“Time flies by so enjoy your internship while it lasts… I can’t believe I am almost finishing mine but it has been a blast”
What were you doing before your internship? (education, work, volunteering)
Before this internship I was working in retail. I have quite an extensive background in retail and also administration roles. I used to volunteer doing marketing in my local food bank and also volunteered at my local Citizens Advice Bureau scanning sensitive and confidential files and setting up their social media sites and website.
My internship was to document and review the current communications with customers, considering their accessibility, frequency, content, clarity, managing of expectations and other aspects; and to develop recommendations for how to improve communications.
Why were you interested in applying for your internship?
I wanted to apply for my internship because I was wanting to get out of a sales role selling insurances and store cards and into a marketing/communications industry role. I also was interested in applying for this internship as it was helping and supporting disabled people and was specifically targeted towards those with disabilities.
How helpful was the recruitment support provided by the employability team/internship?
The recruitment support provided the employability team was good. My interview was via Skype which was great and was flexible to fit around my rota/shift pattern that week. My employer was also good at supporting me throughout the recruitment process and was always available to talk through any queries I had. Throughout my internship I have always felt well-supported by my employer and by Inclusion Scotland.
What skills have you learned on your internship?
I have learned plenty of skills during my internship: Planning and organising; Analysing and judging; Applying professional standards; Effective communication and managing relationships; Being open and adaptable and Working together and valuing difference.
I have further developed my skills of: being able to manage my time and workload well, with appropriate support; communication skills and awareness of how to tailor communications to different audiences/ different purposes; analytical skills; IT skills, i.e. ability to use Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint; good judgement in knowing when to act independently to make decisions/resolve problems, and when to seek further guidance and working effectively and flexibly as a member of a small team.
It also helped my develop skills of: carrying out basic research, for example, searching for relevant information on the internet and interpreting and reporting on research findings
What has been the most interesting part of your internship?
The most interesting part of my internship has been challenging myself outside of my comfort zone and seeing the project develop over time from an initial thought/idea into a fully fledged report- it is very rewarding and worthwhile! I feel immensely proud of all I have achieved, as it was a lot of time, effort and hard work!
What has been the least interesting part of your internship?
I will rephrase this into difficulties. Initially it was difficult for me to arrange travel and accommodation and to find a working pattern that suited me but this was solved. As with any new job it was difficult for me to settle and adjust to both a new city (Edinburgh) and a new culture/way of working (in an office as opposed to a shop and in a new organisation). There was a very full induction programme and so it was difficult to find time to settle down and get on with my project.
Headphones were usefully provided to block out the background sounds of the office and I worked from home in the latter stages of my internship due to COVID-19 so that was quiet.
Are there any social events that you’ve been involved in?
My highlight was The Lion King Musical and meeting up with a Meetup group outside of work. The Christmas meal and night out was amazing and I had a really lovely time and it is another highlight of my time here. Also- more generally- watching the seasons change from Winter to Spring.
What have you learned about impairment related adjustments?
I have learned to be open and honest from the earliest possible stage in order to request what is right for you and also dual monitors are standard practice. I have also learned that there are limits to what can be provided but these are minimal.
What are your plans for after the internship?
I have exciting plans for after the internship. I hope to change careers to become a Healthcare Assistant and to eventually study Adult Nursing. I will learn Digital Marketing online via a free course website in my spare time as a hobby rather pursue it as a career as I am still interested in Marketing/Communications as an industry.
Any advice for future interns?
My advice to future interns would be to go for it and fully embrace this chapter in your professional and personal life. My advice is also to do it part time rather than full time as I have also been able to volunteer doing activities in a care home in my spare time which I enjoy a lot. Time flies by so enjoy your internship while it lasts… I can’t believe I am almost finishing mine but it has been a blast!