After looking at a lot of internship blogs on medium.com I have realised that many people whom after finishing their ‘contractual obligation’ aka a placement have become well, cynics.
Writing bitter blogs about how they walked into their new role with enthusiasm and to be fair (in hindsight, unachievable) high expectations and they walk out accusing the whole idea of a good placement as being a myth, left disappointed and hopeless.
Do you know what real working people call it? Life.
Come on now guys. I know we have been living in our student bubble for a couple of years but we’ve all worked part-time before. We’ve pretty much all experienced the horrors of retail or hospitality. We know what work is like.
We know that not every responsibility we get in a job is fun and games. Otherwise we’d all be doing it! (Kidding, we all know why we do it. Gotta get that $$)… But I’m not saying that money is everything. I’m not saying don’t strive for a job you love. Personally, I think it’s more important to love what you do every day than how much you get paid, because you will do it. Every day.
And let’s face it the stakes are high from the off. It’s difficult getting a placement. Every year, students from all over the country and overseas are fighting for these opportunities. You can’t possibly expect to waltz into your first internship and find the job of your dreams — already taking the right steps into your career path.
Don’t let the team down. Naivety isn’t as admirable as the Kooks may have you think. Believe it or not internships aren’t entirely about us. Businesses benefit from them too. Of course they do. They aren’t here to give us the best experience. We are here to help them (meanwhile experiencing the ‘real working world’).
Inevitably, you have to go back to university for your final year. What a beaut thing to have in the back of your mind. Well, it’s comforting for me anyway… Buying as much time as a teenager as I can before I commit myself to a full-time job for the rest of my life!
I have come to a realisation very recently …I don’t know whether it was from watching that Making a Murderer series on Netflix (which is actually outrageous… you should watch it!) or whether its the placement portfolio I am required to build before July slowly creeping up on me (admittedly it’s really the only big deadline I have this year…).
…But what I’ve realised is that you can’t let your placement be the only thing you do this year. You have to build your CV in the background. That’s a constant battle. Regardless of the fact you are working full-time.
(way not trying to stress you out or anything but…) WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUTSIDE OF YOUR PLACEMENT?!
So someone asked me this the other day, and the only way I could react was with a couple of murmurs under my breath and some uncomfortable shuffling…
Well I say that, If you’ve seen my most recent blog you would know I have a part-time job outside of my placement. But honestly, for a little while now– that’s been it. That, and Netflix.
So if you have made it this far, you have basically just read a whole lot of irrelevant thoughts I have been having to get yourself to this here main point. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but… I have officially wasted your time.
There is no solution. This is actually just a trick blog.
Kidding, come back! There is a resolution. Obviously. My blog is always filled with little life lessons for you to tag along with on my little placement journey. It might not work but c’est la vie.
Well, really I have already kind of told you what I’ve been thinking. But my plan is, to plan my CV in advance. Hear me out. I’ll ‘design’ the CV now and then chase those achievements from here on until I have achieved them all.
Bit backwards I know but then I can design what I want my CV to be instead of doing something here and there and adding it on because it might show my skills to a potential employer. You know what I mean?
· Speak a little Spanish
· Blog, blog, blog!
· Event Experience (outside of placement), i.e. something like Bournemouth Air Festival or for a BIC event.
· Complete Bournemouth Ambassador online Training
(And more to come…not going to give you all my CV for nothing!)
Until next time
The Social Media Bunny
Meet the author...
So what’s the truth? That’s a good question. One that I’ll try to answer for any future placement students considering it. Mainly because this year so far has been a crazy year for me.
In short, there are easier options. For sure! Taking on an unpaid placement in some ways has been a blessing and a curse for my placement year so far. And like my other blog posts, I am going to give you the finer details of my experience in the hope that you might learn from my mistakes and successes…
So lets get to it…
Students are used to getting their loans in on a regular basis (without working for it) and if up to this point you have had a part-time job, then congrats. You are way more sensible than I was.
