Headshot of Sara Guluzade

Curious about an insight week? Hear about Sara’s experience at BlackRock

Have you heard of the term “insight days/weeks”? What do they involve and what can you expect? In today’s #EdTechDataCareers student guest blog post, Sara Khatun Guluzade, a third year Artificial Intelligence (AI) student, shares her insight week experience at BlackRock, an asset management fintech firm. We’re delighted to share that Sara has received an internship offer from BlackRock for summer 2024 as a result of her insight week.

So, what are insight days?

There are many ways to build up work experience – and it all counts on CVs and applications to help you stand out from the competition! Insights days are an option for early years’ students and can range in length from a day or two to a week:

  • Intended to give early years’ students an insight into what it’s like to work in a particular company and sector.
  • Most popular in the banking sector and can be termed spring weeks or insight days/weeks. They are also offered in other sectors such as law and consultancy.
  • Tend to take place during vacation periods.
  • You can expect to work shadow, make connections and gain experience of tasks such as delivering presentations.

Hi Sara… tell us how you found out about the insight week at BlackRock?

During second year, a BlackRock Talent Recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn with an amazing opportunity to do a spring insight week within the Data & AI team at BlackRock during my easter vacation.

What prompted you to apply?

At first, I was not very confident about applying since I had not applied to any insight weeks before. Despite this, I decided to use this as a learning opportunity as to how real-world job applications work. I was also enthusiastic to learn more about AI. After conducting broad research about the company and the role, and passing all the application steps, I was delighted to hear that I had been successful. The Careers Service supported me throughout the application process, including feedback on my CV and preparing for interview; I would recommend students to utilise the Careers Service resources.

What did your insight week involve?

I was excited to learn about the company, its life and work ethic. I was especially curious about its innovative technology “Aladdin” which is incorporated within the finance and asset management field to facilitate the lives of millions of people.

My week long insight week from nine to five was in-person and based in the BlackRock Edinburgh office. During the programme, we had an office walk, social event, daily spotlight and coffee meet-up sessions led by professional BlackRock staff whom I had been shadowing throughout the week. These opportunities allowed me to gain a glimpse into the BlackRock day-to-day tasks of different teams within the Big Data & AI team.

What skills and knowledge did you gain from the insight week?

I interacted with the company vice presidents, managers, previous interns and my team. These opportunities helped me build valuable networking skills with interesting people from various backgrounds and gain knowledge on how the company’s principles are implemented in the firm. I enjoyed being part of a diverse, friendly environment where everyone, regardless of role and background, was treated equally with respect and I felt comfortable asking for help. Therefore, I developed confidence in skills such as public speaking, interpersonal skills and time management. I also gained problem-solving experience through the “Aladdin” group challenge.

I got inspiration from talks delivered by AI experts who led discussions about groundbreaking uses of AI and its joint use with finance to automate various operations and improve community experience. I was motivated to study for my degree with a clearer understanding of its potential positive innovative applications and benefits.

What are your top tips for students considering an insight week in the future?

  • Research the company – understand its main principles and values.
  • Utilise Careers Service resources on building effective CV/cover letters and application feedback to best adjust their skillset to the role requirements.
  • Establish contact with alumni via Platform One or LinkedIn to get their advice.
  • Don’t underestimate your skills and potential. It is always better to consider applying than to regret never doing it. Rejections are part of your professional development journey and should not let you lose motivation.

Thanks Sara.

It’s great to hear that Sara benefitted from our resources and support. You too can also:

  • Draft your CV or cover letter, following the advice on our website and looking at our examples.
  • Get quick feedback on your CV or cover letter, by coming to one of our drop-ins (we offer these both online, and on campus, and you don’t need to book) or, you can book an appointment via MyCareerHub for more in-depth feedback.
  • Find out how to prepare and practise for interviews using our resources.
  • Check MyCareerHub for opportunities; we advertise insight days/weeks on MyCareerHub Opportunities.
  • Explore Banking and Investment further on our website.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *