Blog post

The Spotted Zebra spotlight on… how internships help early career opportunities

Read time:
4 minutes

LinkedIn analysis shows that graduates who have internships are 23% more likely to start a full-time position 6 months after graduating. Spotted Zebra’s Consultant Intern, Amy Field, tells us how her internship has developed her skills and supported her career development.

My journey through higher education began with a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham, and I am now studying an MSc in Organisational Psychology at City, University of London.

It won’t surprise you to learn that I have a passion for psychology. But as a young professional, I’m particularly interested in the application of psychology in the workplace. 

In today’s rapidly evolving corporate landscape, the integration of business psychology is pivotal to organisational success. Business psychology, the study of human behaviour in the workplace, provides business benefits including:

  • Retaining top talent.
  • Better navigating change. 
  • Boost productivity.  

By understanding the psychological principles that underlie human behaviour, companies can deliver benefits to employees:

  • Enhance employee wellbeing.
  • Improve employee engagement.
  • Foster a positive work environment.

Employees spend so much of their lives at work, and so my core motivation as an aspiring business psychologist is to ensure that individuals are in the right roles at the right organisations and they have happier and productive working lives

Therefore, my internship at Spotted Zebra was the perfect fit. 

Spotted Zebra’s skills intelligence platform enables businesses to measure candidate suitability based on their technical and behavioural skills and their alignment with the organisation’s culture and values. If employees are in roles that use and develop their skills, they are empowered to live more fufilled working lives. So Spotted Zebra’s core mission is really aligned with my career goals and aspirations as a psychologist. 

In this blog post, I discuss my experience as an intern, the benefits of an internship, and, most importantly, what I have learned at Spotted Zebra. 

What does an internship at Spotted Zebra look like? 

For my internship, I’m working as a Consultant Intern in the customer success department. I am part of a team of Consultants who work closely with our clients to ensure that they get a tailored customer experience and the most out of our solutions. 

2 of my main responsibilities are helping to create skills profiles and skills assessments. 

One of Spotted Zebra’s main differentiators is that it creates a skills profile for each role. The skills profile consists of the blend of behavioural and technical skills that are required for success in a role. 

The rigour of Spotted Zebra's skills verification process is industry-leading in accuracy and validity. So I work with multiple sources including:

  • Industry data.
  • Job descriptions. 
  • Job advertisements. 
  • Recruiter interviews. 
  • Hiring manager surveys. 

This helps us identify the combination of skills required for success in the role and the most relevant cognitive reasoning tests. 

After working on the skills profile I also contribute to creating the assessment. This is built using the skills profile as a blueprint, ensuring that the assessment only tests for the skills required, and making Spotted Zebra’s assessments much quicker to complete. 

How the internship has developed my skills 

My internship has enabled me to develop many existing skills and acquire new ones. For example, a soft skill I have developed is communication (which I have exercised in writing this blog!). Whilst communication is a skill we all use every day, I have learned how to communicate effectively in a workplace setting. I have developed this core skill through:

  • Working with colleagues on tasks across different departments.
  • Collaborating to discuss and develop ideas. 
  • Contributing to remote and in-person team meetings. 

Another skill I have developed is commercial awareness. Commercial awareness is not a skill you can acquire overnight, and it takes time to learn about an organisation, market, and industry. I have worked alongside marketers, recruiters, and psychologists at Spotted Zebra. By collaborating and learning from multiple departments, I have gained a more balanced commercial understanding. 

 I have been able to develop my knowledge through:

  • Regular company calls, weekly team sessions, manager meetings. 
  • Shadow schemes in the commercial teams.
  • Speaking to clients and getting their insights.

I have also developed hard skills during my internship. I am now able to read job descriptions, conduct industry searches, and identify role-specific skills that must be assessed to ensure the strongest applicants are selected to progress to the next stage of a hiring application. These technical skills are extremely useful and transferable skills for my career. 

What are the benefits of completing an internship?

The main benefit of being an intern is that it bridges the gap between studying and employment. I believe an internship provides you with the experience that prepares individuals for their first job. Studying in university teaches you knowledge of a specialised area, but there is no better way to learn about a specific industry than getting experience in an organisation and learning through colleagues. 

Through my master's degree in business psychology, I have learned about psychometric assessment and other recruitment methods. However, working at Spotted Zebra and being part of a team that designs and creates hiring assessments has given me an understanding of how the theory and literature I’ve learned at university is applied in real-life. 

An internship gives you so much experience. While working at Spotted Zebra, I have been able to reach out to other departments and talk to different employees about what their job involves and how their teams operate. 

Key takeaways 

I would highly recommend an internship to any individual looking to gain experience and become more ‘career ready’.

My time with Spotted Zebra has taught me about business and what it is like to work in an organisation. I have gained insight into workplace dynamics and culture. Crucially, as a student nearing the end of 4 years at university, I feel my internship has helped me develop and learn hard and soft skills that will prepare me for my future career. 

I cannot thank the team at Spotted Zebra enough for giving me this opportunity.

If you're interested in an internship at Spotted Zebra to gain valuable experience and develop your skills, keep an eye on our careers page for opportunities.