In the world of university, the importance of gaining work experience from placements or internships is, in my experience, often forgotten. Three months ago, I was facing the tricky predicament of having three years of education under my belt, but no ‘real world’ experience that would help me post graduation. Let me set the scene.
I’m currently in my third and final year at Liverpool John Moores University, studying to graduate with a degree in criminology. By now, you might be wondering why on earth I’m doing a digital marketing internship, but let me explain. In true ‘last minute’ style, I realised that I really am not interested in starting a career related to my degree at the beginning of third year. Instead, I found myself super interested in the marketing field, and set myself the goal of gaining relevant experience that will help me achieve my eventual goal of studying for a Masters in International Fashion Marketing.
Whilst this information is not relevant to you, I’d like to use this article to highlight the importance of being proactive, knowing what you want to gain from an internship and most importantly, believing in your own abilities.
When it comes to skills-enhancing opportunities, putting yourself out there really is the best thing you can do. In my case, I got searching and applied to roles which I knew would benefit me in terms of enhancing my skills and giving me experience. This is where I found Mindless Mag. Personally, the internship seemed perfect for me! The role was something that I wanted to gain experience in and I could relate to the values that Mindless promoted. Sadly, my internship is coming to an end, but I can now use this time to reflect on my experience and what U can take away from it.
From the beginning, it was clear in my mind that I wanted to further my skills in social media marketing and management. Luckily for me, the nature of my role meant that it was super flexible, meaning that I had the opportunity to explore so many different elements of what a social media manager might do. This included creating content strategies for different platforms, creating a backlog of content for LinkedIn, conducting research around potential partners and using outreach strategies to successfully secure campaign partners.
Honestly, there were so many different tasks that I’ve done and now feel confident in executing, but that’s not what I’m trying to convey here. The skills the internship has given me go beyond this. Through being situated in an environment where the use of ‘marketing’ terms and acronyms are commonly used, I feel a lot more familiar with them. Hopefully, this will save me the embarrassment of having to ask what KPI stands for in a future role! Another huge thing I’m taking away from this internship is awareness of my ability to be creative. It really required me to push creative boundaries (which i wasn’t expecting) through creating example testimonial videos for future interns. I also felt very well supported throughout the internship by Georgia, our programme co-ordinator, which I am really grateful for. Having a great team is crucial to your experience in a working environment. I felt so at ease and comfortable from the start, which ultimately contributed to feeling confident enough to initiate a partnership between Mindless Mag and a local charity that I volunteer for. I can now add this to my CV as an additional highlight of my experience in facilitating collaboration between professional organisations.
But, I think the biggest thing for me is that in doing an internship, I now feel more prepared to enter the job market. I’m sure that I’ll still be very very nervous when I eventually enter the world of work, but I’ll actually be able to calm my nerves in the fact that I have relevant experience. Hopefully, I won’t have such a cultural shock when I transition into a professional industry, as I have something to compare it to.
It would have been so easy to have not applied for this internship and carried on with my final term of uni which, as I’m sure you know, is more than enough work! But actually, I am SO glad that I did. It wasn’t easy, but nothing that pushes you out of your comfort zone is. Should something that facilitates personal growth be easy? I seriously encourage anyone in a similar position to myself to just go for it! Mindless Academy offers a Digital Micro Internship - perfect for any students wanting to enhance their digital skills.