A Day in the Life: Starting as an Intern

At ENGAGE, our people don’t only drive our business but they play a pivotal role in our clients’ businesses too. In the course of our blog, we’ll be sharing the inside view from our team members, so keep an eye out for our occasional ‘Day in the Life’ posts – and get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes!


I’ve been with ENGAGE for a couple of months now, so I’m in a good position to look back at the ‘heady days’ of my first few weeks here!


Like most newbies, I arrived at the office for the first day of my internship filled with apprehension. After months of trying, I had final landed a role at a company in the industry I wanted to be in. Despite that, this was a completely alien environment – I had never had an office-based job before, so had no idea what to expect. What’s more, since my recent graduation from university, I’d heard a lot of horror stories about awful bosses and ridiculously long hours.


This apprehension was quickly dispelled as soon as I walked into the office. Everyone was extremely friendly, making me feel welcome from the moment I arrived. I was also included in ‘proper’ work from the word go: on my first day, I joined the weekly planning and sales meeting, which immediately gave me a brief insight into the realities of the commercial world, something you simply can’t learn in the theoretical environment of university.


The biggest eye-opener for me from this very first meeting was the realisation that everyone at ENGAGE believes in what they preach – and they are truly passionate about it. This is reflected in everything the team does, whether it’s internally or with clients.


ENGAGE asked what I wanted to achieve from my internship; they didn’t say what they wanted to get out of me. They gave me tasks that would help me to achieve my personal goals while contributing real value to client projects. And they involved me in meetings with senior teams at some of the biggest clients, giving me great exposure to the commercial world very quickly. The experience of interacting with such seasoned professionals at our client organisations was something I could never have hoped for so early on – and to me it really underlines the collaborative approach that ENGAGE applies in everything it does.


In these first weeks, I very quickly learned that the way ENGAGE treated me reflected the values that they hold across the company, and their approach to building long-term, trust-based client partnerships.


With clients, ENGAGE starts any programme by understanding what the individual or business goals and challenges are, rather than imposing a set leadership or engagement formula. They work to build a rapport with the individuals they work with, rather than sticking to a rigid programme schedule. And they get to the nuances of the way people and businesses work – without being afraid to give tough advice where necessary!


For me, this was one of the best things about joining ENGAGE: becoming part of a team that was passionate, had a can-do attitude, and wanted to share their knowledge as widely as possible. From day one, I was made to feel part of the company, not just someone employed to do the ‘grunt’ work. Straightaway, for example, I was given detailed data analysis work to do for a key client that gathered insight from engagement and leadership interviews for their core engagement programme.


As well as a confidence boost for me as a complete novice, the work I was given showed the faith the company had placed in me – and was the clearest demonstration I could have of the positivity of the entire ENGAGE team.


By George Tehan
Research Intern