As a Kenyan studying in Toronto, I was already exposed to the international scene. However, I was still eager to expand my horizons and do an internship abroad. Unfortunately, the quarantine period led to adapting to several new experiences and obstacles including remote learning and working as a finalist at York University in Toronto, Canada. I was determined to maximise the remaining time of my university experience and a summer internship, specifically in London, seemed appropriate. I applied for a 2 month internship at Savant recruitment with the hope to absorb knowledge and experience, I would eventually apply as an aspiring entrepreneur.
The internship was of a hybrid nature where we would go into the office a few days a week and work from home the other days. Although there are colleagues I have never physically met, there isn't one I do not feel familiar with. This is credited to the regular group meetings and recaps which I consider very important and beneficial. Through these consistent interactions across the company, everyone was up to date with all the ongoing projects. Additionally, they conquered the feeling of isolation and posed as motivation to outdo my peers in terms of progress and successful recruitment. This also contributed to the strong and supportive company culture that made me feel comfortable and safe to openly communicate. I was always able to express the difficulties I faced and got reassurance and advice whenever I felt stuck. This healthy work relationship allowed me to grow in confidence of my ability and make the most out of my exposure to the work environment.
My role in the company involved sourcing CVs for open roles, connecting to potential candidates, negotiating with clients and any administrative work that followed these tasks. These required fluency with various job boards such as Reed, CV Library, Linkedin and coherence with the main database used at Savant, Bullhorn. As an aspiring entrepreneur, these are crucial activities for any company, especially a start up. The most prominent lessons include effective communication with candidates through calls and emails. I had to sell the potential candidate on a role and simultaneously get necessary information from them without offending them or seeming intrusive. To achieve this I needed to trust myself, have all the essential information, follow a script and sharpen my emotional intelligence. On the other hand, sourcing for CVs enabled me to identify the best CV template which advises my own; what I should focus on, highlight and disregard.
In my time at Savant, I got to experience the full life cycle of recruitment from sourcing and interviewing through to offering stages. I also endured several tough days where no candidates seemed to pick up their phones or reply to their emails, none of the qualified candidates were interested in the role or when candidates with the desired credentials were nowhere to be found. Therefore, hearing the news that candidates you found got offered the role was very satisfying and encouraging.
Through Savant, I gained way more than I expected to. I strengthened my research skills while fishing for CVs, improved my social skills through the candidate calls and enhanced my collaborative skills by liaising with my colleagues. Although I came from a humble position ready to learn all I could, from the start I was treated as capable and my added value to the company was immediately recognized. The value of a safe work environment became apparent to me early on. As a result of it, I was nurtured, mentored and appreciated.
The knowledge and experience obtained through my internship at Savant enriches my professional career and is transferable to my entrepreneurship journey.