January 31, 2022, by abrierley
From Intern to Employee!
by Simran Harichand, MSc Marketing, January 2021-22
As my degree drew to a close, I believed that I would benefit from some experience in the marketing space. With an interest in digital marketing, I was looking for something that would enable me to merge my digital marketing knowledge with practical experience. This need for practical experience was met when I was given the opportunity by the senior management of 3DI to interview for an internship at Hallam, a Nottingham-based Digital Marketing Agency. Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency Nottingham & London | Hallam (hallaminternet.com)
I was interviewed by Dr Ruxandra Elena Francu and Dr Benjamin Lucas to identify if I was the right fit for the internship. Ben and Elena run the University of Nottingham 3DI Data Driven Initiative About — 3DI. The 3DI Pedagogical Innovation Unit launched a placements and internships programme in 2021 in partnership with a number of local and National organisations including Hallam. Through the interview, they gauged my skill set, my interest in the field, and my industry knowledge. The interview also decided which department at the agency would be best suited for me.
With the interview being a success, I started at Hallam as a Strategy intern. My role consisted of supporting the Strategy department with market research, while learning how branding strategies are created for clients. Each day started with a ‘stand-up’, a short 15-minute meeting where the entire team went over their work for the day and flagged any issues that needed attention. After the stand-up, I would do secondary market research and competitor analyses for the clients I was assigned.
This internship allowed me to experience corporate life in a UK-workplace. As an international student, it is often the fear of fitting in that held me back. Hallam’s work culture, however, was inclusive and welcoming. I was treated like an important part of the company and my opinions and suggestions were given consideration. My team truly cared about my learning and trained me on how to conduct market research. By the end of the internship, I gained numerous skills. I knew how to conduct market research, I gained confidence in my work, I learnt to network and I learnt how departments work together in an agency.
The biggest challenge I faced during the internship though was fighting the imposter syndrome. Despite having gone through the interview process, I found myself doubting my work. I believed it was because I had never worked at an agency before, and as a student, I feared my work wouldn’t match up to the quality my team needed. But I overcame my doubt by asking for feedback, making improvements and seeking support from my team members.
The feedback from my team and the strengths of my skill set highlighted my areas of interest and capabilities. Therefore, when the opportunity arrived, I was offered the full-time role of Paid Media Specialist which I duly accepted.
Overall, this internship offered me insight into not only the industry, but also my personal interests. It bridged my academic knowledge with practical experience and enabled me to experience life outside the university. My advice to other students is to step outside your comfort zone and take a chance. Apply for internships, practice for the interviews, and then bring your full self to work. More often than not, we are hampered by our own thoughts. Therefore, it is important to give yourself opportunities to shine. And Hallam, with its inclusive and supportive environment, is just the right place to do it.
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