For those of you that don’t know, in your placement year your student loan gets cut quite dramatically. Now, if you are getting paid the average salary for a placement salary (approximately £1,000 pm) then that’s fine, no biggy right? If you are in my position and you aren’t getting paid, you need to do some real evaluations.
First, how much value will you get out of this placement; will it add to your experience and future career? And also what are your other options? Can you get the same experience and get paid for doing it?
I wanted a more hands-on placement than my course really gave me knowledge for. Studying marketing hindered me in a way as I was attempting to apply for web design companies, creating portfolios to prove I do have skills and potential as well as a lot of enthusiasm to learn. No one took me.
I found a 3 month placement advertised in Marketing but in the job description it had all of the same skills as other web design companies (without the requirements!) I jumped on it. I got it.
You will grow up if you have an unpaid placement. I’d say more than a paid one. You have to show the same dedication to work as someone who has the incentive of money for the same jobs as you.
You will have to be careful with your finances. Because you aren’t getting any more. And frankly, you probably aren’t a priority to the university any more.
“Placements are designed so that you can get a part-time job alongside them” Well that’s all well and good Janine but you still have your weekends. I’ll tell you it’s exhausting!
I have learnt so much since I have been at this placement. Honestly. I know everyone says that anyway because you don’t want to come back and tell everyone that your placement was admin and making coffees while theirs was directing their first press event for the latest Warner Brothers movie or something! But I genuinely have learnt so much. And not just about the industry. But myself. And adulting too.
I have my first day off next week. And in case you are wondering whether I am going to grab the bull by the horns and make use of this day; Maybe see my friends, hit the town, reinvent myself on this day...
...I will probably just be in bed surrounded by takeaway food, binge watching whatever is the newest TV series on Netflix without even seeing the light of day. And I can't wait.
*side note* working an Unpaid placement may affect some of your choices like where you choose to live. Do not, I repeat, do not under-think these decisions. I have a lot of stories about the house I ended up living in because of the price and convenience for my placement. Maybe I’ll explain these to you one day. But if nothing else, trust me on this. Never buy a room off of Gumtree without looking at it first. Just saying…
Meet the author...
Chapter 4 – The Pursuit of Business Meeting Etiquette
“This part of my life is called internship”
They say that a first meeting with a client is just like a first date. Now, I get the reference. I guess it is because of the nerves, making a good first impression and having to prove to someone how useful you are.
I can’t help but notice a major flaw with this analogy though. How many people do you know that have been on a date with 6+ people at once?!
Is there some kind of formula to business meetings? Like some kind of unspoken system that everyone is aware of but no one speaks about? Because my experience of them so far suggests to me that I am starting from the bottom of this system for sure… *cough* thanks Drake *cough*.
If you haven’t read my first blog article, I talk about my interview and first official meeting. Although no animals attended this one (shout out to those who read it!), I definitely didn’t start this meeting giving off a great first impression.
I wont lie to you, it was clear that no one was expecting much from me. At all. But you know, we went through the typical process. Everyone introduced them selves, giving anecdotes and mad tales about how they have found their way to this prestigious hotel. We spent ages discussing the moments that lead us all to being sat across the table from other successful Jazz advocates.
This part of my life…this part right here? This part is called “being stupid”
I wont lie to you; there is still a little part of me that in these social situations wants to rebel. You might have picked up on this from my blog, but sometimes, words come out of my mouth when, they shouldn’t really…Don’t get me wrong I don’t offend anyone. But even now, when I think about being sat at the table and being asked my name there were so many opportunities. So many missed opportunities…
- My name is (what?) My name is (who?) My name is…*slicker slicker* Slim Shady.
- My name’s Jeff!
- You talkin’ to me?
- My name *dramatic pause* is Optimus Prime.
But i’ll stop there before I get carried away. Can you imagine though, the looks on their faces if I had responded with any of those…priceless!
Anyway! I pretty much did the usual, my name is Rosie, I am a student…Doesn’t have the same flare in my opinion but hey, we are adulting now!
