Erik Petnehazi from Lourdes Secondary School is our 2018 AstraZeneca STEM Student of the Year for Technology. Here, he shares his experience of an internship at Aviva and how his mentor has helped him prepare for a successful future.  

Being able to enjoy an internship is so important for young people like me because they give you the opportunity to gain real workplace experience, ask questions you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to ask and test yourself in real life situations.

Before my internship at Aviva I had no previous experience of the world of work. I was excited about getting started but – in all honesty – I was a little nervous as well. I didn’t know what to expect and I was a bit nervous about having to get loads of busses across the city to get there. But I was given lots of great support and advice from my Career Ready mentor and the masterclasses which I attended, which helped give me the confidence and enthusiasm to do my very best!

I think the best part of my internship was that I got a real insight of how a big company like Aviva really works. I visited all the departments and I saw how they link together, and how they depend on each other. It was great to meet the different teams and team members and learn new things every day.

If you’re preparing for an internship yourself, my advice to you would be to take it seriously but don’t be afraid of being yourself. Don’t be quiet, ask questions. Try out new things, things that maybe will move you out from your comfort zone – this is how you can develop yourself and this is how you can gain experience!

Honestly, getting involved with the Career Ready programme is one of the best things that has happened in my life, and I’d recommend it to any other student. Learning from my mentor – who is more like a friend who you can count on – and my internship at Aviva have both been great experiences which have really helped me become career ready.

Learn more about how Career Ready helps students like Erik kick-start a successful future, or get involved today and make a lasting difference.