Just a few months ago I went to my university careers service daunted by the endless lists of internships I was finding online to seek some advice. The careers advisor asked one simple question – what did you want to do when you were younger? Half laughing, I admitted that I wanted to make adverts- recalling how much I loved the stories they told and even performing them to people. It was this comment that prompted her to suggest The Value Engineers internship as an option to investigate.
Looking into TVE further, I realised how much their work resonated with my degree; History and Economics often seem like an odd subject combination, but I could see how both my interests in images and how they communicate power and beliefs on the history side and behavioural economics on the other had created an interest in human response. This seemed central to an understanding of brands and fundamental to the strategies that TVE create.
During my interview, I was struck by the friendliness and genuine curiosity of people around me- for someone who is constantly falling into internet rabbit holes and loves learning about the minutia of every day, I felt as if I had found people with similar motivations and interests. I left hoping I would be able to come back and learn more about the projects that I was told about during the interview process, excited by the range of brands and areas TVE had clients in.
To my delight, I was accepted onto the internship. Everyone has gone out of their way to welcome and help me with my many questions – we even got strawberries and cream in the afternoon because of Wimbledon!
I have already been introduced to several different projects and have felt very quickly immersed in the company and the work we are doing. I am already learning lots from everyone and cannot wait to properly get stuck in!
I began thinking about the kind of career I wanted whilst at university, and during the depths of lockdown, I realised that I was really interested in human behaviour. From Ethics to Behavioural Economics to Political Sociology, my university modules converged on this question: why do people do the things they do? Just in my first week at TVE, I’ve already started working on a project that tackles this question, which is why I know that this internship is going to be an incredible experience.
Outside the workplace, I try to keep up with some community work, especially in the context of British Muslims to whom I feel deeply responsible. I try to help out at youth clubs to create a welcoming and supportive space for young people in a society plagued by loneliness. Basically, my faith and community are a big part of who I am.
One of the biggest draws to TVE was the fact that during my interview, my interviewers made me feel like I could be my authentic self – I didn’t get that anywhere else (thank you to Sam and Victoria)!
In my spare time, I like playing sports (football, tennis, and fencing are my main three). I’m also really big on travelling, especially when it involves meeting the locals, and I have a shelf at home full of mugs from the different countries I’ve been to. My last trip was to Iraq the week before I started at TVE and, after this internship, I’m spending a weekend in Ireland before heading to Turkey.
I’m loving my experience at TVE so far and looking forward to the weeks ahead.
I never knew what I wanted to do career-wise, so the prospect of graduating was a daunting one. During my final year studying English and Related Literature at University, I realised I wanted to get out of academics and move into something based in reality rather than in fiction!
I love English Literature and my favourite area of study was always the analysis of language; how and why linguistic choices affect a certain audience. Being able to use these skills in a setting where the stakes go beyond an essay mark is a very exciting change.
The Value Engineers’ work is the perfect opportunity to utilise my love of words and, hopefully, to learn to love numbers and data! I love the way TVE combines the creative and the analytical to offer consumer insights with a personal touch. I have been fascinated to see the breadth of work going on for such a variety of brands and can’t wait to get involved in the research side of things.
My couple of weeks has been incredibly stimulating and everyone has gone out of their way to be welcoming and to give endless PowerPoint guidance. I love the work that the company does and have finally realised where I want my career to go.
Ibrahim – Elissa – Ellie