Guest Blog by Bethany Bradley
If, like me, you decide to brave the prospect of the working world – don’t panic! No, you won’t be returning at the end of your day full of regret and no, you won’t hate every waking second. In fact it’s an exciting, rewarding experience which looks great on your CV. If the date is approaching for you to turn into the office, you may be panicking about your first day – but don’t.
What will help you prepare is getting a feel for the agency’s personality, follow them on social media (yes – including LinkedIn), and really read up on their website about what they do. Your employer will expect to know less about the real you than you know about the role. On your first day don’t be shy. Introduce yourself to your department and manager, show your interpersonal skills. Make sure you don’t slip under the radar; you want a good reference to be sent back (they can’t do this if they only know you as ‘The Intern’).
Use your IT skills and build on them: send regular emails to your manager about your progress. Ask if they use programmes you may not be familiar with such as Drupal or WordPress and ask for help on navigating these programmes, nobody expects you to know everything. Diversify and get the edge on new platforms – Hootsuite and Buffer are good examples to measure any analytics. You can learn a lot more this way and it also shows enthusiasm and flexibility.
“I was nervous at first, but now I’ve met some great colleagues and I enjoy learning new things every week” – Keeley Sutcliffe, intern at Nuttersons
Regularly keep evidence of the work you do, this makes it easier when writing your PDRs and you can also add these to your portfolio. This is your internship, speak up and ask your manager if you can work in certain areas or shadow people on things like SEO or even basic coding. The golden rule to being successful is using a diary or a productivity app like Evernote. This helps structure and plan your internship showing organisational skills to both employer and tutor.
“Not only did I gain a lot of skills and experience, but also a great network of people in the industry and an offer of a summer role” Kicki Holm, intern at The Candidate
Agency life can really help your future through networking and experience. Some agencies even offer summer or part time work too. This is your experience, you can make so much out of it.