Author Archives: David Edmundson-Bird

About David Edmundson-Bird

I am Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University

New Agency Life Internship – Fourth Day PR

We’re really happy that PR specialists Fourth Day PR are building on the success they’ve had with their internship this year and offering another opportunity to the right candidate from this September. Based in the South of Manchester (with offices in London and Paris), this is a great opportunity for an intern to learn how to manage a busy professional workload in a diverse working environment.

MMU Agency Life candidates can find out more about this internship by clicking on the Scribd link below the shown document, where the company profile is available for download.

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Our First Agency Life Employer for September 2014 – theEWord

We’re really pleased to have theEword join us once again as an Agency Life employer and it’s great to have them first out of the traps for our new intake. This exciting internship with one of Manchester’s leading digital agencies builds on the success that the firm have had with their internship this year.

MMU Agency Life candidates can find out more about this internship by clicking on the Scribd link below the shown document, where the company profile is available for download.

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How do I know if I’m right for an Agency Life Internship?

Our experience shows that these internships work well under certain conditions:

  • Buy-in from the most senior people in the organisation – unless you have this and someone at the top champions this, you’ll find it difficult to maintain the momentum.
  • A recruitment process – your internship will work well if you run a formal recruitment process. We recommend choosing candidates who ineterst you (or who choose you), inviting them for a formal interview or other formal approaches to recruitment. Seeing them in the flesh is better than a phone interview. If you want to see a lot of candidates before making a decision, why not run an open evening or an assessment centre?
  • Real, challenging work for an intern to do – have tasks and deadlines involving real work that needs doing. Whilst we appreciate the repetitive nature of some work, a variety of work is important. The focus must balance creating value for you whilst maintaining the development of skills and experience for the intern.
  • Proper, regular management supervision – the intern needs to be managed properly: work needs to be reviewed, errors corrected. We advise that you manage your intern in the same way as you would manage a new recruit.
  • Guidance and supervision from a professional in the discipline – you should assume nothing other than your intern will not know how to do much: that’s the point of the experience. What they will have (and you will have interviewed for this) is bucketloads of energy, passion and enthusiasm. So – make sure that the person managing the intern has the skills and capability you want to see in the intern. What this shows is you cannot expect an intern to come and do work you cannot do yourself.
  • Somewhere for the intern to sit – deskspace – your intern needs to be at your site and feel like they are part of the business.
  • Kit for the intern to use – don’t assume that your intern will definitely have a machine to bring with them, and you may want to think about having a machine they can use. Also consider the wisdom of an intern accessing material on a machine that you have no control over.
  • Training and development in the tasks that you want the intern to be proficient in – without proper training, it may be difficult for you intern to develop the skills you would want in them – and that will mean they cannot provide any value to you.


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Agency Life Internships V3.0 – The Elevator Pitch 2014

We need to find homes for some of the people who make up the student body from our marketing, PR, advertising, and retail programmes.

Agency Life is a response to the need to provide industry with graduates who have experience (most job ads ask this). It’s a fairly low effort from the host company but provides maximum returns to those that engage. It’s the third time we’ve run this – and we’ve made some more changes as a result of our two years running this – so now it’s time for industry to come on board with this social contract and respond.

The Elevator Pitch is:

  • Each employer (whether agency or client-side, whether a micro-business or a FTSE100) will have one intern (or more if the want) who will work ‘about a day a week‘ for 2 academic terms.
  • It costs the firm nothing in wages – this scheme is within the HMRC approved guidelines as it is part of a taught programme. So think of it as a ‘1 day a week‘ internship.
  • Each intern needs to spend about a day a week working at your location or that of a client.
  • What can the student be asked to do?
    • Work on a single project for a whole year
    • Work on several small projects, one after another or concurrently
    • Work doing a mixture of different things each week
    • Learn and be assigned to a specific role in the organisation
    • Work as an individual or as part of a team
    • A combination of the above – a bit of everything

Pretty much any arrangement is fine.

