Like most uni graduates I found it hard to get my foot in the door of the type of work that interested me. I’d already been graduated for nearly a year before I even got any work experience in marketing, the subject I’d dedicated myself to and studied for three tough years.
I found myself wondering that familiar question; why is it that nobody seems to want to employ you without any relevant work experience, yet in order to get this work experience you need someone to employ you? One of my friends had previously secured an internship through the UEA Graduate Internship Programme and ended up with a full time job out of it. I thought if it had worked for him then it could work for me too, so I thought I’d give it a shot!
I got started straight away and applied for a couple of marketing internships that interested me. On the first attempt I just seemed to miss out, although I was offered an interview with the company which went really well, I didn’t get the place this time. I also missed out on a second internship at a marketing agency but I applied for my third internship, and this time I got the place!
My internship was at Palmers Department Store. I’ll admit the distance I had to travel to get to work each day was a little off-putting at first but it turned out to be well worth the commute. It gave me the opportunity to undertake a lot of the marketing skills I’d learnt at uni and this time it felt like a bonus because I was getting paid for it too! My main responsibility was uploading new products to the company’s website via their Content Management System. I was able to get creative and write descriptions for each product as well as create and resize pictures for these products using Photoshop and promote them using various types of social media.
I felt like I was learning more and more as time went on. I began to use new marketing techniques, such as email marketing, which I’d previously learnt about but not had the chance to put into practice. I was also given more responsibility and trusted with writing blogs, creating content for the website’s homepage and carrying out customer related tasks such as answering calls, ensuring orders were on track and emailing people directly with any relevant information.
The atmosphere throughout the internship was friendly and welcoming which helped me feel like a valued member of the team. It’s nice to be at work and not find yourself clock watching in the hope the working day is soon going to come to an end! Part way through my internship I was delighted to be offered the job full time which I quickly accepted. Since then I’ve continued a similar job role and I’ve recently written a newsletter which was sent out to about 8000 customers, which just goes to show I’m still learning new skills even after the internship has finished.