Tom Kellerman


Tom's Performance, Risk and Assurance Internship

Hi! I’m Tom and I’m studying Maths at Durham University. In summer 2023, I completed a paid internship with the Tees Valley Combined Authority working across performance, risk, and assurance. 

Summer internship

I was mid-way through university when I began looking for professional experience, something being a student doesn’t provide. The TVCA provided a fantastic local opportunity to give me exactly what I was looking for in a friendly, exciting atmosphere. I had no professional, full-time experience prior to starting the internship, therefore this was an excellent way to make a start with my future career. 


During my time here, I worked within the performance, risk and assurance department. Performance and assurance are concerned with making sure that projects and activities carried out by the TVCA are meeting their objectives and providing sufficient value to both the Combined Authority and the Tees Valley. Risk is concerned with quantifying the potential loss (or gain!) for the TVCA out of its activities and determine what level of risk the Combined Authority is willing to accept, be it for projects, programmes, or even internal matters. 


I had a busy internship – I helped the TVCA prepare to give out funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, an exciting opportunity that will directly benefit the Tees Valley. I also worked extensively in risk where I produced risk assessments for student work experience and completed a short overview of the financial risk posed to the TVCA by its current activities. 


I was also exposed to risk in an aviation context. All of this felt very rewarding to carry out and provided a very broad exposure to what the TVCA does within and for the local area, and how that fits into a wider national context. 


The corporate world can seem very foreign, especially to a student or graduate. This internship provided a phenomenal introduction to this world, allowing me to take responsibility and work within a professional team. A big weakness of mine before starting my internship was decision-making, and I feel that was very effectively addressed through my work with the TVCA. 


There was no shortage of work to do and tasks to complete, all of which required my input. In performance, I have learned the process in getting a project up and running, and the role and responsibility of a development corporation in a collaborative effort, such as levelling up the area.   


Within risk, I learned what risk is and the steps a corporation takes to manage risk effectively. This is a big task as the TVCA does a lot of work, and I saw the approach the Group takes to reduce risk in all areas, such as financial or even in the context of aviation, in the airport. 


I don’t really know what I’m planning to do yet, but my internship has made me aware of what roles exist in a corporate setting and how much work there is to do, and importantly, what is happening locally that would enable me to get involved with, and produce, tangible change at home. Whatever form my future career may take, this will undoubtedly be extremely beneficial for me down the road.

Summer Internship

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