Student employability boosted with new local internships

Left to Right: Rozaliya Markova, Nigel Ross and Faiq Chaudhary

MORE than 20 students from the University of Aberdeen have started paid internships with local companies this month, as part of an initiative to boost employability.

More than 720 applications were received for the ABDN Internships programme and after narrowing down the candidates, 22 successful applicants have been offered paid internships across 19 north-east businesses.

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The internships are based in three sectors: nature, cultural and creative, and small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).

The interns will carry out 70 hours of paid work at their internships over the course of seven weeks, gaining valuable industry experience, developing professional skills, making connections and learning from experts in their sector.

Faiq Chaudhary, a third year Psychology student, has joined Earthstore – a crystals and gemstones retailer – as their social media/e-commerce intern. Based in the Urban Wellness Hub in Bridge of Don, Faiq, 21, is helping to develop the company’s social media strategy, with a particular focus on TikTok.

Faiq, from Manchester, said: “My interest in this internship stemmed from a desire to explore the intersection of psychology and social media marketing. Earthstore’s commitment to promoting wellbeing through its products aligns with my personal and professional values, making the decision to apply an easy one.

“My tasks revolve around TikTok content creation and audience engagement. I also spend time brainstorming and developing creative ideas that resonate with current trends and our brand identity. The insights I’ve gained into user behaviour and the factors that drive engagement on TikTok have been invaluable, complementing my studies in psychology.

“This internship is instrumental in shaping my career path. It has solidified my interest in leveraging social media as a tool for business growth and has provided me with the skills to effectively engage with an online community. As I continue to learn and grow in this role, I am excited about the potential to further integrate psychological principles into our marketing strategies, enhancing the Earthstore’s impact and reaching our business objectives.”

First year Computing student, Rozaliya Markova, 22, is also interning at Earthstore. She said: “I applied for the Earthstore internship due to my previous experience in e-commerce and a personal fascination with crystals and esoteric topics.

“This internship represents an invaluable opportunity, providing me with firsthand experience in an area I am passionate about and enabling me to confirm my desire to pursue a career that blends creativity with computer science. The experience so far has been great and I am deeply grateful to have joined such a welcoming and kind family.”

Gary Coull, Employer Engagement Manager in the Careers and Employability Service at the University of Aberdeen said:

“The University of Aberdeen is committed to expanding work-based learning opportunities for our students. We are delighted that 22 students have been afforded the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse array of businesses and organisations throughout the north-east. Such experiences are priceless, enriching students with real-world workplace exposure, skill development and a boost in confidence.

“We extend our grateful thanks to all the employers who have generously dedicated their time to support the interns. Their involvement not only supports our students but also strengthens the bond between the University and the local business community.

“We are eager to sustain and grow these internship programmes and we’d be delighted to hear from any businesses and organisations interested in contributing to the development of the future workforce.”

Nigel Ross, Owner and Co-Founder of Urban Wellness Hub, said: “As a small family business in Aberdeen, we were extremely pleased to learn we could access the Aberdeen University Intern programme.

“The 36 applicants for the role at Earthstore was shortlisted down to six candidates, and we received their CVs within a day of shortlisting, for us to review ahead of the interviews.

“The quality of each CV was excellent and matched what we were looking for precisely, but what exceeded our expectation was the individuals who met us at the interviews.  Every person had such strong skill sets, fantastic character and charisma, and personal experiences which they could bring to the role, which made it extremely difficult to choose.

“It was a great problem to have however, and it took a fair bit of deliberation amongst the family to make our final decision.

“Faiq Chaudhary was so skilled and well versed with building TikTok shops and the second intern, Rozaliya Markhova, had a solid background in web design and e-commerce.

“The entire process from start to finish working with the Careers team was absolutely painless and the detail surrounding the engagement was flawless. Within two weeks of signing up, we had our two interns appointed and tripartite agreements signed.

“We look forward to working with our interns over the next seven weeks as they help us on our e-commerce growth plan for Urban Wellness Hub and Earthstore.”

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