Host firms have a few duties of care and responsibilities:

  • Each intern needs to be supervised, so someone needs to act as their manager. This will involve setting the tasks, acting as an employer, managing the team. There are some small elements to play in the assessment of these students – but it’s small, uncomplicated and for many employers it’s a satisfying way of being part of the student engagement. The key thing is that the employers provide a real experience of working life over the year, experience that they would be happy to accept as real experience when interviewing for staff in the future.
  • Students should be supervised by one key individual, which involves providing professional development, supervision and a manageable but stretching workload.
  • Suggestions for tasks/projects include:
    • A research project that has been hanging around for ages but nobody has had space to look at
    • Pro-bono work that a firm has picked up but there’s no space for anyone to do it
    • Tasks that need doing that are important but not urgent
    • Sudden influxes of work that need lots of help
    • Detail work that can be completed with some initial training
    • Making the tea once in a while (a good task when you need to learn what everyone is called and what they do)
    • Managing events

There’s no end to what’s possible and there’s nothing we’ll rule out.

The whole programme has a dedicated client manager, plus Ben Keegan and David Edmundson-Bird as the Academic directors – plus ex-agency coaches coming into the Uni to support the students.

Please sign up today. We know it will make an enormous difference to you, your firm and your future talent.

Come to an Employers Event and find out more. Download our Employers Guide and when you’re ready please fill in our online form.

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Agency Life: Now Seeking Employers for September 2014

It’s February and time to start thinking about the next intake of Agency Life Interns from September 2014.

The ‘Agency Life Internships’ is constantly improving and although we’re nearly there, we know there are a few things we’d like to change to try and make things run a little more smoothly.

We think we’ll have up to 100 enthusiastic potential interns and our target is to attract a minimum of 50 employers, combining returning employers and bringing in new ones, ranging from micro-businesses to large, quoted corporates.

We’re particularly keen to hear from more ‘new’ employers in the traditional marketing and advertising sectors, the PR industry and the retail sector.

We’re having our first employer event of the new year on February 26th 2014. Whether you’re an existing employer on the Agency Life programme or you’re new to the whole experience, please come and join us to find out more about the programme. You’ll meet existing employers on the programme and be able to find out more from our team here at MMU.

Eventbrite - MMU Agency Life Internships V.3 Employers Event

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New Internship Opportunities – Ektagon and Seminars & Solutions

We’ve got 2 last-minute Agency Life Internship opportunities – both from companies who have offered Agency Life in the past – Ektagon and Seminars & Solutions. Both of these employers are client-side organisations and so these will appeal to interns who want to concentrate on a variety of tasks for a single organisation.

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New Internship Opportunity – LateRooms

Wow – this is a really nice moment. We’ve spent a long time working with our friends at LateRooms to bring the right kind of Agency Life Internship forward. This is a chance to work in a multi-national brand name on a very exciting and secret project. The right candidate will have the opportunity to really have an impact on something significant that will have a real impact on the business. This is aimed at dynamic and hard-working students and will require real dedication and commitment to professional development and personal excellence.

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New Internship Opportunity – Tech Britain

How cool are these guys? We’re super excited by this brilliant new opportunity provided by our new friends at Tech Britain for an MMU Agency Life Internship. Here is a chance for a bright candidate to get deep down and dirty with the burgeoning UK tech industry and learn about how to market directly to these kind of organisations. This internships is based down at the cool Tech Hub in Manchester and would be good for an intern keen on getting involved in some of the UK’s future cool businesses.

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New Agency Life Internship: Fourth Day PR

We’re really delighted that our friend Carolyn Hughes is the senior sponsor in Fourth Day PR for our Agency Life initiative and is offering this exciting MMU Agency Life internship opportunity at their offices in South Manchester. This is a really unique opportunity for the right student to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty on some real live client briefs with a team of supportive PR professionals in a firm with international activities here in Manchester, LOndon and Paris.

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New Internship Opportunity: Momentum Factor Europe

A great social media internship opportunity is now being offered by our friends at Momentum Factor Europe as part of MMU Agency Life. This is an exciting chance for MMU Agency Life students to get a real professional grounding in social media communications with a leading agency provider of these services, and a unique opportunity to experience Agency Life in this growing marketplace with a specialist provider from  The States making an impression here in Europe.

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