Like so many of my fellow undergraduates earlier this year, I felt disheartened and discouraged by the volume of rejected internship applications filling my inbox. With the ever-increasing competition for graduate programmes and internships we are all under pressure to prove to employers that you we the best candidate for the post. As applicants, we need to be competitive and seek opportunities.

Preparing for the transition from academia to the corporate world

Not having a concrete idea of the path I wanted to pursue gave me the freedom to be open minded about opportunities. My focus was to build occupational skills in preparation for the transition from academia to the corporate world in a people-orientated organisation. Whilst browsing LinkedIn, I came across the internship opportunity at The RSA Group and was thrilled to be accepted as a research assistant intern, working primarily within the talent acquisition and marketing teams.

The reality of an online internship

As the start date approached, the now infamous COVID restrictions dictated that I was not going to be able to travel to RSA’s offices, and an online internship was proposed. As a “people-person”, I will admit to having hesitations at the prospect of an online internship. Yet, from the first day it surpassed my expectations and I found it to be incredibly enriching. As the summer ends and I prepare to return to university, I leave equipped with a more varied skill set well suited to the requirements of the employers of today.

Despite the constraints brought on by the pandemic, The RSA Group was able to accommodate my integration into the team – all from my base in rural Aberdeenshire.

Working with the remote desktop challenged me to improve my IT and programming abilities – essential in this era of working from home – confidently mastering programmes such as Outlook and FileFinder.

Regular Skype and Zoom calls provided me with support on various projects and facilitated interesting conversations with many RSA team members. Gaining insight into executive search and life sciences from industry experts provided me with a wealth of knowledge and exposed me to the diverse positions within these sectors.

The importance of strong, clear and concise communication, above all when working on a joint project, was demonstrated during my time at RSA. The support I received from the Talent Acquisition and Marketing teams went above and beyond, providing feedback and validation to aid my professional development and help me improve over the period of my internship.

Emerging with confidence and optimism

Good time management is essential when working in such a dynamic industry as executive search and executive interims. Meeting deadlines, balancing multiple projects and ensuring you perform to an exceptional standard requires you to manage your time meticulously, and always maintain a can-do attitude.

Above all, The RSA Group gifted me the chance to work with a team of welcoming, hard-working professionals. Their resilience is inspiring and has improved my optimism at the prospect of graduating in such a hostile economic climate. My experience as an intern with The RSA Group has given me confidence that I can succeed in the world of work, and for that I cannot thank them enough.

To find out more about The RSA Group Internship Programme or for details on how to apply, visit

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