My internship experience at Business West

Zara Brewer
Initiative Intern | Business West
28th September 2017

After finishing my A-levels last year I worked with horses for around 8 months, before deciding to try something different and do something where I could make a difference.

At the end of March, I found myself working for a campaign team at an election. 

Going to media engagements, helping to organise diaries and posting content on social media were all in a day’s work in what were a busy few months campaigning. 

Following the election, I began work as an intern at Business West - where I’ve had the opportunity to learn lots of new things and develop a number of different skills in a friendly and highly supportive working environment.

I’ve managed to develop digital marketing skills - learning the ins and outs of operating a WordPress site and all that website management entails, such as using Google Analytics.

I’ve helped to run the quarterly Initiative evenings - the latest one being held at Bristol University focussing on Brexit, in addition to liaising with local businesses, members and not for profit organisations about how we can help them promote their good work in the business community.

Beyond developing a host of transferrable skills, being a part of the Initiative has widened my eyes to the pivotal role that business plays in making all the good stuff which happens in the West of England happen.

Bristol businesses are at the forefront of tackling homelessness in the city, funding the refurbishment of shipping containers and double decker buses to provide rough sleepers with temporary accommodation. Due to support from the Initiative, they’re also working closely with Avon and Somerset Constabulary on the Operation Heron programme which gives advice on dealing with shoplifters. They're also involved in some fantastic business support programmes such as Street2Boardroom, which puts ex-offenders onto the business ladder by helping them apply skills learnt in the street to in the legitimate business world. 

As well as this, there is a close connection between the work of the Initiative and the West of England Combined Authority. The Initiative helped push for the Metro Mayor in the early stages with the intention of bringing South Gloucestershire, BANES, North Somerset and Bristol to work and function together. Now they are helping to support the Combined Authority's work in improving education, employment, transport and housing in the area. 

I am proud to say that I work at Business West, particularly in terms of their track record in making our great city a better place to live, work and do business.

Professionally I have loved every minute of working with all the friendly faces here. They have really helped me gain a good understanding and inspired me what I want to do in the future. 

  • Have you thought about hiring an intern?

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