Hold the door open: Mintel’s Diversity Summer Internship Programme

August 19, 2022
6 min read

The brutal murder of US black male George Floyd in the US forced individuals and organisations to have honest, uncomfortable conversations about racial inequality and social injustice. At Mintel, our global discussions compelled me to take local action. UK government statistics highlight significant disadvantages Black people face around education, policing, pay and poverty. For example, at A-Level, Black students were the least likely ethnic group to get 3 A grades or better, and Black Caribbean graduates had some of the lowest average earnings of all ethnicities a year after graduation.

As a young Black teen from an East London council estate, securing an internship at Sainsbury’s Head Office was instrumental in shaping my career aspirations. I learned how the corporate world worked and visualised myself working in that environment. After graduating, I went on to do just that, and I think it is important to hold the door open for others

I’m extremely proud to spearhead Mintel’s Summer Internship Programme, in conjunction with Voyage Youth, offering that same opportunity to people from my community. Voyage does amazing work with young Black and Minority Ethnic students in London, creating positive pathways for educational and professional development. Our three interns Rachael, Folashade and Nenah spent a month with us in our London office, gaining transferable skills (and summer spending money!) in exchange for their hard work.

Liz Westcott, Managing Director EMEA, welcomes our interns and shares her experience at Mintel.

Rachael Oloyede-Oyeyemi, Intern, PR and Communications

During my time at Mintel I have learnt and absorbed various things about marketing and the professional work setting. The PR team was a brilliant match for me as I am keen about communication. It essentially combines the work of all the teams at Mintel and ensures its translation to the media is accurate and efficient. Through working with the team I have had the opportunity to meet with various people from researchers to designers, and this has been influential in my knowledge of the marketing industry. The accumulated knowledge about the different sectors within Mintel has allowed me to be able to successfully market them to journalists and wider media. It was quite fascinating how a company which provides marketing services and data must also market themselves–this in particular encapsulates my favourite thing about being in the PR team. 

In observing how Mintel presents themselves I have gained skills in how I can do the same personally and a taste of a potential career route. The support given to me by Mintel, such as learning development sessions has catapulted me into a deeper understanding of how to professionally better myself. The skills I have gained are incredibly useful as I go on to the next chapter of my life where I will be met with independence. This independence is less daunting as through the internship my confidence and self-belief have been strengthened.  My time at Mintel has been amazing and is further bolstered by the culture, passion and welcoming nature of its people.

Folashade Ogungbemi, Intern, Technology

To sum up my overall experience at Mintel in one word would be – incredible. This has been an amazing opportunity which has enabled me to explore an entirely different avenue in the world of work. Throughout my time at Mintel I have been able to meet amazing people who are passionate about their work which has inspired me to carry this outlook with me in my future steps in life. As an intern analyst, I have had hands-on experience and insight into what it’s like working within the realm of market research. I had the opportunity to write about launch activity and innovation in wearable technology – an area that allowed me to deepen my understanding of technological developments and its future. At Mintel, my wider interests in politics and economics were accommodated as I was able to analyse the wider socio-economic climate and the implications inflation rates and the conflict in Ukraine has on British consumer lifestyles.

The warm and exuberant environment at Mintel has made me feel comfortable in expressing my curiosity and my fellow colleagues who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few weeks have all been very welcoming. This internship alone has shown me the importance of getting out of my comfort zone and getting stuck into an area I never thought I would have the opportunity to experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed this snapshot into the working world and I’ve been able to develop many transferable skills I wish to carry with me in the future.


Nenah Hakim-AndersonIntern, BPC and Retail

Working at Mintel has allowed me to see the connections between fashion and beauty with sustainability and diversity, and how they link with the research that takes place here. As someone who always wanted to enter these industries, working as an analyst at Mintel has allowed me to combine my interests with my passion for equality and social justice, which I have been nurturing with Voyage Youth. 

I have found that my role at Mintel incorporates analytical skills, knowledge of current affairs with market research and innovation. I like that we look at the wider context of an industry beyond the products that are sold, and how we critique the progress of brands, encouraging them to better themselves and align with the changing values of consumers worldwide. There is such a breadth of knowledge here among Mintel employees; all team members are so passionate and involved in what they do. The environment here is respectful, social and casual –  people are friends as well as colleagues. My internship experience has been engaging and a brilliant insight into the world of work, and I would recommend this placement to anyone looking to enter a dynamic and friendly team whilst learning about how market research works. I am so grateful to have been a part of this scheme, and hope that next year the interns gain as much as I have from this opportunity.

Interns in the breakout area talking about their individual projects.

Plans for the future 

If this inaugural year of the Mintel Summer Internship Programme has taught me one thing, it is that the scheme is mutually beneficial. Having these bright and enthusiastic people on board has enriched our thinking on topics ranging from diversity in beauty, through to the most effective ways to market to Gen Z’s. My personal highlight of the programme was a video call between the UK interns and the two interns employed over in the US via a similar scheme that is facilitated by Mintel’s Global Diversity Manager Adiat Baker. We all agreed that representation really matters

Internal feedback on the programme has been extremely positive and we have plans to make our second Summer Internship Programme even bigger and better….so watch this space for the latest news on this.


Ayisha Koyenikan
Ayisha Koyenikan

As a Global Food & Drinks Analyst, Ayisha provides insights to clients in Europe and around the world in the prepared meals and bakery sectors. She also leads Mintel’s Summer Internship Programme.

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