A Career Out of This World

23 September 2013

A Career Out of This World

Henley Business School provided the career coaching element for ‘SpIN’, a new internship programme organised by the University of Reading’s Space@Reading unit. 


Henley Business School provided the career coaching element for ‘SpIN’, a new internship programme organised by the University of Reading’s Space@Reading unit. 

Out of 240 applications from 22 universities, 48 lucky candidates were selected to receive a prestigious eight-week paid position with one of 14 UK space industry companies. Four Henley Business School career coaches were on hand to offer one–to-one career coaching sessions to the interns as part of the programme.

The space industry contributes over £9 billion to the UK economy every year and supports tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs. For many of the SpIN interns, the placements offered a unique opportunity to experience day-to-day business life and to learn about career opportunities in a sector that many of them had not previously considered. 

Emily Roashan, a second year University of Reading Maths student talked to Alumninews about her experience at Rezatec, a company that uses satellite technology to monitor carbon emissions. “When I heard about SpIN through the Maths department, I was looking for a summer placement and this sounded perfect to me.

I thought I would be assigned a project to get on with for the duration of the eight weeks and that would be that. However, my expectations were much surpassed.

Working for a SME meant that not only did I get to work on several different projects and learn about marketing and business, but I also got to meet and work with everyone within the company, from the Marketing Director (my mentor) and GIS analyst, to the CEO and Commercial Director”.

It was a mutually positive experience from Rezatec’s point of view. Rezatec’s Marketing Director Philip Briscoe commented “As a start-up we have to take a cautious approach to hiring new staff so the opportunity to have an intern for the summer to work with me in a research capacity was very attractive. 

I anticipated a high standard of intern and Emily more than matched that expectation. In fact, I added a few projects to her scope of work because she made faster progress than I had expected. Emily’s work covered a number of market research projects including an analysis of our competitive landscape, satellite data inventory and primary research questionnaire to survey types of software applications used by prospective customers.”  

When asked if he would participate again or recommend it to other companies, Philip clearly endorsed the scheme: “I would most definitely participate again and recommend the programme to other companies.”

SpIN was also a refreshing experience for the four Henley career coaches.  Experienced in working with executives at mid-career stage, the sessions with the SpIN interns predominantly focused on early-career advice. Given the international spread of the 26 interns who chose to take up the coaching sessions, many of the sessions were delivered by phone or Skype, adding to the unusual experience for the coaches. Participants in the coaching element of SpIN highly valued their coaching time, with many of them spreading the allocated time over two shorter sessions to allow for reflection and follow up questions, and to maximise the value gained from them.

Space@Reading is organising a project show case for SpIN in central London on 13 November, which will be hosted by Inmarsat. If you would like more information about the internship programme or would like to attend the show case on 13 November, please contact Dr Kathie Bowden, Head of Space@Reading.

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If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni & Development Team by email at alumni@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418 843.