An intern’s experience at Cirrus

by | Jul 23, 2014 | Blog

Jack Hutchison tells us what he’s learned from being part of the team

I started as the first intern at Cirrus in late May 2014, having recently completed a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. Over the past two months my experience here has developed in myriad and unexpected ways, to the extent that I’m now considering applying for a Masters in Organisational Change and Development at the University of Manchester!

From day one I’ve been working closely with the senior leadership of Cirrus, including Nicky Little (head of consulting), Jane O’Hara (head of marketing), and Simon Hayward (CEO). I was pleasantly surprised by how much freedom and responsibility I had the chance to take so early on in the role; to know that my research into Cirrus’s academic foundations was actually helping the business move forward in a genuinely positive direction not only made the whole experience worthwhile but also quickly earned my appreciation.

My main role is to research the academic foundation of Cirrus’s ‘connected leadership’ idea, said role primarily utilising the research skills I’d gained at university. I collate my research into reports at the end of each week or fortnight and send this through to either the consultants or specific members of the senior leadership team. A typical day, therefore, will mainly involve conducting research punctuated by some communications work (updating the Twitter feed, assembling interesting articles for review by the comms team), a meeting or two either on the phone or face-to-face with a senior consultant or leadership team member, and the writing up of some ideas into a longform article or just quick notes for simple reference later on.

But my work hasn’t always been office-based, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet clients and partners, both with Tesco Bank in Newcastle and more recently with Ipsos MORI in London. I wasn’t just a wallflower at these events either; Cirrus has given me the opportunity to genuinely get involved in both focus group exercises and in meetings with senior partners.

There were challenges at first, particularly with regard to crossing over from a humanities degree, but help was always on offer and freely given whenever I felt unsure about what to do. What’s surprised me most is the degree of creative freedom I’ve been allowed in the role; whether that’s through conducting research or coming up with ideas for future directions with senior consultants and partners, the result has been a real appreciation for the work that Cirrus does helping companies and employees.

All in all, my first two months here have been very enjoyable. The work is very challenging, but more importantly rewarding, and there’s a real pleasure working in what feels like a genuinely trusting and proactive environment. What’s the most important thing I’ve learned? That the best results always come from a relationship of mutual trust and appreciate between business and client. I can safely say that Cirrus people practise what they preach.

We are thrilled to say that after a very successful internship, Jack joined Cirrus on a permanent basis as a research executive.

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