Demi Henry-Polius from Bishop Justus Church of England School in London enjoyed a four-week paid internship at Portland Communications, a political consultancy and PR agency, as part of her time on the Career Ready programme. Here she tells us how her internship helped give her the skills and confidence to kick start a rewarding future.

A really enjoyable experience

As an intern at Portland Communications, my primary role was to help with accounts; I completed stakeholder mapping, compiling data, speaking with event invitees and undertaking targeted research for large clients like Barclays and LEGO. I was overseen by Anthie Zachariou who was so lovely and helpful and made my experience really enjoyable.

It was great to be able to experience a real-life professional workplace environment for the first time, I was able to speak with other interns and work alongside different team members, in an environment which facilitated productivity and collaboration.

Being given the opportunity to complete an internship at Portland was honestly the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I was able to put the skills I had been learning on the Career Ready programme to use, it provided me an invaluable insight into the world of work and I was able to meet so many inspirational individuals who’s words of advice will stay with me forever.

Confident, proactive and determined!

My internship has certainly influenced my plans for the future. Before the Career Ready programme I was unsure about what career path I wanted to take and felt quite uninspired as a result. I knew that I was interested in politics but was unclear about how that could transfer to the real world. But, the extent to which I enjoyed my experience at Portland and the people I met has made me certain that I want to enter the political field in the future.

Today, I would describe myself as confident, proactive and determined! This internship and my time on the Career Ready programme have given me more faith in my own abilities. I really believe that internship opportunities like the one I had, are very important for young people because they provide us with an opportunity to gain real life experience of the world of work.

Help in the wake of the pandemic

Like many young people during the pandemic, I’ve felt like my job prospects have decreased and that has been demotivating. But the Career Ready programme and especially my internship have really helped me overcome that feeling.

I would encourage anyone considering joining the Career Ready programme to not let the opportunity pass you by! The opportunities and support offered by Career Ready are truly unique and extremely valuable. My experience has been life changing. I have received so much learning and support, from my monthly mentor sessions to the masterclasses and then the incredible internship at Portland. Honestly, I couldn’t recommend the Career Ready programme enough!

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