The point of this article is really just to show you guys that despite my tendencies to embarrass myself or mess up the simplest of things, especially in the work environment, I am growing up.
See, at this particular meeting I was assigned the job of minute taking. And was expected to make everyone’s tea. Side note – none of these things were the reason I was actually invited to the meeting.
And don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes when people go on placements, they only get given jobs like this to do. But I honestly feel like I am valued more at my placement, so wasn’t best pleased when empty mugs were being intentionally put on top of my notes (while I was writing them!) by people I have never met before!
There were a lot of topics to cover at this meeting. So, the duration did extend by quite a lot. The topics that Mike and I were there to discuss were towards the end of the schedule. And only one or two really were relevant to us.
This part of my life…this part right here? This is called “happiness”
The ‘client’ is the Bournemouth Jazz Festival. Mike threw his idea of a Jazz village (for the free events) in the centre of town, on the table. And I surprised the panel with my idea for an Air Saxophone competition to build momentum online throughout the event.
At that moment, as if I was the young Jayden, I could hear Will Smith telling me – “If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
I explained my concepts behind the competition and how it would be structured. In the corner of my eye, I could see that the Simon Cowell of Jazz and Events (who had the most impressive Jazz CV at the table) was impressed. Result!
I do accept applauses, pats on the back, red roses…you know, whatever you like…But long story short, I am now in charge or organising and running my idea, and am also on the Management team for the Bournemouth Jazz Festival! (woop woop!)
But seriously, after my interview, first official client meeting, and then how this meeting started off, I felt like Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness when he finally got the job! (You know, with less set backs and misfortunes…)
Meet the author...
Chapter 2 - <h1>L34rn1ng C0d3 0n th3 j0b</h1>
Learning code on the job! Ahh now this is an appropriate time to just kgkshfejhgv all over the keyboard. Coding does not come naturally to anyone – I think it’s fair to say. I mean, maybe it’s just me? But I am pretty sure marketing students don’t usually have a prior knowledge of HTML or CSS… If I am wrong please stop me now! In some ways I am grateful that it is not a compulsory part of my course. More than anything, I am so thankful I have now experienced using it for myself!
For those of you who have attempted to make a website through programs like Wix, it’s not as quick and easy as that, but well worth it in the end.
With everything that Cracking Media has thrown at me so far (and I have dabbled in many areas of the business already), I was just as eager to be the next biggest coder. The Steve Jobs of coding if you will.
*Queue the Rocky Soundtrack please*. So how did I learn HTML I hear you ask? I did it old school. Back to a trusty pen and paper. I wrote codes over and over again with random content for no website in particular. Using free html validators to check the codes I had written worked, I was feeling pretty much untouchable.
Then the time came. I had to work on some CSS for a real client’s website. I was knocked down a few notches pretty much straight away when I discovered that their codes were way more complicated than the ones I had written. Realistically, they were always going to be…
Just like Rocky in the first movie, I technically did not win. But that’s okay. With the help from Mike I styled my first client’s web page! Rocky won Creed’s respect. I won Mike’s.
After the lengthy and by no means stress-free (on my part) process of building the website, in comes *drum roll please* trusty Joomla! A Content Management System (CMS) I have to say I am much more fond of using! Joomla is kind of used as the headquarters for uploading content to your websites. Whether that be weekly blog articles, or all of the products you see when you shop online.
I’ve learnt that this process can be the quickest job of the day if you are uploading an article for example. Or, it can be a day’s job if the website has a lot of products to upload, add descriptions photos and styles to each and every one individually. I guess when you need to use Joomla, the experience can be a bit like marmite?
To sum up, I didn’t become the Steve Jobs of coding. But I have realized how involved this side of marketing is. Before my placement I mainly understood marketing from a managerial perspective; coming up with ideas and making decisions. Now I feel like I understand just how much goes into the process of physically building up these platforms as well as planning them, and how challenging this actually can be.
Until next time
The Social Media Bunny
Meet the author...
©2016 Cracking Media Ltd - UK Reg No: 06557056