Gemma Finikin graduated from the University of Hull in 2003 with a degree in English and communications. She is director of the London office of Breakfast Network, a networking events organisation.
GAP YEAR EXPERIENCE
Gemma spent a year in New York on a working placement arranged by the Mountbatten Internship Programme. The programme offers graduates year long internships and costs £1,995. Interns are paid $448 (£256) every two weeks and accommodation is provided. Most placements are office based and entry level. Gemma worked with a small rapidly growing company Breakfast Network. At the end of the year the company hired her.
What was your motivation?
I wanted to do something that would give me some life experience and set me apart from other graduates.
What skills did you learn?
My job ranged from administrative tasks, like setting up the networking events, to bringing in new business and clients. I learnt how to manage my time and motivate myself.
The job was fantastic as was the chance to get to know New York. I’m still good friends with many other interns on the programme.
There was so much that I wanted to do and I couldn’t fit it in!
Did it improve your employability?
Absolutely. I learnt how to communicate with people on all levels and developed my confidence
Advice to students considering a gap year:
It’s great to travel but do something worthwhile. Working can be a great way to find out what you would like to do and will set you apart from other graduates.