I have found the most surprising aspect of the internship with RP International to be the level of trust and responsibility that the senior team members are prepared to invest in the interns. Not having done an internship before, I have no prior experience against which to compare my time at RPI, but after hearing about my peers’ experiences at various companies it certainly seems that Jess, Stuart, Jon et al are far readier to delegate tasks and projects than is the case at other organisations. The nature of the work at RPI complements this willingness to trust. Because recruitment works on a case-by-case basis within the larger framework of an industry, you are able to gain a much better insight into the overall process. For example, when trying to engage new clients, you are able to identify target enterprises from market research before seeing how the Executive Consultants go about approaching the key decision makers within the organisation to establish a strategic relationship.
The market research in particular is a very valuable learning resource. As the purpose of the exercise is to recognise patterns and trends throughout an industry, it helps enormously to develop the very important skill of identifying market opportunities, an ability that is beneficial no matter what profession you end up going into. Furthermore, because RPI operates in numerous vertical markets, interns are exposed to a variety of industries, many of whom are among the fastest growing sectors, giving you an opportunity to experience and familiarise yourself with different areas of business, all of which is hugely helpful when trying to decide which career path to follow.
Even if after working at RPI you feel that the head-hunting and recruitment industry is not for you, you will still walk away with the very valuable lesson of knowing what head-hunters and Executive Search firms are looking for. Personally, I have learnt about the importance of a well-presented and easy-to-follow CV, along with the possibilities afford by properly utilising networking sites such as LinkedIn. Most of all, however, I have learnt that you should always take a recruitment call, as you never know what you might be missing out on otherwise!
The final major advantage of working with RPI is the chance it gives you to learn about best business practices and discover your own working style. By talking to candidates on the phone, you very quickly appreciate how to work out which approach you should take with various people, and identify an individual’s priorities to gain the best outcome from your interaction with them. Not only are you exposed to the best way to interact with potential clients externally, but the Senior Management team at RPI are excellent at helping develop your internal business skills. It may be a cliché but learning how to work in a team environment is perhaps the single biggest lesson I will take away from RPI. Jess Mayman, the Group Marketing Manager, was a huge help in advising me how to best interact with work colleagues and develop self-awareness in a corporate environment. Similarly, Stuart Wilson, CEO is very careful to ensure that interns sit in on interviews with candidates, as it is a very rare chance to sit on the other side of the table. Observing other people, who are often very successful business professionals, in an interview situation is the best way to understand how to best present yourself when you go to meet a potential employer in turn.
Lastly, the culture of responsibility and ambition at RPI was hugely enjoyable to work in. Everyone is set clear briefs, and praised for when they achieve their goals. The after-work drinks alone are more than enough reason to work at RPI, but the opportunity to work with an ambitious company in a hugely influential industry is something that I would recommend to everyone.