Hi everyone, I’m Lauren from Wool of the King blog! I am a Communication and Media Student at Bournemouth University, who will be going into their final year in September. Since August, I have been working as a Marketing Intern for my placement year, and I’d like to share my internship experience with you.
I am working at an organisation in Salisbury that offers services such as fostering, children’s homes, therapy and specialist education for children and young people across the UK. I am from near Salisbury anyway so I didn’t have to find anywhere new to live luckily. This is a paid internship and I have actually saved enough money to not have to have a part-time job in my final year.
A lot of graduate jobs I see require a degree and most require or prefer a year’s experience. I’m glad I chose to do a placement year because it means I will have that 1 year of marketing experience, and will be more employable.
Applying for placements
I started applying for placements in November and didn’t actually get one until June. I had lots of interviews and faced a lot of rejection. This really knocked my confidence and then just ended up preparing myself to go back to university instead of going on a placement year.
There was a lot of pressure as I had assignments to complete and a part time job as well as having to apply for a placement. My main advice would be to plan your time and schedule in time to look for placements, which is something I didn’t do. I basically would just apply when I had free time and not really put much effort in, until it started to get nearer to the time where I’d be starting.
Another piece of advice would be to utilise all the advice that’s out there about CVs and applying for internships and placements.
For me, interviews are the worst part of applying for jobs. I absolutely hate interviews. After lots of disheartening experiences with them, I got even more worried by them. However, I’ve learnt that even if an interview doesn’t go your way, you will still get experience from it. Just treat the interviews like they are for your experience and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do well and you will feel much more relaxed.
Nerves before interviews are completely normal, and the nerves you feel are actually releasing the adrenaline you need to help you do well.
One thing I will say, is that after some interviews, the employers wouldn’t even get back to me afterwards. I do find it quite bad manners that some won’t get back to you to inform you that you didn’t get the position. I’m not sure if this would have still happened if I wasn’t a student? If you want feedback from them then you should definitely ask them. If you didn’t get the position then it would be really helpful to know what you can do better next time. You have nothing to lose by asking.
Going from uni life to full-time work
I expected getting into full-time work to be a lot harder than it actually was. The early mornings were a struggle for me, but I struggle to get up early anyway so it didn’t really make that much of a difference. I also found that working made me eat at better times too. I actually have breakfast now and eat at ‘normal’ meal times instead of just any time I’m hungry.
My internship experience
In my role, my managers will often ask what I want to learn and get out of the year with them. I have learned about lots of different areas of marketing such as social media, email marketing and more web-based information. It has shown me where my key strengths and weaknesses are so I will know this for when I come to apply to a graduate job.
If nothing else, an internship will show you if you actually want to work in the industry you’ve chosen or not. I definitely think that working in an industry gives you more of an insight than studying does.
My course is quite theoretical. We will study a lot of theories about media which is somewhat useful when going into the industry. But I do think, an actual working experience of the industry is key too.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found it useful. I am hoping to write more university blog posts when I go back. Until then, if you’d like to learn more about me then read my 20 Facts About Me post. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Thanks so much to Lauren for sharing her experiences, which I hope you find useful!