The #10000BlackInterns programme offers paid work experience across various sectors to the black community, as well as training, development and mentorship opportunities. As a recruitment business, we were delighted to become part of the initiative in 2021 and offer internships each year to candidates through the programme.

Each year, we’ve received a large number of applicants to come and work with us at BIE. While we would have loved to take more people in, we had to balance this with wanting to give the interns the care and attention they would require.

We caught up with four of our interns, Tobi Abolarin, Chidera Ubah, Tunrayo Tomori and Mandy Osei to find out what they were looking to achieve from the #10000BlackInterns programme and how their internships are helping to shape their future careers.

The internship role

Tobi Abolarin joined BIE in June 2021. His responsibilities included working with consultants to map and source candidates for open roles as well as coding candidate records on the company’s CRM system. He chose BIE because he was keen to gain exposure to a commercial business in an environment that he hadn’t experienced previously. “It gave me the chance to see what's out there, particularly in relation to potential career opportunities.”

For Chidera Ubah, who joined in June 2022, the programme offered the opportunity to enhance her CV, gain some real-life experience and make some business connections.

Tunrayo Tomori also joined BIE last year and will be returning for a second internship at the company before she enters her final year at university. She was hoping to narrow down what she wanted to do career-wise, and to build connections and relationships with people who were already in the working world.

Mandy Osei will be starting her internship this spring. She was attracted to BIE because of how welcoming her interview felt, as well as the opportunity to work with the teams across a range of sectors. She is excited to learn new skills and enhance her interpersonal skills.

Securing their next positions

Tobi’s experience at BIE helped him to secure his current position as an Associate in the Audit & Tax division at PwC. Being able to observe the skills and qualities of different people during his internship was a huge benefit. “It was my first real experience in the City, and it showed me how to succeed in that environment.”

Chidera is now employed as an Associate Consultant at Michael Page, recruiting healthcare professionals. Chidera felt a strong passion for the sector and grew to love her new role within the first week. “It's a fast-paced environment with lots of structured training, and my team is really diverse.” The internship at BIE gave her the confidence and experience she needed to secure her position in a large recruitment business and to transition into full-time work. “Having those skills when I came into my current company helped to ease the process as the learning curve wasn’t as big and I knew how to relate with people professionally.”

For Tunrayo, working alongside BIE’s internal finance team and two of the business practices offered different perspectives. On the finance side, she gained exposure to the internal workings of a business. On the recruitment side, it taught her how to navigate peoples’ emotions as they go through their job search. “You're dealing with their jobs, their livelihood and their emotions. I definitely learnt a lot from that as well.”

To find out more about the #10000BlackInterns programme, please visit:

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