In my first year as a student, I was unaware that the University ran its own internship programme. It was only in second year that it was brought to my attention after stumbling across the vacancies. I decided to apply for an internship that seemed to be the perfect role for me in the University’s Student Communications and Marketing Department. I was so thrilled to have been offered the position after my interview. So, here’s a little bit about my experience, and hopefully it inspires you to apply via the programme next year!
I worked as a Student Communications and Marketing intern for eight weeks over the summer as a part of the University’s Summer Experience Internship scheme. Penultimate year undergraduates can apply for these internships – the roles vary and are available within a University department, a non-for-profit organisation, or small business. There are even research internships that may be relevant to the subject you’re studying. No matter what your internship, it’s such a good way to learn new skills and build your experience. It’s something that will stand out on your CV!
I saw the role advertised on a careers bulletin I receive. I hadn’t applied for any internships prior to this one as none appealed to me when I had looked. Yet when I saw this one, it immediately caught my eye. The role and responsibilities seemed varied and exciting. As someone that likes to be working on different things from day-to-day, and as someone considering a career in marketing, it seemed like the perfect internship for me. The Careers Service were really helpful in the application process and when preparing for the interview. Following their hints and tips clearly paid off, as I got the job!
My internship exceeded all my expectations. When you think of an intern, you usually think of somebody being paid little or nothing to do extremely boring jobs like the coffee-runs, filing and photocopying. Yet I was well-paid and was given a range of projects to work on over the eight weeks. I had an active role in producing content for social media and My Manchester News, particularly for the Welcome campaign that begins in September. The types of content I was creating ranged, so I was constantly learning.
One of the best parts of the experience was that there was always something new to focus on or try which I found exciting. I was always encouraged to try new things, and even if I needed help it was always available. Everyone I worked with was so friendly – I was so nervous to start but this quickly passed after meeting everybody! I felt like I was a part of the team, and not as though I was working for them. I felt like my ideas and thoughts counted and mattered.
After completing the SEI internship, I now feel equipped with new skills and a lot more confidence. I’m also even more serious about a career with communications and marketing after my experience. Completing the internship has definitely given me career pathways to consider, and the insights into this area of work were extremely helpful. It was good to see what skills and values are useful, and how an employee’s routine in that field looks from day-to-day. Overall, the internship has definitely been a highlight of my University experience so far. Now as I’m back to studying, I seriously miss being an intern and getting paid to do something I love alongside a lovely team!
If you’re thinking about finding work over summer, I’d highly recommend looking at the SEI vacancies. It’s a great way to try out working in an industry you’re considering, so you can see whether or not you think you’d like it in the long-term. The vacancies are usually advertised from February to students, so keep an eye out on the webpage for more updates and information.
My experience was extremely valuable, so I have no doubt yours would be too. The most important thing as an intern is to remember to speak up if there’s something you don’t understand, or something you’d like to try your hand at to develop your skills. Whilst finding the right role for you is important, it’s just as vital to put the work in and make it a valuable experience for yourself. You only have up to eight weeks, and it goes so quickly, so you have to make every day count!
Looking to gain some work experience over summer?
The Student Experience Internship (SEI) programme offers penultimate year undergraduates the opportunity to undertake a paid internship for up to eight weeks over the summer break.
All internships are based in Manchester, either within the University (including research internships), a charity/not-for-profit organisation or a small business.