Why I'm so grateful for Change 100
Hannah was one of our Change 100 interns in 2022. She tells us about her experience interning at the e-commerce retail group, The Hut Group (THG).
I’m Hannah, and I took part in the Change 100 programme in 2022, securing a placement at The Hut Group (THG). THG is an e-commerce retail group in the beauty and wellbeing space.
My placement role was Early Careers Intern. This role involved supporting other interns, graduates and apprentices at THG. I created learning and development material, organised events for the early careers community and conducted university outreach. I also created media and digital content.
Outside my day job, I got involved with initiatives that aligned with my values and interests, such as Diversity and Inclusion. I was able to establish the Neurodivergent Forum group along with two other Change 100 interns. This group aims to provide a safe space for employees to learn about neurodiversity, ask for advice and share resources.
Trust the process
I find applications daunting, but the Change 100 team showed a real understanding of accessibility and were so encouraging. I shouldn’t have worried. The whole process showed what an inclusive and supportive process should look like. From the original application to the placement itself, I felt supported throughout.
I had no experience in the field that my placement was in. It was a completely new experience for me, so I was nervous, to begin with. What helped was being prepared before my first day so I didn’t feel like I was totally heading into the unknown. I tried to meet many colleagues throughout the first week of my internship, which proved helpful. After only a week, I felt I had learnt so much and gained valuable experiences.
Thanks to the support from the company and Change 100, along with the general culture at my workplace, I have had a great transition from university to office.
By doing a Change 100 internship, I have had the opportunity to work in an industry I didn’t have any previous experience in. Although many skills I gained in my studies lent themselves to my internship, it is not a role I was initially familiar with or had considered. This meant I had much to learn about the industry, business, sector and role.
I really relied on communication with others in the company to be able to gain a good understanding. I made sure that I was inquisitive and talked to as many people in similar and different roles as I could. I also conducted my own research into the company: its history, the divisions and key stakeholders. This helped me feel more knowledgeable and was very helpful as I gained experience in a new field.
Gaining valuable skills
One element of my internship that I expected and was looking forward to was working in an inclusive and accessible environment. This expectation was a reality at the company I interned for. I was concerned at first about feeling overwhelmed in a corporate environment, despite wanting to get the experience. I needn’t have worried. Thanks to the support from the company and Change 100, along with the general culture at my workplace, I have had a great transition from university to office.
Leading to bigger things
If you can apply for Change 100, then absolutely grab it! I suggest that you remain open-minded. If you are offered a role or industry that you have yet to consider, give it a go. You will learn so much and develop so many different skills. In many places, there is also the capacity to make the role what you want it to be.
Since my internship, I have accepted a permanent job with THG, which I am enjoying. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Change 100 provided me with.
About Change 100
Change 100 is our flagship programme of paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring. We match talented university students and recent graduates with any disability or long-term condition with progressive employers.