A Day in the Life of ... Sophie Barlow

north highland sophie barlow
Sophie Barlow
A day in the life of an Intern

My name is Sophie and I am an intern at North Highland from The University of Exeter where I study Business Economics. I joined NH in the summer of 2014 for a year industrial placement which is a fantastic opportunity to experience consultancy first-hand and learn more about the company. I came across North Highland during my rigorous search for a growing consultancy firm that felt like it had a close-knit feel and offered a different experience to that of the big four- and this was certainly what I got.

As an intern you are put in the same environment as analysts who join at graduate level which is great if you are looking for real responsibility and a chance to show your potential. I completed two induction days where we were introduced to all the other new joiners, shown round the office and given the opportunity to settle in.

I was then introduced to my team, which was within operations for my first 6 months. I was surprised at how open and welcoming everybody was and how patient they were with my progress, you really are given the freedom to progress at your own pace and take on as many commitments as you feel comfortable with. I personally picked up my role rather quickly and also nominated myself for the social co-ordinator role and volunteered to help the community team. I was also keen to get involved with the recruitment side of the business as this was an exciting time due to the rate of growth within the company- the team were incredibly grateful for my help and it strengthened my attachment to the company and my colleagues.

As you would expect from a new joiner, I spent my first week feeling a bit unorganised, choosing to work late and get in early and taking on as much as possible but my line and counselling managers were quickly on my case, encouraging me to relax and take more time to myself. I quickly learnt that it is not about how much time you spend at your desk- but about how you work best and what you deliver. This creates a wonderful office atmosphere that I have never experienced before. The work-life balance is really important to North Highland and their people and this is a promise I found is rarely lived up to elsewhere!

The training at North Highland is very well thought out through North Highland University, where there are structured and optional programmes for you to get involved in relevant to your position and role. Not only are these great fun and extremely helpful but make you feel that the company really wants to invest in you.

I would encourage anyone looking for a creative, diverse and challenging career to apply to North Highland and experience it first-hand! My advice to any new joiners would be to always ask for and accept feedback- it is always in your best interest and helps you grow to your potential!

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