Amy Lees' internship with Gazprom was the best experience of her life

I stumbled across the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards while looking for summer internship opportunities back in October 2016. After reading through the different awards, the Mathematics, Economics and Finance award stood out for me since I am pursuing a career in finance. The fact that it was sponsored by an energy trading company and that the prize was an 11-week internship in London with a week in Singapore was the cherry on top and I immediately began my application. TARGETjobs rang me a few weeks later since I hadn’t finished my application – the company were looking for an early shortlist so they advised that I finished my application within the next week in order to be on this list. This was a few weeks before the official deadline for applications but I quickly completed the online application form and the competency and employer-specific questions and submitted it.

It was a few months before I heard back from TARGETjobs; in the meantime I had attended a few interviews for other summer internships but had been unsuccessful and was beginning to panic slightly about my summer plans. I was very excited to then receive an email from Gazprom informing me that I was in the top 40 for the award and asking me to complete a situational judgement test, send through a CV and answer a few more competency-based questions. After sending through these I was invited to the assessment centre along with around 20 other applicants.

Since it was not my first assessment centre I was keen to see how it compared to other places and to get an insight into the culture of the business. I was pleasantly surprised by the day: I found it very enjoyable and a lot less pressurised than some others, with really interesting challenges to test teamwork and analytical skills. The day also included a maths and grammar test as well as a one-to-one interview with a potential manager. I then had a telephone interview with my current manager a few days later who explained the internship on offer and it sounded perfect for me!

Being invited to the awards ceremony was a major achievement and I was thrilled to be in the top ten, especially after seeing such a wealth of talent at the assessment centre! It was a great afternoon filled with inspirational speeches, a delicious three-course meal (worth applying just for this honestly!) and ten lucky winners. Although I didn’t win I was still offered a paid internship with Gazprom, which I am now in the middle of!

The internship has been one of the best experiences of my life: the industry is absolutely fascinating and the work I have been doing uses all the skills I have developed at university while also helping me learn and improve new skills that will be helpful for my future career. I am hoping this experience will benefit my future career opportunities through the expertise I have learned, the contacts I have gained and the fact that I was a finalist for such a prestigious award. All in all, a fabulous experience that I would recommend to any university student looking to gain experience in the world of work.

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