Why I would recommend Change 100
Niamh was one of our Change 100 interns. She tells us about her experience working at Next.
Learning new skills
Change 100 is unique as you don’t apply for a specific role like you do in a typical internship scheme. So it can really allow you to explore something new! I was accepted into a technology role for my internship. Initially, I was worried I was underqualified for the role as I didn’t have much coding or development experience. But I quickly found that my employer was very welcoming of the skills I did have.
I had some great discussions with my supervisor on my first day. This ensured that I could contribute to the team and learn new technical skills. I was put on a rotation within my team to gain insight into the variety of roles available. And I attended training sessions along with my colleagues. I quickly learned new skills and developed my understanding of eCommerce technology systems. Everyone was helpful and happy to answer any questions I had or help with any problems I encountered.
This internship gave me the opportunity to work in an area I might typically not be considered qualified for. I wanted to learn more technology skills as it’s an area I’m interested in. Still, at the start of the placement, I barely knew what an internet server was, let alone how it works! My placement has not only taught me this but also given me a deep insight into eCommerce technology systems and how to keep a smooth customer experience stable.
When it comes to applying for Change 100, the application process might seem daunting. But don’t be intimidated by it.
Meeting new people
I was also lucky enough to be on placement with five other interns across different areas of the business. We quickly formed bonds which allowed us to support each other and gave us the confidence to succeed in our roles.
Next relocated us to shared accommodation over the course of the placement, which allowed us to get to know each other and gave us a chance to relax outside of working hours. The early careers network at Next also encouraged us to meet others through organised socials. This included interactive darts in Leicester city centre and dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant!
I really enjoyed meeting lots of different people, especially other new graduates. This allowed me to build friendships and gave me valuable insights into other areas of the business, like Data Science and Human Resources.
Change 100 – a supportive experience
I can’t recommend Change 100 enough. It has completely reshaped my view on disability in the workplace. Having completed a placement year for my degree course where I really struggled, this program has taught me the skills to speak confidently about my disability and what adjustments I may need. If I could sum my experience up in three words, it would be friendly, supportive and insightful.
If you’re considering applying, I’d say think about what area you might like to work in. It might be a role you’ve not considered before or an industry you might be curious about but don’t know much about.
When it comes to applying for Change 100, the application process might seem daunting. But don’t be intimidated by it. Have a think about the different university, school or college projects you’ve been a part of and how you’ve applied the skills they’re asking about. In mine, I talked about anything from my recent business project at university to my silver Duke of Edinburgh Award at school!