Whether you’re still in education, a graduate, or trying to break into a new industry after a career change, internships are a common way to get started in a number of industries. While there are plenty of horror stories out there, they can be incredibly valuable in building a career.
Here at Muckle Media we are proud to offer paid internships and our current intern, Kyra Gaunt takes a look at why internships can be great opportunities for those at the beginning of their career.
Gaining industry knowledge
The main benefit of an internship is that it allows you to gain first-hand experience and learn about how a particular workplace or industry really works. You may be hoping to embark on a career relating to your university degree, but no matter how much you’ve studied, you’ll never have a real idea of how something operates until you’ve worked in it yourself. An internship allows you to put things you have learned at university into practice, or to learn about something new entirely and are a great opportunity to get stuck in and gain some experience. At the end of your internship, you might stay on at the company you interned with, it might be a stepping-stone to a similar job with another organisation, or you might decide that what you were doing isn’t right for you. All of these paths are absolutely fine. Internships are about learning, and the knowledge and experience you gain in any internship will be valuable in whatever you decide to do next.
Even if your internship is short-term, you could make key connections in your time there that might benefit you in the future. Aside from the obvious fact that getting to know the people in your team will make your internship experience more enjoyable, it’s also important to build these relationships to ensure that you’re successfully growing your professional network. You never know who might be able to provide you with an opportunity, recommendation, or useful information in the weeks, months and years to come.
Building your CV
Internships are a great way to build up your CV and develop your skills. Some companies give interns more responsibility than others, but don’t be afraid to ask if there’s something you really want to learn. If you can see colleagues using software you’re unfamiliar with or working on something you haven’t heard of before, ask if you can observe or if they can give you a quick explanation when they have a moment. It might be something that’s used across the industry, and if you have experience of using it then it’s one more thing to help you stand out from the crowd when you’re starting out. Always try your hardest to end your internship with as many new skills as possible.
My internship with Muckle Media has been great for developing my experience in PR and marketing. Here are the top five things that have made my internship run smoothly:
- The Muckle team have been helpful and involved every step of the way. Senior members of the team have provided regular meetings and feedback, and colleagues at all levels have always been happy to help and offer explanations for any questions I’ve had. In some organisations, people can often neglect their interns and leave them to get on with things with little to no guidance, but no matter how busy the Muckle team has been, help has always been on hand whenever I’ve needed it.
- The internship has allowed me to take on a number of responsibilities, from client social media to event coordination and Muckle marketing. The infamous internship stereotype of making tea, going on lunch-runs and stuffing envelopes has not been my experience at all, for which I am eternally grateful!
- Experiencing a busy PR office has been invaluable for learning about how the industry operates. I have been able to see what each team member is working on, have watched colleagues secure high-profile media coverage for clients, and then watched them win awards for their hard work. Becoming familiar with what is involved at each stage of the PR process has been a great learning experience.
- Working in a PR agency like Muckle has allowed me to work on client accounts from a range of sectors, including business, energy and tourism. Working on these accounts as an intern has given me the opportunity to gain an insight into the different needs of each client across several industries.
- Last but not least – Muckle Media pays its interns! Some organisations expect interns to work long hours without pay, but Muckle’s participation in the Santander internship scheme means interns are paid fair wages for their work.
If you’d like to find out more about interning at Muckle, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyra Gaunt, intern at Muckle Media @mucklemedia