According to The Telegraph, research showed that students at university who complete an internship are three times more likely to get top jobs. In a time where a record number of young people are attending university, (511,460 UK university applicants this year) it has never been more important to out-shine competition.
In September 2018 I started a master’s course at the University of the West of England studying marketing and communications, the same month I started an internship at Purplefish. I wanted to enhance my skills within the sector and I felt that by working alongside my course, it was a way for me to gain a more valuable experience. I was able to put what I was learning to practice, and this allowed me to understand my module content a lot more, as well as the daily running’s of a PR and communications agency.
I think a lot of young people have the false assumption that once you finish your degree you’ll be instantly hireable because you have gone through higher education but actually that’s not reality. A lot of businesses especially in the creative sector want to see that you have skills beyond your grades, they want to see why you stand out over the other thousands of people that attend university.
There are never ending reasons as to why people should do internships but for me it allowed me to learn so much about myself and the communications sector. It also showed me that Purplefish is where I want to be. Luckily for me they hired me full-time last month.
Here are eight things I learnt from being an intern at Purplefish:
- Ask questions – nobody thinks you’re silly, that’s an idea you’ve built up in your head. This is an opportunity for you to learn and actually, asking questions demonstrates that you are interested, passionate and caring about your work.
- Speak up – any idea whether big or small is worth sharing – that’s the whole part of being creative.
- Creating a to-do list is top priority – it’s important to plan so you can distinguish between what’s important and what can wait an hour. You get more work done when you are organised and realistic with time.
- Don’t take anything personally – sometimes the media won’t want to cover your press release and sometimes people have a bad day but there is no reason for it to affect you.
- Not everyday is the same – one minute you are creating social media content, the next you are at a housing development organising an event about bumblebees. I count myself lucky that I’m not in a monotonous job wishing I was anywhere else.
- Your colleagues are the sisterhood you never had! Having each other’s backs and making sure everyone is coping at work is the most important thing. If you aren’t working as a team then you aren’t doing your job correctly.
- Be confident – trust your instincts and know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. If you want a longer internship or a job, then believe in yourself that it is possible. All you have to do is ask!
- Create a goal – whether its to enhance a skill or get another piece of coverage for your client, if you set a goal each week then you feel a sense of pride at the end because you know you’ve worked hard.