My name is Maria Luisa and I am going into my third year in Politics and Business Management at Queen Mary. This summer I had the chance to spend two months interning at Legance, an independent Italian law firm with offices in Rome, Milan and London. I was lucky enough to be based in the office in Rome which is also my home city!
At first, I was a bit intimidated about working in a fast paced environment and in the corporate world but, after the first week, I managed to adapt easily thanks to the supportive environment that I found. Since day one, I have been assigned very stimulating tasks and have been involved in a great variety of activities of the firm which is the thing that I liked the most about my internship. In particular, I primarily dealt with doing research, helping write reports and interviews, translating documents from Italian into English, working with the Corporate Social Responsibility Sector, attending meetings and reporting back to the office.
If I have to describe my internship in 3 words I will definitely choose: challenging, as I had to come across to new topics that for me were unknown, engaging because since the beginning I felt very welcomed by all my colleagues and constructive, as I enriched my knowledge and improved my skills.
Interning at Legance allowed me to grow a lot not only from an intellectual perspective, as I gained an insight into topics that I would not have studied at university, but also from a personal one. Indeed, I have learnt how to act in the workplace, work successfully in a team and important life lessons that I would keep in mind in order to face my future graduate career with more confidence.
From what I have learnt during my experience, these are some tips that I would like to give to all students who will face an internship or part -time work soon:
- Be proactive and try to come up with new ideas, if you think that these can contribute in a positive way to the work of your team.
- Be curious and accept new assignments bearing in mind that each of them is a precious opportunity for you to learn.
- When you are in doubt about the task you are assigned to do, always ask for clarification! Your colleagues and managers would be happy to answer your queries.
- If you commit a mistake, do not panic, but try to correct it promptly and to learn from it in order to improve for the next time.
- Above all, during your experience, be like a “sponge” and try to assimilate as much as you can from your colleagues, managers and from every task that you are required to do.
Coming to Queen Mary and studying in an international environment has certainly helped in facing my internship and gave me the confidence to adapt myself in a new setting. Since my first year I tried to get involved in numerous university activities such as Volunteering work, be part of the committee members of societies in the Students’ Union, attend fairs and insight sessions organised by Careers & Enterprise which has certainly taught me transferable skills that are required in the workplace such as team work, planning, respecting deadlines and problem -solving. Also attending employability workshops of the Careers Service has helped me to understand the importance of building work experience while going to university, as this allows you to gain practical skills that in today’s competitive job market are what employers look for, as well as giving you an insight of the working world.