Imo Ekong, alumnus turned IT ManagerImo Ekong’s career took off following a graduate internship at Build Recruitment; here, he reflects on his experience and why internships are important
Imo Ekong is proof that internships are beneficial to students even after they have donned their gown and crossed the stage to graduate.
“After graduating, I’d secured a contract role for three months working as a database developer,” says Imo. “but the contract came to an end and I was looking for the next project to move onto.”
“I regularly received emails from LSBU about relevant vacancies, and an opportunity at Build Recruitment really interested me. I had the technical skills, but knew nothing about the recruitment industry. Curiosity got the better of me, so I applied!”
Becoming a database administrator
After sending over a covering letter with his CV, Imo was shortlisted for the role and put forward for an interview. “I met with the directors, who were really interested in my background and my degree,” says Imo. “In the end, they offered me the chance to come in as a database administrator to handle the recruitment software, which was better than the role I had initially been discussing.”
Learning new skills
During his internship Imo enjoyed the challenge of working with different ages and groups of people. “It was a big office, with over 30 people, but I soon got my head around it,” recalls Imo. “I worked on my strengths and weaknesses, as advised by the support from the from the Graduate Internship Programme Co-ordinators at LSBU.”
Imo feels he learned important new skills and at the same time developed the existing skills he had acquired whilst studying for his degree. “In particular, I learned to be patient with people,” he says. “I learned to listen to feedback and improve on myself every day, taking notice of short and long-term goals while working and managing my time.”
Think of the bigger picture, and your long-term goals... you gain valuable skills and experience that help your CV.
When his internship ended, Imo found that his time at Build Recruitment had improved his career prospects beyond anything he could have imagined, “I was delighted to be promoted to IT Manager, overseeing all hardware and software at the company,” he beams. “I was also made Project Lead for the new Customer Relation Management System, as well as being responsible for the job boards – making sure we appeared on other syndicated job search sites.”
With such a positive experience behind him, Imo has one simple piece of advice for others considering the Graduate Internship Programme: go for it.
“It gave me the opportunity to be what I am today,” he says. “Think of the bigger picture, and your long-term goals. Even in the worst case scenario, you have gained valuable skills and experience that help your CV – and in the best case scenario, it can directly lead to a full-time role, either at the company itself or one in a similar industry who notice your abilities. It’s a win-win scenario!”