February 14, 2017, by Carla

Finding Work Experience That Makes a Difference

Heather Silcock, BSc Hons Psychology, graduated 2016

Entering my third year, I was starting to think about the future and life post-graduation. It was a scary thought. I realised I needed to make the most of my final year, and the opportunities open to me.

The position to be a brand manager for Frontline was advertised through my course. A part-time job with flexible hours, promoting a worthwhile cause and earning a living wage was unlike most other student jobs I had heard of. I was also interested in working in PR, marketing and events. A job which allowed me to proactively market the charity and its mission, build relationships with societies, careers services and the Students’ Union as well as running my own events seemed like the perfect way to develop vital skills. I really enjoyed the experience and it reinforced what sector I was most interested in charity.

Graduation looms and panic sets in

Suddenly, it was already June – one month until graduation. Unlike some of my fellow students, I still had nothing lined up for when I finished. I wasn’t ready to commit to a one-two year graduate scheme, and there were limited options finding an entry-level job in a charity. Then, the position for a Graduate Internship with Frontline was advertised on The University of Nottingham’s Careers website. It was a 6-month role in their Head Office in London.

Back on the Frontline

I’d already had a very positive experience working for Frontline, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to gain even more experience. The job description talked about supporting the recruitment team as applications for the social work programme open and close. I also stated that strong organisational skills were a must.

What the job description didn’t tell me, was how welcoming the team are. Also how challenging an office role can be. Pushing my multi-tasking skills to the limit, I was encouraged to suggest new ways of cooperating with the team. They invited me to use my initiative whenever I had a new idea for attraction, communication, or cultivation.

Skills to show off on my CV

I set up a Snapchat campaign advertising Frontline’s Leadership Development programme, activating geo-filters across university campuses. Frontline supported me the whole way through. At the end of the campaign, the statistics showed that my filter reached over 14k people. Thank you Frontline – that will look great on my CV!

Additionally, all four graduate interns – or GIs as they call us – had sole responsibility of organising, preparing for, and running assessment centres. I’ve learned that coordinating a team of experienced social workers is easier said than done. A lot depends on the day running smoothly and to time. This task built my confidence the most. It enabled me to approach other tasks feeling self-assured. I was also safe in the knowledge that I could call on the support of my fellow GIs or other members of the team if I needed it.

That hasn’t even been the highlight of the role. Starting with a small charity that is still growing means you’re one of a fresh-faced team. I wasn’t the only newbie, which was oddly reassuring.

On the whole, I have absolutely loved my time at Frontline over the past year and a half. I feel a lot clearer about what I want to do in the future, and have developed new skills that will help me get to where I want to be.

Interested in rewarding work experience on campus or head office internships with a leading charity? Applications for Frontline’s Brand Manager positions, Student and Graduate Internships are now open. Visit their website to find out more. You can also find out more about working for a charity here.

Posted in Applying For JobsChoosing Your CareerGraduate Vacancies