Duncan Pastoors
Duncan Pastoors accepting the SES Intern of the Year Award 2015

CCI Placements Case Study: Special

eCommerce and Retail Intern, VisitBritain

BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing

Duncan Pastoors, a BA (Hons) English & Creative Writing Student in the School of Media and Performing Arts, has been awarded ‘SES Intern of Year’ for 2015.

Duncan beat off a strong set of entrants and amassed impressive votes from Student Employment Services (SES) judges to win this year’s competition.

Duncan is coming to the end of his 12-month placement working as an eCommerce & Retail Intern at VisitBritain in London. He explained how he felt when he won:

“Even though my colleagues at VisitBritain have made me feel valued all throughout the year, I didn’t expect to win an award like this. I am grateful to my team for supporting me and teaching me many new things.”

Danja, Duncan’s Line Manager who put him forward for nomination, told us:

Duncan has become a proper member of the team; we don’t consider him an intern anymore as during these months he demonstrated to have all the capabilities and knowledge to be able to work at the same level of other colleagues. We also call him “the machine” as he is incredibly quick delivering tasks, including using our CMS systems in the most efficient way.

He’s also the point of reference for many colleagues and managers and he was asked to do a demonstration on best practice for the use of our new e-commerce platform to all the Retail team in VisitBritain – he also delivered a couple of presentations to the rest of the team, suggesting new ideas to grow the business which we’ll take forward. 

I’ve mentioned the working speed and his demonstration to the rest of the team as an example of best practice to use our e-commerce platform which is quite unique as there are people here who have been working in the team for more than 8 years!

These are only the highlights of his performance here, but I really enjoy working with him and I am sure he will have a bright career after his studies.

Duncan found Professional Experience, a unit he chose for year 2 where he had to undertake work experience, particularly useful, saying:

“With a variety of lectures given on how to network correctly and how to present yourself in interviews, along with the work experience I obtained, it helped me feel confident working for an organisation like VisitBritain.” 

Skills learnt during the first two years of his degree helped Duncan make the most of his placement. He was able to impress his colleagues with his knowledge of how to critically assess and prioritise tasks, plus his communication and teamwork skills. His creative expertise was of particular use in writing content for the website.

Simon Brookes, Associate Dean (Students) to the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said:

It is extremely important that students attend to their future careers in tandem with their studies. Our experience shows that undertaking relevant work-experience has a huge positive impact upon a student’s future employment prospects. I am really thrilled that Duncan has won this award. His achievement, and the fabulous comments from his employer will, I’m sure, stand him in good stead for when he begins applying for jobs after graduation.