It’s no secret that internships open you up to greater job possibilities than if you were relying solely on having a degree, for the majority of sectors anyway. But aside from the obvious, i.e. gaining skills in your chosen area, what are some other benefits of undertaking an internship in a business?
I am Becca Frankland, Clubs & Electronic Music Editor at Skiddle, the event and ticketing agent, and I would like to talk about my experience interning with Skiddle and how I turned it into my full time job.
I know that Salford Business School students are always encouraged to take an industrial placement or internship, but this advice applies to all courses! During my degree, Journalism BA Hons (Multimedia), at the University of Salford, I was told by my tutors how important it was to gain work experience. That’s why, in June 2014, I started my three month internship with Skiddle as an editorial assistant.
At the tail end of my second year at uni, I was writing for other publications on a freelance basis, but I was looking for something more substantial with office experience. I knew about Skiddle from buying tickets from their website for different gigs and club nights, and I also read their news section on a regular basis and enjoyed their content.
When Skiddle ran an advertisement for an internship, I saw a solid opportunity to grow as a professional editor at a company that wanted to expand its editorial team, rather than just working as a freelancer where work can sometimes be few and far between.
I managed to finish uni and go straight into a full-time job – but this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t made the effort to finish an internship. Not only was I improving my skills, I was opening doors to new opportunities, and Skiddle offered me a part time position once it was finished that I did side by side with my studies. I was then offered a full time role a few days after completing my degree.
By taking on an internship, you learn the ins and outs of a business and how it’s run – from team structures and job roles, to admin tasks and client relations. Doing this enabled me to avoid the pressures of being thrown into a busy office with no real experience of one, when you are not only expected, but being paid, to be a ready-to-go professional.
It’s a big step from the university lifestyle to a 9-5 working existence, but the programme enabled me to get to grips with the demands of it without too much friction (if not the deluge of early starts). By completing an internship, whether full time or part time, usually your team will understand the level that you’re at and that it’s not just the role, but the whole office/business environment that is new to you.
This takes me onto my next point: being comfortable. Yes, you will be nervous on your first day (and probably for a couple after that) but you will soon slip into the general workings of the business. An internship is an easy environment to be able to work in. You get some of the experiences that you would if it was your first professional job: training on company procedure, a degree of responsibility etc., but your boss understands that this is all brand new to you, and you get the time to learn and grow without a whole lot of pressure on your shoulders.
For me, I was able to improve my expertise in the field that I knew I wanted to work in. Obviously my course helped me with my writing and interview skills, but Skiddle sharpened this to be more specific for artists and when writing about events. Equally, there was a particular way of writing which couldn’t be covered in my lectures and modules. It was important I knew what I was getting myself into before I embarked on a role in a business once I finished studying. And that’s exactly what I got when I took on an internship in a busy company.
I’d known for a while that I wanted to be a writer. So being in the editorial team was right up my street. But I also knew that if digital marketing or events management, for example, took my fancy, the Skiddle team would have helped accommodate me getting a bit of experience in these areas.
At the interview stages of a potential internship, or when you’re looking at the job spec, see whether there is scope for some movement between departments so you can have a bit of an overview of other areas within a business. Doing a degree is brilliant, but sometimes it can be difficult to know how you will be able to put your new knowledge to use in the real world, especially when it comes to job titles and applying for roles.
When it comes to job interviews, you’ll be trying to convince your interviewer that you’re a hard worker, and you’re going to be completely committed to the job you’re going for. But when you’ve done an internship, they already know all of that. That’s why an internship is, essentially, an extended interview process. And you’ll build a ton of skills that the people you’re competing for jobs with don’t have, so there are a lot of pluses. Companies use this as a recruitment drive themselves, so if there’s an opportunity to secure a full time job at the end, then it’s definitely worth it.
At Skiddle, I get to write about what I love. And most of the time it doesn’t even feel like a job. Every day is different in terms of the content I am writing, and there is still a lot of room for growth within the business. I’m really excited to see what will happen in the next 12 months!
Do you think that an internship could be an extended interview process?Comments Off on Internship: my #SalfordStories