Emily Squires

20 September 2022
Topics in this article
  • Capability & Skills

Starting out at Proxima

Moving to London and starting my first corporate job was a daunting prospect. I was apprehensive about feeling like the stereotypical intern portrayed in the movies: making tea and having little to do, however, this was not the case. I immediately felt welcomed by the Proxima team and was provided with interesting work to complete.

In my first week, I met an array of people at different levels within the company including the Chief People Officer, Senior Vice President, and many Analysts and Consultants.  

Colleague support

When starting at Proxima everyone is assigned a ‘buddy’. Throughout my eight weeks, my buddy was a constant support, providing the perfect opportunity for me to ask questions about the industry and the day-to-day role of a procurement consultant.  It was also insightful speaking to individuals at Proxima who have completed the Graduate program and could give me advice about starting their careers.

Support from the team went beyond my buddy – other analysts volunteered their time to sit down with me and support me with the tasks I’d been set. Everyone in the team was welcoming and it was great to share the experience with another intern which made my first day less daunting.

Big learning curves

I had no knowledge of procurement when I started, but everyone was understanding, patient, and happy to put aside time to share their knowledge and experience. It was clear to me that collaboration is a key part of Proxima’s culture.

The work I was given was varied meaning I could see the different sides of the business in action. After expressing my interest in social value and sustainability, my Career Manager put me in touch with a Senior Consultant currently working on a social value project, so I could work alongside her and gain invaluable experience. I also worked on an internal ‘Proxima with Purpose’ project, which gave insight into how Proxima is striving to make a positive impact. It was interesting to see the work that goes into embedding social value into an organization and it was encouraging to see the changes Proxima is making to reach its goals.

One thing that stood out to me was Proxima’s strong ‘never stop learning’ environment. Fortnightly ‘lunch and learns’ were a great opportunity for different groups of employees to present on different topics. They reminded me that no one can be an expert on everything and that we can all benefit from sharing insights and knowledge.

Experiencing hybrid working

I enjoyed the flexibility of my internship. I often went into the office three days a week and was able to work from home the other two days. This allowed me to meet individuals in person, network with different people around the country within Proxima, and gain experience without having to commute to central London five days a week.

Hybrid working meant that no two days were ever the same and the ‘hot desk’ structure in the office meant I could sit with different employees every day and speak to them about their work.

Proxima’s culture

My time at Proxima wasn’t all work. Regular work socials organized by the social team ensured a healthy work-life balance! On my first day in the office, there was a breakfast social in the office kitchen which was a great way to introduce myself to the various team members.

Developing key skills

This experience has taught me so much. I now understand the importance of procurement and how the industry feeds into a variety of business practices. 

I have also built on many transferable skills such as time management and attention to detail to ensure the highest quality of work. Contributing to a variety of case studies has built my confidence in presenting my work which I know will be invaluable in any career.

What’s next?

Once I complete my internship, I will return to Bristol to finish the final year of my degree. The experience I received at Proxima has made me excited to join the world of work and further explore my interest in consultancy – especially procurement.

I would recommend this internship to anyone, even if they are unsure of which career they would like to pursue. The skills I have learned are not always taught through a degree and are invaluable for future careers.

Proxima has given me great insight into the world of consultancy, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here!

If you’re interested in an upcoming Internship Program, please get in touch with our Recruitment Team here.

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