Here, Leeds Psychology student Zoe Thatcher tells us all about how she landed an internship as a social media intern.
After realising that my CV was a little dull (pretty much consisting of waitressing jobs and a few fluffed-up school events roles) I decided I needed to land an internship; something to add a little sparkle to my CV and to give me some insight into what I actually want to do (because running around chasing steak orders all my life isn’t quite what I had planned…). I left this idea in the back of my mind while I went on holiday to Barcelona
Whilst out there I was chatting to a friend who mentioned that when I get back home, I should download ‘3 Kinds of Ice’ which is a tinder-style app for exploring London. I got home. I downloaded it. I was hooked. The visuals were beautiful, the places they suggested were innovative and exciting, and I immediately thought “I want to get paid for travelling round London, eating food, and taking photos!”. So there was an option to ‘send a hint’ on the app, meaning you can suggest a restaurant/bar/experience in London that you think is cool to the people behind the app. I suggested The Alchemist in Bevis Marks, spoke a bit about it, and the subtly dropped the line ‘If you were ever thinking of expanding to other cities, Leeds is full of wonderful places and bringing this app to other University cities could do really well’. I get a reply from Isaac* who asked me a few thought provoking questions about social media in our generation. With little help from Google, I find out that he is the CEO of the company and after a few back-and-forth replies I went for it… “Is there any chance you offer any work experience or internships?” He asked for a LinkedIn profile (I highly recommend making one of these and building up some connections now- who knows, Dave the bar guy from Fruity might end up being the next Bill Gates and you’ll have a direct link to him!) and a chat when I’m back in London.
A few weeks later I’m in the coolest offices ever in London, where there’s free beer on tap and bowls of chocolate, and I have a casual chat with Isaac about when I’m available and what I could bring to the job. It went really well and he said I’d be a perfect asset to the company and that I could work a few days a week over the Christmas holidays alongside the Social Media Marketing Manager, Lily*.
My role involved managing the social media platforms and organising events to promote the app. I Instagram-ed, I Tweeted, I Pinterest-ed, and I Facebooked, uploading daily content and exploring what the users enjoyed seeing. I discovered how incredibly powerful social media is for spreading information. I also set up a photo-booth event at the UCL student union to encourage people to download the app, and I spoke to various clients about featuring the app on some of their pages.
I had so much fun. I was finally in a ‘real job’, traveling on the tube alongside other business commuters, heading to The City like a real pro, and ultimately I was learning about Marketing which was something I really loved. It feels so great to have an internship in a field I enjoy at the top of my CV and I’m currently in the process of emailing other businesses, mainly start-ups but some massive companies, sending my CV left right and centre just to get some more work experience.
The main thing I learnt from this process is that there really is no harm in asking. So what if someone says no to you getting work experience with them? You can try somewhere else! If, like me, you want to get work experience in Marketing, there are thousands of options for you. My advice is to think outside of the box- companies like L’Oreal will have top marketing experts with years of experience and the volume of applications that they receive for work experience is immense. Newer start-up companies, however, (think Deliveroo, YPLan, and Depop) are more likely to respond to a friendly email asking for some voluntary work experience over the holidays. With start-up companies, an extra (unpaid) hand is often welcome. Then, once you’ve got some relevant work experience for your CV, you can aim for that coveted L’Oreal dream job position.
*names have been changed