The perfect match: mentoring and internships at Harrods

Insights from an MSc in Management student's internship at the renowned luxury retailer.

Mentorships are an important part of the student’s experience at Cass Business School. Our mentorships provide our students with valuable, first-hand experience within the workplace.

Research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Annual Survey reports that “employers are building up multiple talent pipelines by engaging with students earlier. 36 per cent of graduate intakes are now comprised of previous interns, up from 31 per cent in 2015.”

Therefore, the importance of internships cannot be underestimated post-graduation.

At Cass, we can also leverage the strength of our alumni network to help our interns. That’s how Sofia, an Management student, found a mentor in EMBA alumnus Niall Ryan-Jones, Head of Employee Experience during her internship at Harrods.

The Mentor

Niall Ryan-Jones is Head of Employee Experience at Harrods. He said:

When I reached out to Cass Business School for our internship, I knew I would be working with a high calibre student who was eager to learn, support and add rigour to the project I was working on. Also, as a former student, I empathise with the challenges of finding the right research topics for dissertations, and the subsequent challenges of finding someone who will support the student.

When I reached out to Cass Business School for our internship, I knew I would be working with a high calibre student who was eager to learn, support and add rigour to the project I was working on.

“Working with Sofia has been a delight. She has helped me with finding research that has broadened my world view on the work I do. It’s always important to have another person’s perspective, as our intern Sofia has challenged some of my own thinking, which has proven very useful.

“Having interns that we can mentor, has benefited Harrods greatly. Sofia has helped me with an important piece of work that is of paramount importance in the continual evolution of our employer brand; the findings of which will inform the strategic output of our people proposition. And of course, our employees benefit as well.

The Intern

Sofia, our MSc Management student said:

“Studying and working in London has been one of the most incredible experiences I had so far in my life. I had the opportunity of working at the most unique department store – Harrods – for three months and apply many of the technical skills and knowledge gained throughout my year at Cass.”

I gained a deeper understanding of the luxury retail industry and how Harrods business operates and thrives in a competitive world.

In an era in which digitalisation, big data and internet of things are predominant words, companies have to invest in strategic tools that allow them to distinguish themselves in the labour market.

“I worked in the area of Employer Branding that combines marketing techniques to the Human Resources function of a company aiming to attract and retain the most talented workers. It was a very interesting and unique experience and I had the support and pleasure to work closely with the Head of Employee Experience.”

MSc in Management

The MSc in Management programme offers our graduates work opportunities in professional organisations and we make sure that our internships give further value to students through providing research projects for their final dissertations.

Joanna Zaleska, Course Director said, “The collaboration between our degree and Cass alumni is very important in order to build engagement across all students groups. This ensures our alumni network is sustainable and accessible for generations to come."

David Shute, Cass MSc Careers Relationship Manager added, "Internships are a great opportunity to discover what working in a particular role is like, and to gain the essential real-life skills and experiences that are highly sought after by employers. Employers frequently use internships to assess a student's capability and often recruit employees from their interns rather than advertising their vacancies externally.”

Click here find our more about our Careers Services at Cass.