According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), there are between 85 and 211 applicants for every vacancy in graduate positions alone.

In this uncertain and increasingly competitive market, students need to differentiate themselves from their peers should they want to offered a decent job upon graduation. Getting onboard with an internship in the field you are interested in will go some way towards helping you land that dream job.

In light of the above, I proactively applied and successfully joined the internship program at Para-Sols – a growing paraplanning firm based in London and Darlington. My internship lasted for 8 weeks, working 1 day a week in my spare time. Despite being committed to studying an Accounting & Finance degree full time at The University of Northampton (whilst juggling further commitments) I then managed to spare the 8 hours in a week in order to add value to my CV.

1)     Learn for free

Despite the duration of the internship being a short one, I can honestly say that I’ve learnt a great deal! My role as a paraplanners assistant involved tasks ranging from actively interacting with both clients and providers to researching specifics within pensions and investments.

2)     Increase your confidence

Working with the informative and easygoing team at Para-Sols has primarily given me greater confidence in interacting with clients and increasing my knowledge of the investment industry. The experience has allowed me to gain crucial experience ‘in the field’ whilst being able to apply my theoretical knowledge gained from my studies.

3)      Get a better degree classification

Coincidentally whilst working at Para-Sols, one of my degree modules titled ‘Investment Management’ had an assignment that involved creating a financial plan for a client. Being an intern at a paraplanning firm meant that I had a head start with the assignment due to the experience I had gained. I was able to include in my assignment evidence that I had used a specialised piece of software called Voyant. Doing so meant that I ended up with one of the highest grades in my class. Thank you Para-Sols!

4)     Increase your employability

Evident from my opening line in this post, getting a job in the current economic climate isn’t easy although there is still hope! Interns whom perform well may be even offered a job after graduation – like I was! (I’m sorry; I won’t rub it in too much). These opportunities are there for all, so get applying!

To summarise; as a university student the opportunity to work for Para-Sols has been genuinely invaluable! I’d recommend any student whom wishes to gain practical experience within this industry to consider applying as an intern at Para-Sols.

I’ll make it even easier for you to do so, simply drop Cathi Harrison (Director) an email with your CV attached and the reason why you wish to work at Para-Sols on:

If you have any further questions about my experiences working for Para-Sols please feel free to message me via my LinkedIn account:

Adam Niazi

It’s heading towards that time of year again and with almost all of our staff here at Para-Sols undertaking one exam or another, I thought I’d share with you our top ten tips for exam success! Read more