‘Bentley really wants to hear your ideas’

We develop more quickly by doing things for ourselves rather than by watching others. If you’re an intern at Bentley, you’re here to make a hands-on difference from the very start, as Gemma Sharp testifies…

‘I studied psychology and business, specialising in human resources, at Aston University in Birmingham, and I’m currently on an internship with Bentley. Before that, I did a 13-month undergraduate placement here. I hope to move to a graduate placement next, and then would love to see what my next career move could be.

‘Bentley is just the right size of company – not too big, so it has a very personal feel and a really great culture. I was here when the company celebrated its centenary in 2019, and you could tell that everyone was very much looking forward to the next 100 years. So much has changed in a very short time. Thanks to digital technology, everything is a lot more agile and streamlined, with a lot of the admin removed.

‘Young people are coming into the company fresh out of education with new ideas, and Bentley really wants to hear those ideas. When someone has a great idea, no matter how junior their level, the approach is always: “Right, what can we do to get this implemented?” It changes so quickly that you find yourself looking back and thinking, “That’s just bonkers that we used to do it that old-fashioned, long-winded way,” even a couple of months ago.

‘You get given a lot of responsibility, but there is always a lengthy handover period first, at the end of which you feel ready to stand on your own two feet. My talent management role involves helping people develop into the next stage of their career, which goes right up to senior management.

‘My manager gives me so much responsibility and trusts me so much. She isn’t there looking over my shoulder the whole time, but I know that she’s always got my back and that I can go to her with anything. 

‘Here at Crewe you see women in key positions wherever you look. My manager is a woman, our director is a woman, and our board member is a woman. I’m surrounded by a lot of influential women, which really inspires me. I look to them and I think, “That’s where I want to be” – and those women being there shows me that it is possible. That, and Bentley’s culture, are the things that most make me progress in the company.

Gemma Sharp, Intern, Human Resource Strategy


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