Business College Helsinki

Internship in United Kingdom

Olaolu Matemilola is a business student who is graduating this Friday. He had his internship in Cambridge UK this spring. After the internship he got a permanent job possession at the company. Olaolu wants to to share his experieces at the internship abroad.

I found the job on LinkedIn

When I learned about the opportunity to travel abroad for my internship, I was beyond excited. The idea of immersing myself in a completely different culture, learning from new mentors, and gaining a fresh perspective on the world was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up.

I found my on-the-job learning placement on LinkedIn. I was fortunate enough to work in The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), a world-renowned organization committed to the conservation and sustainable use of the planet’s biodiversity. As a global centre of excellence, WCMC works with governments, companies, and other stakeholders to provide data and insights on conservation issues and support evidence-based decision-making.

During my internship I for example assisted in the development of project proposals by supporting budget preparation and resource allocation. I also implemented project tasks, including data analysis, report writing, and result presentation, catering mainly to internal customers. I coordinated with the procurement team to ensure accurate and timely processing of goods and services for project delivery. I provided assistance in maintaining logistics documents and planning tasks. I also helped to organize and facilitate workshops, consultations with partners, and various events in the UK, overseas, and remotely.

At WCMC, I had the opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in conservation and environmental science, as well as professionals from various backgrounds, including business, policy, law, and communications. Through my work at WCMC, I gained invaluable experience and knowledge in the field of sustainable business, as well as exposure to cutting-edge research, innovative technology, and best practices.

Preparing is important

Before starting my internship in the UK, I wanted to prepare myself as much as possible. I started by reading about life in the UK, its culture, customs, and expectations online. I wanted to have a basic understanding of what I was getting into and what to expect.

Additionally, I reached out to family and friends who had been to the UK before, seeking their insights and advice on what to do and what to avoid. By doing this research and engaging with people with personal experiences, I felt more equipped and confident to navigate the new environment and make the most out of my internship experience.

My first impression of the UK was that it is incredibly diverse and bustling with energy. The biggest cultural differences between the UK and Finland are the way people interact with each other. In Finland, people tend to be more reserved and prefer to keep to themselves, whereas in the UK, people are more outgoing and willing to strike up conversations with strangers.

Tips to others

When moving to the UK for a student internship, there are several practical matters to take into consideration, particularly expenses. Firstly, you should research the cost of living in the city or town you will be staying in, including accommodation (platforms like and may help you to find one) , food, transportation, and other essentials. It’s essential to budget realistically and plan accordingly to avoid any financial difficulties during your stay.

Secondly, you should consider getting adequate health insurance to cover any medical expenses that may arise during your stay. While the UK has a National Health Service (NHS), some services may not be covered for non-UK residents, and private healthcare can be expensive.

Thirdly, you should also be aware of the visa requirements and any associated costs, such as application fees and immigration health surcharge. It’s essential to apply for the appropriate visa well in advance and ensure you have all the necessary documentation to avoid delays or rejections.

Finally, you should also consider other expenses, such as leisure activities and travel, and plan accordingly to make the most of your stay. By considering these practical matters beforehand, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience during your student internship in the UK.

Hanging out with friends

One of my favourite things to do in Cambridge was to hang out with friends and play games. There are many different types of games to choose from, including board games, card games, and video games. We would often go to a pub or cafe to play games, or we would just stay in and play games at home.

I also enjoyed visiting the major tourist attractions in the UK. London is only a short train ride away from Cambridge, so I would often go to London to visit the museums, the shops, and the restaurants. I also enjoyed visiting other cities in the UK, such as Oxford, Bath, and York.

Step out of your comfort zone

One of the key learning points for me was the importance of going outside of one’s comfort zone. I had never been to the UK before, and I was a little bit nervous about going to a new country for an internship. However, I am so glad that I did it. It was a rewarding experience that I would definitely do again.

Here are some of the things I learned from going outside of my comfort zone:

  • I learned that I am more capable than I thought I was. I was able to handle the challenges of living in a new country and working in a new environment.
  • I learned that it is important to be open to new experiences. I tried new foods, met new people, and saw new places. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me.
  • I learned that it is important to be brave. I had to face my fears and step outside of my comfort zone many times during my internship. However, I am so glad that I did. It made me a stronger person.

My current job title is Associate Programme Officer. My tasks will be the same as during my internship but I will be given more responsibilities now.

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