Tobi Abolarin was an intern at BIE from June to September 2021 and joined the business as part of the #10000BlackInterns initiative, which was launched after the success of the #100BlackInterns initiative. The internship offers paid work experience across various sectors, as well as training and development opportunities and mentorship for the black community.

What have been the highlights of your internship been?

I have really enjoyed the depth and breadth of my involvement in core business activities. From simplifying operating procedures in finance to delivering the final version of a marketing campaign, I was given a great deal of responsibility across a variety of functions. I am grateful for this because it has really helped me broaden my commercial understanding.

Additionally, I have enjoyed being able to build strong relationships with colleagues in the office, but also outside of it, such as on corporate days out. I appreciate how BIE invests heavily in team building and this likely contributes to the strong collaborative environment.

What have you learned along the way?

I have several key takeaways from this internship. Firstly, I have learned to be open-minded and give my all in every task, no matter how small; not only does it build work ethic, but every task has given me knowledge that I have been able to apply in areas that I didn’t anticipate. Similarly, I’ve learned not to be afraid to try new things and challenge myself. I’ve done things I have never tried before which allowed me to learn, grow and acquire new skills.

What advice would you give recent graduates considering an internship?

Go for it! I would encourage every graduate to do an internship. I think having experience across a range of functions allows you to find what interests you most, and this enables you to pursue the career you are most passionate about. Moreover, internships give you the opportunity to develop soft skills, such as the ability to collaborate effectively, which aren’t prioritised enough in formal education.

Also, remember there’s no such thing as a silly question! Don’t forget that during an internship, the company wants you to learn so you shouldn’t feel scared to ask for explanations or clarifications when you need to. I think it is important, however, to make a mental note of those answers to demonstrate that you are learning, by not repeatedly asking the same questions.

How would you summarise the BIE culture?

One thing that immediately stood out to me about BIE is how collaborative the environment is. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such a friendly and open team.

Name one thing on your bucket list

I love to travel so I have dozens of must-see destinations I want to cross off my list.

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?

I would love to be able to pick up new languages instantly. I feel like talking to people in their native language can give you a deeper and more intimate understanding of their culture.

Name one interesting fact about yourself

I recently found out narwhals are a real animal.

What fictional world or place would you like to visit and why?

Strangely enough, I would like to visit Gotham City. I think it would keep me on my toes.

Do you like pineapple on a pizza – yes or no?

Hell no.

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