Since graduating in 2018, with a Drama and Creative Writing degree, the question of what career I should be perusing has never been far from my mind. When you leave university, it can feel strange to suddenly find yourself out of education, with the routine you’ve been so used to now gone. It’s a big change!
Whilst I do still miss being a student (particularly because of the lie-ins!), being released into the world of employment hasn’t been quite as scary as I’d anticipated. So far, since graduating without a clear career path in mind, I have worked in a number of roles, which have allowed me to build up my experience. This includes being a TV production runner, working in a bookshop and working on a radio station’s street team too.
Most people who know me, know that I love learning. I also (of course) love the University of Salford. With this and the fact that I wanted to gain some marketing experience in mind, you can imagine how I jumped at the chance to complete a paid, 12-week graduate internship, in Marketing and External Relations at the university.
My decision to complete an internship here at Salford University has definitely been the right one for me and perhaps it could be for you too. Without further ado, here are the five top things you could learn from trying an internship:
IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES
This is one of the most reassuring things about an internship,no one is expecting you to go in knowing exactly how to do everything. The whole point is to learn, so you don’t need to be afraid about ‘messing up’. You can (and are expected to) ask questions, and you’re definitely allowed to ask for help when you need it! This can make starting full-time employment seem a little less daunting, as you’ll gain the confidence to be inquisitive and to speak up when you’re unsure of something. This is a valuable skill to many employers as it shows that you’re enthusiastic and want to build upon your skills.
IT’S A GREAT CHANCE TO LEARN AND GROW
The best thing about my internship is just how much I have learnt, enabling me to grow both professionally and personally. I have been able to connect with people in various departments, as well as my own team. Finding out about what different people do during their working day, and how they came to do it has been a fantastic chance for me to think about the type of career that might be the right one for me.
Of course, all internships are different, but a great thing about the University’s internships are the workshops offered. Every week, I have been able to develop my skills in a range of sessions, on everything from personal branding to resilience. This has really helped me to start building a unique skill set that will certainly help me become more employable.
IT CAN HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT’S FOR YOU (AND WHAT’S NOT)
Before starting my internship, I hadn’t considered a job in Internal Communications and simply wanted to get a feel for different aspects of work, but since becoming part of that team I have discovered my skill set might actually quite suit the role; I would never have discovered this had I not taken this internship opportunity. I have also realised that I quite like the atmosphere of a small, supportive team; I hadn’t really given much thought before about what type of working environment I’d prefer. If you’re unsure of the career path you’d like to take, then it’s best to keep your options open when it comes to interning opportunities to help you gain a taste for a variety of industries and roles.
IT CAN BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
There’s no doubt in my mind that my internship has improved my confidence. At the start of it, I would have been pretty terrified about the idea of filming an interview with somebody on my own, but now I am more than happy to do it. I have been able to speak to a variety of people, both on the phone and in person, and I have also gained more confidence in my own skills and ideas. My manager has offered me a lot of praise, which has helped me to believe in myself more. I have also been given responsibility for the Internal Communications’ Twitter account (that has also been a learning opportunity – people love dog gifs, if you didn’t already know). The different roles and responsibilities you can be offered during an internship can help you to feel far more comfortable when beginning a new role, as you will have already proven to yourself that you can try your hand at various tasks.
IT CAN LOOK FAB ON YOUR CV
This internship has certainly added a whole host of skills to my CV, from managing social media accounts to writing content, I now have a portfolio of professional work to showcase, as well as further examples to draw from in interviews. I have also been offered CV advice from the University’s excellent career service (available to all alumni!), which has further boosted my CV.
So, there are my top five reasons why you might want to consider an internship. Maybe, like me, you don’t yet have a solid idea of what you want to do, or maybe you need the chance to develop your experience and skills. Either way, it’s all a learning curve and there’s no need to put too much pressure on yourself!
If you want to find out more about the University’s internship scheme, get in touch with the University of Salford Career Service today.