Please outline your most recent academic career to date and why you wanted to undertake an internship
I attended Blackpool Sixth Form College at A-level where I studied Business, Economics and IT. Here, I was a member of the Career Ready programme which was a selective course enabling candidates to interact with professional individuals/businesses within various sectors and attend masterclasses.
The importance of social action is a real passion of mine and during my final year of study here I was selected for an award - out of 2000 students - to recognise Outstanding Social Action in the Local Community. In addition, I was presented the Employability award and Career Ready award due to my eagerness to progress myself and external achievements I earned (including iDea, digital enterprise awards.)
I recently finished my second year at Lancaster University studying Business Management (taking modules in Marketing, Consulting, Economics, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Management and Organisation Work and Technology).
Averaging a 2.1, I had originally opted to undertake a placement and received offers from 3 global companies however due to personal circumstances and wanting to stay local to my family, I decided against this. I also wanted to complete my degree more quickly. I have completed multiple internships which has cemented my ambition to build a career in a corporate environment.
My exposure to the world of finance was pretty limited before college when I decided to join various programmes to boost my knowledge. Attending Lancaster University and the subsequent search for placements gave me more understanding of the potential opportunities. However, many big firms are located in London and still lack opportunities for women or those with no previous knowledge of finance.
An internship meant I could continue to study and complete my degree quickly but also gain experience. I was hoping it would help me to progress my skills to a semi-graduate level which would aid me in searching for graduate scheme roles and all-round self-progression. Many of my internships were pre-pandemic so I was looking to build professional relationships/connections from which I could get advice on next steps and going forwards.
What led you to Cortus Advisory Group?
My initial searches highlighted a massive lack of placement opportunities on the Fylde Coast / Preston most of which required me to uproot which I was not really an option for me.
Fortuitously, Cortus enabled me to stay local as they have offices across the North of England and flexible working arrangements are ‘the norm’. They had a clear outline of what they could offer me with regards to training, experience and what activities I could expect to be involved in.
Additionally, something that really appealed to me personally was the level of female leadership – four out of seven senior leadership roles are occupied by women. I was excited for this as many other internships I have done were male dominated and I suppose it gave me a little more confidence to apply.
Finally, Cortus are quite vocal about their commitment to CSR - be that supporting the local community or the mental health of their team. This was something that really stood out to me, and something I feel is less common in a smaller firm but very welcome from my perspective. From spending time here, I can verify that the ‘giving back’ philosophy really is built into the ethos of the firm.
What would you say to others considering an internship?
This internship has been great for me – none of my previous experiences have offered anything like the level of responsibility or mentoring that Cortus has. They have allowed me to go through the analyst induction (entry level) and have been given the opportunity to go through various training calls with Managers and Executives.
I have learned its important to ask questions and not be embarrassed. The team are experienced professionals - they don’t expect you to know everything on Day 1. The quickest and most efficient way to learn is to be eager to progress yourself and ask all the questions in the world, no matter how silly you feel.
Keep a daily log. I tend to jot down all the different tasks I do and at the end of a week I can and reflect on what I have learnt. Furthermore, it will help you remember everything you did and all your achievements and inform your future CV.
Build relationships, don’t be shy. Use LinkedIn and add people you meet along the way, you never know who may come in handy later down the line for career advice or even a business contact.
I was really quite nervous about applying for this internship because of my lack of financial experience. However, here I am. It just goes to show you need to push yourself every now and again.
Cortus is recruiting at all levels for enthusiastic and dynamic Transaction Services and Corporate Advisory professionals who think they would thrive as part of a growing boutique business consultancy.