growing skills - nottingham from internship to graduate job

March 20, 2017, by Carla

How a Local Internship Helped Me Land a Graduate Job

By Una Kunyha, BA Hons English, graduated 2016

This time two short years ago, I was facing the final months before it all got really serious – final year, and then graduation. I thought I wanted to work in marketing, but hadn’t really figured out much else. If you’re facing a similar dilemma to me,  don’t panic! There’s lots of help at Nottingham and plenty of ways you can start to figure it out. For me, an internship kick-started where I am now.

It was 2015, and I decided to apply for the Nottingham Internship Scheme. For three months, I worked at Go Dine, a small-medium sized enterprise (SME) based in Nottingham, as a digital content and marketing intern. I strategised, planned and executed social media marketing campaigns for restaurant clients, predominately using Facebook and Twitter.

Roll forward exactly a year after finishing my internship, I started work at Accenture in the ‘UKI Marketing and Communications department. Currently, I help manage Accenture’s relationship with some of the UK’s leading arts, cultural and sporting organisations, such as RBS 6 Nations and the Science Museum.

So, how did I get there?

Like many sectors, marketing is extremely competitive. Therefore, when applying for roles it’s essential to have skills and experience that give you an advantage. It’s often the skills developed during placements or internships that enable a business to see your potential. This is what the Nottingham Internship Scheme did for me.

Strengthen your CV

At Go Dine, I developed social media campaigns, creating and posting content using digital marketing tools such as TweetDeck and Photoshop. Not only did this enhance my CV, but it also helped me quickly settle into my role at Accenture.

mixed reality experience

Although the target audience is completely different, I still generate content to post on their social streams. I also manage my own nationwide paid social campaigns, work with creative agencies, and have recently coordinated a mixed reality experience at a England V France hospitality event. This was made much easier because of the time I’d spent at Go Dine. I acquired key skills, which I’ve developed since starting my graduate role.

See the whole picture

One key thing I learned working in an SME was that your role will never be restricted by the job description. In a smaller company, it’s a close-knit community where you can gain insights into all aspects of the business. You’ll be exposed to a variety of potential career paths, which you may not see in a larger firm.

For example, at Go Dine, I saw the preparation that goes into arranging client meetings. This wasn’t specifically part of my role as an intern, but due to the size of the company, I gained lots of useful insights. Now, I regularly interact with major stakeholders, coordinating hospitality events and client showcases.

Discover your likes and dislikes

Next time you apply for an internship, focus on what you can learn from job. On the Nottingham Internship Scheme, I distinguished what I liked and what I wasn’t so interested in. All the businesses on the scheme are SMEs, making them the ideal place to explore different industries and roles. What might be just one strand of a role in an SME could be a complete career path in a larger company. You’ll have the flexibility to find out what suits you.

Applications for the 2017 Nottingham Internship Scheme are now open. With over 90 internships to choose from, what are you waiting for? 

Posted in Alumni StoriesChoosing Your CareerWork experience