My internship with Change 100

Posted on: 30 June 2020 by Elissa, 2019 graduate in BA Egyptology with Chinese from the University of Liverpool in Student experiences

Last summer (2019), I was selected by Leonard Cheshire, to take part in the Change 100 internship programme.

The programme intrigued me, not only as it was an accessible one for students with disabilities, but also as, if successful, you were matched up to a company which the charity deemed suitable for your skills and interests.

From the start of the application, I felt supported, and I can genuinely say that it was the most inclusive hiring process I have ever been a part of. As someone who had some reasonable adjustments for my examinations, I was apprehensive as to how this would translate in the workplace. However, Leonard Cheshire offered many options for alternate application methods, for example, submitting a video instead of a written form. 

When a ‘match’ was made for me, Leonard Cheshire called me to talk about the role and company, before I was contacted by the recruitment team, and my line manager, from Auto Trader. I was placed in the Delivery (project management) Team, and assisted with a range of exciting projects over the summer. 

I was bowled away by how welcoming the team at Auto Trader were. I was invited in for a morning, the week before starting, for a tour, and to discuss any adjustments I might need, and despite only being with the company for 3 months, I was invited to team lunches and dinners, company seminars, and even a volunteering in the community day.

Leonard Cheshire also kept all of the Change 100 interns in regular contact through monthly training sessions, and a graduation, for 6 months. There were a number of interns at Auto Trader, and this, alongside an invite to the company’s 3-day residential induction, helped us to  get to know each other, and our new colleagues. 

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend the experience to any student with a disability or long term condition. The support I received from both Leonard Cheshire and Auto Trader was incredible, and the experience I gained has helped me tremendously in my first graduate role.