October 19, 2018, by Lucy
My Internship Experience
Over the summer I was lucky enough to secure an internship through the Nottingham Internship Scheme. This meant that for four months I was a Website Update and Funding intern at the Nottingham Elders’ Forum. One day I would be copywriting and producing new content for their website and the next I would be research funding opportunities. No day was ever the same, and I was given creative freedom to let my imagination run free whilst working to the goals of the charity.
For anyone interested in getting an internship, I thought it would be useful to talk about my experiences.
What I Did
As a Website Update and Funding intern, my primary role was to give the website a refresh and to scout out any potential sources of funding. During my first few days at the Forum I was eased into the charity, learning about its goals, people and general goings on. For instance, I helped distribute their monthly newsletter, the Elders’ Echo, something which allowed me to catch up on the achievements of the Forum as well as learning about prospective events. Soon after I began working on the website, initially planning potential design frameworks and discussing with my managers, Glenise and Dennis, about their visions of the website. Once the ideas had been discussed and finalised, the hard work began, and I was let loose on the website, this formed the bulk of my internship. Although some areas were simply a case of refreshing the wording of content, others involved the creation of new webpages altogether. Happy with what I’d done, I moved onto funding. As the Forum does not rely on funding from the government, ensuring that they have other sources of funding is crucial to their survival. The range of work allowed me to be involved with all aspects of the charity and feel as if I was contributing genuinely worthwhile content as opposed to being set menial tasks for the sake of being an intern.
Who I Met
The Forum itself is located in the heart of Nottingham City Centre. One of the core values of the charity is inclusiveness: anyone in need of help in the area is welcome to turn to the charity for support. This openness meant that there was a new face in the office everyday: as well as Glenise, Denise, I met Les and Anita, who also sat on the board of the Forum. The small team of volunteers meant that it was easy for me to integrate into the team – we even went out for drinks at the end of my internship! Although I was looking forward to starting the internship, it can be said that I wasn’t expecting to meet such good people from it. I have plans to go back to the Forum once my workload eases off so I can reunite and show my face around the office door once again.
How I Felt
As inferred, I really really really loved interning at the Forum. I went into the internship excited to work on my copywriting and social media managing skills, not thinking much about helping out a charity itself. However, coming out of it, the Third Sector is definitely somewhere I would want to work. Every day was fulfilling, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level: on one hand I was succeeding in giving the Forum a refresh, but at the same time I was helping a group of older adults, dedicated to social change, to improve the lives of many people across the county. Learning about the work of the Forum was a truly inspirational experience: out of pure goodwill, the volunteers there help to influence policy making in the government in addition to helping people closer to home by providing advice and social outings.
For anyone considering doing any kind of work experience, internship or volunteering, I highly recommend that you do it! I have no regrets and actually enjoyed getting out of bed on a Monday morning… unheard of, right?!
Learn more about the Forum here:
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