My internship: an experience not to be missed

Abiola and Rob case study photo

As part of her MBA, Abiola Ilemobayo had a three-month internship at Reedsmore Solutions, a creative agency run by Rob Taylor. We spoke with Abiola and Rob about their experience from their different viewpoints.

Abiola, which company did you do your internship with?

I worked part-time with a company called Reedsmore Solutions in Manchester. Reedsmore Solutions is a micro company specialising in creative services such as videography, graphic design, print, photography, webservices and brand development.

What were the objectives of your project?

Reedsmore solutions operates in the creative services industry that is characterised by uncertainty of demand and seasonal earnings.

Consequently, the key objective of this project was to analyse the business and the creative services industry. The business analysis will help the company understand the macro economic factors affecting their industry. It will identify the unique skills, dynamic capabilities and weaknesses of the company, and proffer recommendations that may facilitate the creation of sustainable competitive advantage.

The final outcome was an external analysis to ascertain the level and nature of competition and the key factors that impact the industry. The company analysis provided a critical review of their business strategy, services, financial performance and brand perception with customers.

The ultimate objective was to arrive at results that facilitate business improvement recommendations.

Rob, what were your goals as employer?

To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. There were many things I was looking for at the time, but the most valuable thing I needed was a third-person perspective on the business from someone who was neither emotionally nor financially involved in it. Given that even a paid business coach would have had a financial interest in the business, there were few available avenues to find someone who was so detached from the business that they could take a clear and unbiased look at where it was and where it’s going. An MBA intern met those requirements perfectly.

Abiola conducted a thorough examination of the business, first from an external point of view, before getting under the skin and interviewing me at length, speaking to former and current clients about their experiences with Reedsmore and examining the accounts to get a clear view of the financial movements of the company.

Finally, she delivered her very thorough MBA report, but also created a separate document containing a detailed conclusion and recommendations for the business going forward.

Abiola, how has this helped prepare you for life after University?

This project is central to my Business Analysis career path post-graduation. It has given me further experience in data collection and analysis, stakeholder engagement, financial analysis, time management, communication, report writing, problem solving and so much more.

It was the icing on the cake of my degree! It was a platform to apply all the knowledge and skills acquired on the course and it was an experience not to be missed.

What are your plans for the future?

From working on this project, I discovered that more that 90% of businesses in the UK are classed as SME’s, suggesting that they are the highest contributors to GDP. This discovery has helped me to see the value in supporting small businesses as it helps them take advantage of the opportunities to continually create value in their local economies.

As I pursue my Business Analysis career, I will also explore options to provide further support to small businesses in the Manchester area.

My experience at Salford Business School has been amazing. I had the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable lecturers who had different levels of industry experience and were very much in touch with the developments and trends of their industries. I also met other students who came from diverse professional backgrounds and it was a pleasure to collaborate with them and learn from them too.

The Business School creates opportunities for students to learn first-hand from industry professionals by regularly inviting guest speakers, having industry visits and organising an international study trip. There is also the opportunity to gain hands on experience through the live project. Overall, the Business School enables leadership thinking and helps you think as a business owner and even motivates you to start up your own business.

I am glad I chose Salford. The academic and administrative support for me to succeed has been incredible.

Rob, how would you sum up your experience of employing an intern?

In a word: Excellent. Would I do it again? Certainly.

Abiola’s research revealed a few things which I was unaware of, but more importantly was able to confirm that many suspicions I had about the business were correct. This was revelatory because, when you run a business on your own, you have an idea of what you think you should do, but you have no way of telling whether you’re right. Many of Abiola’s recommendations were actions I had long thought I should take, but hadn’t known if I was going to lead the business into difficulties.