January 24, 2017, by Laura
How a Spotlight On Event Led To My Internship
By Laura Sage, final year, BA Hons English
Or should I say, a couple of Spotlight On events.
I was in my second year when I first attended a Spotlight On I’d been interested in working in marketing or advertising for a while, so I signed up for Spotlight On: Advertising, Marketing and PR.
Initial thoughts and fears
At the event, I heard from Verena Vierrege who worked at The Dairy, a marketing and design agency based in West Bridgford. I was intrigued by the aesthetics of the company, and their quirky approach. I thought about how nice it might be to work at a company like that. The small, personal nature of their office was appealing, but it didn’t occur to me to pursue my interest at this point. I had little to no experience and felt too lacking in confidence to go up and talk to Verena or any of the other speakers. I made a swift exit out the back door and headed home before anybody could notice me.
A change in attitude
I underwent a change in attitude after the second event I attended. It was also Spotlight On: Advertising, Marketing and PR, but a year later. This time, I’d had experience being part of Marketing, Advertising and Design Society (MADsoc), which helped grow my confidence.
One of the speakers explained that to get an internship or even a job, it pays to put yourself out there and push people to give you a chance. They emphasised that if you’re interested in a company, you have to throw aside your sense of shame and call them. The idea of this scared me, but I thought to myself: I’m just going to have to push through the fear and see what happens.
That evening, I took a leap of faith and called up The Dairy to see if they had any internships. They told me to email Verena and let her know I was interested. So I did, and told her that my interest was motivated by the Spotlight On event I had seen her at a year previously. She responded enthusiastically to my personal approach, and said she would like to offer me a two-week internship after exams that summer. I was overjoyed.
A learning experience
The internship may have only been two weeks, but I learned a lot. Firstly, it doesn’t matter if you’re shy as long you know what you want to do – I definitely didn’t sound confident on the phone to The Dairy, but the passion I showed for wanting to learn was apparent. Secondly, I know what it is like to work in a close-knit team and to be given real responsibility over projects from the first day. It was an exciting couple of weeks, and I truly enjoyed working there. The office was lovely, as was working in West Bridgeford.
This isn’t the only way to find an internship – the Careers and Employability Service run their own scheme to hook up students with amazing opportunities too. However, if you have a specific company in mind, my experience shows that it doesn’t hurt to take matters into your own hands and contact companies directly. You never know where that phone call might take you.