My summer internship at FJ

My summer internship at FJ

I am probably the first to have actively set out to become a recruiter or so I was told by FJ Director John Gaughan during my interview with him back in May. My face to face interview with John was the last step in a long process involving numerous phone interviews and a psychometric test. Shortly after the interview I received the great news that I had got the job and for the entirety of my summer I was going to be a recruiter, something I was truly looking forward to.

For a lot of people recruitment is a seldom heard of industry. At the University of Manchester (where I am a student) Law, Engineering, Science, Technology, Finance, Business and Management are all given their specific fairs. However there are no huzzahs for the recruitment industry, which I have learnt is the backbone of all these industries. The case being that many companies no longer have the time nor financial backing to organise, orchestrate and execute the entire process of recruitment.  I’ve seen that specialist recruiters are the best way to ensure that top talent is hired for these companies. From what I’ve seen, I like how FJ takes full responsibility when headhunting and offers clients managed service.

It was by chance that I was introduced to the industry as I stumbled across a recruitment firm’s stand at a postgraduate fair. I was shocked to learn that up until the APSCo Summer Intern Programme began this year just one other company had an official Summer Internship Programme (Michael Page group). It seems bizarre for such an important industry to have so little exposure to students. Internships are key to introducing students to a particular industry or company and I think the world of recruitment could do with more internship programmes.

For me the moment I was introduced to the industry I was hooked. The buzz in the office; the idea of working in a fast-paced sales environment; having no two days be exactly the same; being driven by targets and actively being able to monitor your progress are all things that excited me. I wanted to see what it was like to be a recruiter and a summer internship was the perfect way to do it!

FJ showed that they care about all staff equally as even the summer interns were sent to Birmingham for 4 days of training like all the full-time employees. As part of the training we got free accommodation for 3 nights in a 4 star hotel as well as having our expenses covered.  We received excellent training from Ruth Farrar and the super supportive Birmingham branch. The time spent there has given me invaluable skills in the art of cold calling, perseverance and adopting a sales style to sell to sales people.

Since our return to Manchester we have become active members of the FJ team, resourcing candidates, running job searches and in essence carrying out the preliminary steps that all recruitment consultants in FJ have to undertake. All of this is done while still having a laugh in the true FJ way!

One of the key features of my internship with FJ is my mentor Dan Halkyard. He has been incredibly supportive in helping me find my feet in FJ. From answering basic questions about recruitment and its jargon, to helping me map out searches and offering continuous encouragement as I try to hit my weekly KPI’s. This is also true of the other mentors, supporting the two other summer interns in the Manchester office. Having more summer interns in the office certainly has been advantageous, I didn’t feel nearly as out of my depth knowing that there were at least three of us learning the basics at the same time.

My time so far in FJ has been very beneficial to me. It has taught me a lot about the working world, from 8:15 am starts and 6 pm finishes to the importance of a good cultural fit at your company. FJ has a strong company culture, which is quite family-like and hinges on rewarding excellence and ensuring all employees are happy. As John says - “Happy people make money!”

As for me, I look forward to starting life in the working world. But I’ll be hard-pressed to find a company like FJ…who knows maybe John will keep me on!