Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Diary of an Intern: Amoo VCA Summer 2010

Having heard stories of City interns being entrusted with much responsibility and highly stimulating tasks such as photocopying, I was a little apprehensive about how useful my summer internship would be - not least since I was interested in a career in commercial law yet I found myself embarking on an internship at a venture capital advisory firm. My doubts, however, were futile.

Over the 12 week placement as a Sales & Research Analyst I learnt much about the commercial world, business strategies, analysing financial risks and working with others. I was thrown into the deep end (a strategy for development that I now highly appreciate) through representing the firm at networking events, researching leads for clients’ sales and managing a client’s Public Relations – which even culminated in being seconded to Estonia for a month.

The first few days of my placement were spent meeting associates of the firm and learning about the firm’s technology clients and their businesses, occasionally over a drink or lunch on the scenic south bank of London. To accentuate my commercial knowledge and bolster the firm’s blog I was given tasks to research and publish fact sheets based on a range of technology and venture capital firms. A working understanding of different exit strategies, emerging markets and private equity became second nature to me. On the client-facing side of my role, I had to update the Twitter feeds and Facebook page of a large technology company, draft business proposals on behalf of clients and work within a team to plan and execute sales strategies.

The open and supportive culture of Amoo encouraged the interns to support one another in our work, making life as an intern at Amoo thoroughly enjoyable. I was closely supported and mentored by the firm’s director, Nzube, through weekly meetings to discuss my progress and glean useful career advice. For the final month of my internship I was seconded to one of the firm’s clients in Estonia, where I worked within a thriving start-up technology company. I was involved in drafting the company’s news releases, collating information to target investors and working closely with my colleagues to help scale-up the business – as well as, of course, soaking in an entirely new culture and learning about different business practices in Europe.

Only by the end of the summer did I realise what a phenomenal learning curve my internship had provided for me. My immersion into the commercial world as an intern not only reinforced my passion to pursue a City career, but it has laid the foundations to grasp my academic study of law at Queen Mary more strongly and to thrust me towards my career with confidence and control.

Ridwan Ibrahim

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