Intern Experience: Asya Ostrovsky

It was a sunny Monday morning in June  2017  when I first walked into the Junxion office, located just off the Regent’s Canal, knowing nearly nothing about the world of work and business. My expectations for the week ahead were not particularly high, owing to the infamous reputation of year 11 work experience being little more than volunteering as a glorified barista. However, Adam, Junxion’s Managing Director, had organised for me well thought out activities which I found both fun and engaging. I was immediately struck by how warm and welcoming Adam and his colleague Shayla were.

During my introductory morning, I learned that Junxion Strategy consults with other companies to help them improve their corporate social responsibility policies. To earn a certification as a B corp, Junxion had to undergo a BIA (B Impact Assessment), which guarantees that the company meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.  The B corp certification guarantees employees, investors and consumers alike that their interests will be protected.

I was assigned a concrete project on my very first day.  My task was to plan posts for Junxion’s social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and to read over blogs posted on their website. I also learned how to use Hootsuite Publisher and compiled an Excel document listing future social media posts. This allowed me to get more of a feel for the company, as well as learn about the field by reading thought-provoking Junxion-authored articles such as ‘Is Environmental Sustainability Unsustainable?’

“I feel very privileged to have had a week’s experience in a business that is directly relevant to my academic goals”.

Later in the week I was fortunate enough to attend a wide range of meetings and activities, both on and off-site.  I sat in on a B-corp workshop led by Adam and Shayla at Impact Hub King’s Cross advising other companies on how to complete the BIA. On Wednesday, I attended a sales pitch to the fourth-largest architecture firm in the UK along with Adam and Katie Hill, Executive Director of B Lab UK, which I found particularly intriguing. At an evening corporate social mixer I met representatives of other  B-corps. At the end of the week I researched for an Insights Paper which Junxion will publish in autumn about the relevance of the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to companies and their sustainability reporting.

I feel very privileged to have had a week’s experience in a business that is directly relevant to my academic goals; as well as with a team so supportive and encouraging. My work experience week brought to life some of the concepts I had covered in my GCSE Geography course.  Learning first-hand what CSR, B-corps and sustainability reports actually are has piqued my interest in the wider opportunities offered by Geography and Sustainability as a field of study.  The week also gave me an experience of life as a nine-to-fiver in London; I have a newfound respect for those brave enough to face rush hour traffic every single day!

Walking out of the office on Friday afternoon, I felt a sense of accomplishment and greater confidence in my abilities. I have gained valuable skills and am very grateful to Junxion team – Adam and Shayla for making this all possible.

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