ClickTravel - Santander Graduate Internships Celebration Event
Recently, myself and Chau from our software engineering team (SET) went back to our university to attend the Santander Graduate Internships Celebration Event.
For the past two years, Click Travel has been taking on interns from this scheme for SET and marketing roles. I was a marketing intern in the summer of 2014 and Chau has just finished his internship this summer and taken on a full time software engineer role. From the same scheme, we also have Martin, who was the 2014 intern for SET and who now works for Click Travel. All of us are graduates from the University of Birmingham. In fact, our current managing director, Jill Palmer, is also an alumnus of Birmingham, so you could say that as a company we are well connected to the university, which is only a few miles up the road from our HQ in central Birmingham.
Going back to campus was nostalgic for us even though it hasn’t been that long ago since we left university to enter the world of work. The event was attended by representatives from Santander, other past graduates and members of university staff who have supported this scheme. The way the scheme works is by supporting local SMEs in hiring graduates for a 3 month internship, with Santander sponsoring half of the graduate’s pay and the company paying the other half. This means that SMEs are better able to find the funding for multiple interns and in turn more opportunities for us graduates!
In talking to interns of other SMEs, it was clear to see that we all have something in common: working for a SME has given us more experience than we would have gained in a larger company. Personally, I experienced cross disciplinary tasks across HR, finance, sales, bids and my main interest: marketing. Click gave me a lot of responsibility from day one, I never felt like I wasn’t part of the team or that I was any less valued even though I didn’t bring much experience. It was a case of getting stuck in and if you don’t know anything, it’s a chance to learn about it. Being a smaller company, I really got the chance to get to know everyone, an experience shared with Jaspal, who was on the Click Travel graduate scheme before becoming a fully fledged member of our Account Management team.
Overall, from the Santander Scheme, more of us were able to get to know a great company like Click Travel and realise that the world of work is not as intimidating as we thought it might be. Personally, I wouldn’t have even be aware of the business travel industry if it wasn’t for the internship, so this has really been a eye opener into an exciting new world!