My SME Internship: Anika – Safer Industries

“Hi, I’m Anika. For my SME Internship, I was working for a start-up called Safer Industries Ltd.

A photo of Anika smiling.

I worked closely with the founder, Tim, to begin fleshing out the brands of his company and organise some elemental ideas around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy.

Apart from occasional meetings in local Bristol cafés, my work was remote and flexible.

By the end of my internship, which spanned two months part-time during term-time, we had collaboratively created logos for one brand and created a Venn diagram covering some starting points for what would later be developed into a comprehensive and novel ESG policy. 

This internship helped me understand what it is like to work for a company; I learnt my preferred working patterns and how to organise my hours alongside university, and now understand what it feels like to collaborate and iterate on ideas with another person.

The importance of communication

At times, I struggled with the workload due to my disability and kept under-logging my hours because I was too conscious about having concrete evidence of my work for every hour I put in. However, by being open with my employer, we were able to more clearly define what constituted ‘work’ and what measures we could put in place when a deadline was not met.

We also started on a logo design process that hit a dead-end because of the fact that our ideas were very different, and my design style didn’t adequately align with what Tim wanted. By communicating openly about my creative block, we were able to redirect my time towards something that would be more productive. Overcoming these challenges and having difficult conversations was an important part of my learning, and I would highly recommend seizing the opportunity to gain some work experience through the SME Internship scheme. 

Flexible and considerate ways of working

I’m personally a firm believer in prioritising our own health and well-being over work, and while some workplace stories can sound really scary, there are really genuine and caring employers out there who want to help you out! Especially in Bristol, in my experience, it’s been tangibly evident that SMEs are moving towards more flexible and considerate ways of working.

I think entering work for the first time can be terrifying, but you are so much more capable than you might think, and there are good opportunities available.

I’m very grateful to have had my SME Internship and would encourage everyone to dip their toes into the working world however feels most comfortable! “

Want to be an SME Internship intern?  

The scheme is open and we are currently advertising internships that you can apply for. 

SME Internship Scheme logo

If you are interested in sourcing your own internship opportunity, you can find advice about arranging your own internship here

Check out our “My SME Internship” blog series to hear more student stories and get some inspiration. 

So you’ve found an opportunity you’d like to apply for: 

Here are some resources to support your application: 

You can find other support available to disabled and neurodivergent students by exploring our pathway on mycareer.  

The University of Bristol is proud to be a Next Generation Inclusive University in partnership with disability organisation EmployAbility 

EmployAbility supports disabled and neurodivergent students looking for employment or internships, both during their studies and after they graduate.  

Find out more from our blog: Three ways EmployAbility can support disabled and neurodivergent students with their career. 

If you have any questions about the support that the Careers Service and EmployAbility can offer you, speak to us on live chat, or pop into 5 Tyndall Avenue from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4.30 pm during term time.