perfect internship thanks to Santander

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Anuara Nessa tells us about her experience interning for Avakino through the Santander Internship Programme.

What did you study and are you a student or graduate?

For my undergrad I studied fashion design and for master’s I’m doing international business.

Why did you want to do an internship?

I wanted to gain experience and mainly I just wanted something to reflect what I’m doing for my master’s as well. So for International Business I wanted to just do business incorporated as well as my intention was to find something where I can design and put my fashion degree to use as well. So I just wanted to do a 2 in 1 basically.

Can you tell me a bit about Avakino?

Avakino is a company that reaches out to people with hair loss. We basically create these amazing headwear for our patients to gain confidence and be part of the whole luxury atmosphere. So we want them to feel a part of society, not left out. We want to create this whole friendly environment for everyone to feel good, to look good and feel confident about themselves.

What appealed to you about the placement?

I didn’t know there was a placement going on to be honest.It was purely my intention to look for a head start and get something planned ahead before I finished my master’s. When this opportunity came along actually one of my tutors recommended and surprisingly I entered a competition for Avakino to make a headwear collection.

What does your role involve?

My role involves being a designer and a marketer. I design headpieces and catalogues and packaging for the company. I’m attending extra courses because of the company, I’m able to do a lot of courses related to digital marketing and I’m meeting new people from other businesses so it’s a really great platform to connect with people.

What support did you receive from the University of Salford when applying for and whilst on your internship?

Well because I’m doing my master’s it was kind of apply for jobs and see where you can get into so that just came along with all the assistance from all the tutors. I just applied and got my CV up to scratch and I got all the support from all the tutors at every stage so it’s something you have to reach out in order to get it.

What was the process for applying for the internship like?

It was quite easy, I’d say it was easier than the job opportunities on Salford’s job vacancies. It was really easy to apply because it was set up really straightforward and I just sent my CV forward to the University and they double checked on it and they gave me a lot of feedback and from there I just applied and hoped for the best and see if I got any contact.

What did you learn during your time with Avakino?

I learnt a lot from Avakino. I’ve learnt how to manage time and because I’ve got my education it’s nice that I have that freedom and that flexibility to work around my whole dissertation and everything. So from there I’ve gained a lot of confidence, I feel like it just gives me the wide perspective of the real world because that’s what we need as a student. We need to know how the real world is and how after my master’s to stand up and make your own business. I’ve gained a lot of experience and I was able to express my passion for drawing as well so it’s great.

How have you been able to contribute to the business?

I’ve made a lot of important promotion and design work so I’ve always been looking out on how to bring awareness to Avakino. I was able to contribute by designing a collection for the Teenage Cancer Trust. We’re going to meet the patients and according to them we are going to design a collection to reflect their personality. I feel honoured, I’m doing something,I’m helping people and this is the main thing that I want, to help people through this creative manner which not everyone gets the opportunity to do so it’s a really pleasant job to do. To make people happy and smile just by designing and making them feel confident that’s an amazing feeling as well.

How does it feel to be able to apply what you’ve learnt to industry?

My intention was more of a business aspect but at the end of the day I really wanted to remain in that whole fashion zone and that was my main aim even though I’m doing international business. I was honoured to just come across this kind of opportunity, I never knew that there was something like a mixture that I can do and that has really opened my eyes that I can balance the business aspect and the designing aspect.

Do you think this internship has improved your career prospects and if so how?

Yes definitely. It has improved a lot of my future aspects,it has changed a lot of things. Before I had different plans but now I feel like I’ve been planning more because it’s given me that boost of confidence like yeah after this what do I want to do next. So it’s really exciting and I can’t wait to finish my master’s degree and then get on with what I need to do.Hopefully one day I’ll have my own brand which I’m really aiming for at the moment so I’m just building that slowly up.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying for an internship?

I would say to them to just go for it because at the end of the day I feel like you need that experience. I feel like just a degree alone is just not enough and you have to put it to use. It’s better to just go for an internship, experience it and maybe you’ll pick up new talents which will help you further decide what you want to do in the future. A mind always changes so it’s great to go for an internship, see what you like and just build on that.

What would you say to a company that is thinking of recruiting an intern?

It will be amazing because for students it’s really hard,it’s a scary world. I’m sure all my friends and colleagues, everyone around me they always think what they’re going to do next. It’s great that this kind of opportunity is going to happen or is being thought about because at the end of the day we need that support to grow and that’s the platform that needs to be more aware of so everyone knows and gain experience out of this really.

Your internship is part-funded by Santander, if you could thank them for the opportunity they have provided what would you say?

I would say thank you for this opportunity, it’s going really amazing and I’m looking forward to the future.

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