A business  student had a taste of working life during an internship with a housing association.


 Charlotte Brown was put forward for a four-week internship with Colne Housing, where she helped residents get online as part of Colne’s Digital First project.


The 19-year-old, who is studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business and is also a resident of Colne Housing, says the experience has given her a boost, allowing her to work on a project that made a real difference to the company and to residents.


Charlotte says: “I had to create a digital map which showed residents where they can find free wifi computers and IT training courses and facilities.


“I finished it sooner than they expected and they found me more work to do.


“I ended up creating a whole new digital section on Colne Housing’s website.


“I wrote press releases and even went with one of the PR ladies to interview a resident who turned 100 years old.


“I really enjoyed it and felt I achieved so much. It was really nice to know that what I did helped and meant something.”


Charlotte wants to study for a degree in public relations and marketing communications at Buckinghamshire New University and hopes to work in publicity and music industry management.


Charlotte secured her internship with Colne Housing alongside the Career Academy, a programme that prepares students for the world of work.


Its model focuses on linking students to employers through master classes, mentoring, workplace visits and internships. Charlotte was nominated for the internship by her course tutor, as her primary interest is public relations and communications.


The internship helped Charlotte gain an insight into what it is like to work in an office-based job, while also providing her with some skills that she may be able to transfer onto her degree.


Charlotte says: “I have really enjoyed the whole experience.


“Everyone made me feel so welcome and I can’t wait to put the skills I have learnt into practice at university.”


Colne Housing’s chief executive Mark Powell Davies says taking on an intern was beneficial for both the business and student.


He explains: “It’s a win win situation.


“It’s useful for Charlotte’s CV and as a business we got a good piece of work from her.


“We are a local employer and are keen to help students get appropriate experience, and I would encourage other businesses to do the same.


“But it’s not worth doing unless you are supporting the student to do something meaningful, a real project.


“Offering experience like this bridges the divide between education and employment and meeting the expectations of both business and young person.”


He adds: “Charlotte’s contribution has been invaluable and I am confident she has a bright future ahead of her.”