Our intern’s responsible business journey

Rizwana Khanom joined Heart of the City in September as our Responsible Business Intern as part of the East London Business Alliance (ELBA) Eagles programme. We spoke to Rizwana to find out what she’s been up to in the past six months with us, and what are the next steps in her responsible business career path.

Your time at Heart of the City is coming to an end – what have you been getting involved in the last six months?

My role has been really varied here which is great because I’ve learnt several valuable skills that I hope to apply in my next job!

As part of the membership team I’ve been able to get involved in lots of things including supporting with account management meetings, welcoming and onboarding our new 2019 cohort of small businesses, helping with recruitment events and HotC workshops and event administration, especially during the busy recruitment period in November! During my time here, I also gained an interest in communications and have contributed to our monthly newsletter, HotC Highlight and social media. I’ve also helped in finance processes around  reporting in-kind support and researching for our impact assumptions.

What has been your standout training session at ELBA’s Eagles programme and how have you put this into use at Heart of the City?

ELBA offer a great pre-placement and ongoing training schedule as part of the programme to help us continually develop our skills – my standout session was a session with Adam Russ from The National Theatre who came in to help us with our presentation skills and public speaking. I’ve definitely put this into use at Heart of the City when I presented to the Pro Bono and Citizenship team at Herbert Smith Freehills my experience as an Eagle.

What has been your key take-away about responsible business from your internship?

Tons of stuff! But most importantly the importance and positive impact of having a responsible business programme in place. It helps staff retention, employee wellbeing, company reputation, and the local community – the results are endless!

What has been your greatest achievement?

I’ve achieved lots during my six months with the team – I think my greatest achievement played to my creative side which was creating a 2019 awareness dates calendar for our members to use to plan their responsible business initiatives. I had the opportunity to share this as our monthly HotC Highlight in December and received some great feedback! You can check it out here.

Six months have flown by – what’s your plan for the next six months?

I’ll be spending my next 6 months at RSA Insurance Group as a Corporate Responsibility Assistant. I’m excited to see how responsible business is implemented within a corporate company and use the skills and knowledge I’ve gained at Heart of the City!

For more information on the ELBA Eagles programme, click here.

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