The creative sector is a rapidly growing, dynamic and exciting industry to work in which currently adds £84 billion to the UK economy (1). It is also notoriously difficult to enter and highly competitive at graduate level. The value and importance of an internship in this industry to build a reputation and network with industry contacts is well documented. In this blog post, Warwick graduate Abi Browning reflects on her experience as a Social Media, Press, PR, Sales and Marketing Intern with yada events, in the first of our new series of alumni interview blog posts.
So what is it that do you actually do, Abi?
My main responsibilities at yada involve caring for the company social media pages such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram as well as Facebook and LinkedIn. I write the general blog posts and contact event professionals and venues about featuring them on our social platforms. When I attend events I take photos and upload them to twitter and other areas. I’ve also been learning about key areas of business strategy that are vital to start-up success and how to use practical tools and techniques to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your internship?
The first week was daunting. (I’m not going to lie!) I had never worked in a large office space in central London before. In fact, as I’m an English country girl, I had only very rarely been to London. The commuting was scary to start off with but I soon got used to it, especially after living in the Warwick/Leamington bubble for three years. Working in this sort of environment is fast-paced. Event tech and the start-up industry are changing constantly. It’s a very different set of daily challenges compared with student module timetables and set reading lists. However, my love for social media, especially Instagram, really helped me pick up the everyday tasks of this role which was great.
What are the most exciting parts about interning for an events management app?
For me, the exciting parts were the challenges associated with learning a new set of skills. At the same time, I’ve been able to draw on my interests in reading, writing, and photography. yada Events app are growing fast and they are getting involved in more and more events. I love going to new places, meeting new people and absorbing the atmosphere of events. yada is the official events app for two key student events this term, so I get the opportunity to travel to Glasgow and Leeds to promote the brand and spread the word to Scottish and English students. Even the planning stages have been fun with creative brain storming meetings to come up with ideas for merchandise and competitions.
What made interning at a creative start up stand out to you?
Having done summer work waitressing and working as an events assistant, this year I was looking for a more interesting role that would allow me to improve my own skills and learn more about the working world and not just about the fictional world of novels that I indulged in as an English Literature Student for three years. This internship was my opportunity to show I can grow my mind and my skill-set. It is so important to consider how your university course will allow you to build yourself into a talented team player or entrepreneur. I didn’t want a role that would be easy and that I would find myself getting bored in.
What have you gained most from your internship?
My internship has allowed me to understand more about what I want from a job and how I can use the skills I crafted at university for the benefit of my career and for the progression of a start-up that I am passionate about. I had thought about venturing into the events industry after finding a passion for organising parties and planning society events. When I was about to do my final exams and I was thinking about life after university, I was keen to look for a career path that allowed me to combine my creative heart with the office professionalism and social side of small company camaraderie. I was incredibly lucky to find the internship at yada because it has opened my eyes to the wide variety of career options in the events industry.
Any final tips for students who want to follow in your footsteps?
I’d recommend looking for internships that will push you outside of your comfort zone and throw you in the deep end! Working for a start-up means that everyone is expected to aid the progression of the company. On my commute I listen to social media marketing podcasts to get me in the mindset for marketing the app and this is a great way to bring ideas to the table and help the team to build the brand image online.
I’d also suggest looking around at blogs or conversations that people in your industry are having before and during your internship. You could find something really useful that will help you and your team!