University of Cambridge Human, Social and Political Sciences student, Adanna Okoli, applied to work at ITN Business through the 10,000 Black Interns Scheme. Here, she shares her experience of working with the team…
Six weeks ago, I walked into a huge building on Gray’s Inn Road with adrenaline pumping from the run to catch the train that had almost left without me and full of relief that I’d managed to make it on time on my first day. As I sat in the waiting area that I would fondly come to known as outtakes I was nervous with very little idea of what the next six week would bring, but also excited from the endless possibilities of the unknown.
From my very first week at ITN Business, I was allowed and encouraged to explore different parts of the business, doing tasks that ranged from writing press releases to assisting on shoots. This variation in tasks, customised according to what tasks needed doing and my own interests and desired meant that the burnout that I had anticipated from starting work soon after finishing exams never came. It has also meant that I have been able to develop a wide range of skills from copywriting, to making and managing spreadsheets. Despite this wide exploration, I have still been able to take ownership of specific tasks, with the one I am most proud of being the creation of a ‘next gen’ social media strategy for ITN Business, which I am hoping will help the team bridge the gap between their existing audience and younger generations.
What has made ITN experience so enjoyable is not just the practical skills and experiences, but also the workplace culture that has defined my time here. In my first few days, I was introduced to people across the ITN Business Team, ranging from sales to production enabling me to have a holistic understanding of ITN Business’ unique and complex business model. Not only did this make me feel like part of the team rather than a temporary appendage, but it also enabled me to contribute more meaningfully to ITN Business’s work. This same consideration was demonstrated by the fact that I was permitted to take a week of annual leave in the middle of my internship, allowing to go to Nigeria and be part of the milestone celebrations for mum’s 50th and my grandma’s 90th birthdays. At a time when corporate jobs are falling out of favour with younger generations, internships like this one can play a vital role in demystifying working life and demonstrating the positive difference that a compassionate and sustainable corporate culture can make.
Walking into 200 Gray’s Inn Road for possibly the last time, instead of the nervous excitement that had been present on my first day, I am met instead with a mix of fondness and sadness. There is however, one feeling that cut across from my first day to the last, gratitude. Gratitude, initially for the opportunity that I was about to walk into and to everyone who took a chance on me by giving it to me. And now to the marketing team that took instantly welcomed me and took to me in and the wider ITN Business team under the leadership of the formidable Nina Harrison-Bell whose everyday acts of kindness served as constant motivation. I am also immensely grateful to the ITN People Team, as well as the 10,000 Interns Foundation for the less visible but immensely vital role they have played during my time at ITN. The last six weeks have both met and challenged my expectations in innumerable ways, leaving an impact on me that I can only hope has been reciprocated.