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In July 2013, the UK’s leading sports retailer embarked upon their first graduate internship based at their head office in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Twenty four recent graduates were chosen and took part in an assessment day to prove their adaptability and skill to work in one of the UK’s largest companies- the prize? £10,000, their final year student fees paid off plus the chance to work within the head office team.

Over a course of eight weeks, the graduates were tested in various skill areas across the E-commerce department including search engine optimisation and social media marketing. Buddied up to current members of the E-commerce team to help them along the way, and by doing work that would directly impact the success of the current search marketing campaigns they learnt about the business from the inside and gained valuable knowledge to help succeed in the challenging online environment.

The winner, Sophie from Alfreton, says the scheme was “a massive opportunity to learn a diverse range of new skills and form new friendships. The scheme has benefitted me not only in the short term, but has also done wonders for my future career, starting from within SportsDirect’s head office”.

The competition was tough, and in the end only one could win the grand prize of £10,000, but three runners up have their final year tuition fees paid and eleven of the original graduates were offered a full time job following their hard work and fantastic impact on the business.

“Eight weeks isn’t a long time, but in a real office environment the graduates took on some exciting challenges which helped not only the business but their work experience. It’s a big leap from University life to full time work and our most successful graduates took the bull by the horns and blasted away the competition”- Sam Stead, E-Commerce Manager.

Ready to experience life in the fast lane and work with one of the UK’s leading retailers? Applications for the 2014 scheme will be open soon, so keep an eye out for the team at careers fair this Autumn!

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