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Job hunt pain vs Internship gain

Written by Joey WojtanowskaMarketing Coordinator and Intern success story from the former Sussex Internship Programme, in the run up to the launch of the Intern Placement Programme

I hated applying for jobs! I would sit down at my computer armed with my seven tailored CVs; Radio, TV, Graphic Design, Print, Voluntary, Internship, Recruitment and “General” jobs. Sitting for hours on end trawling the websites of my favourite brands.  Going straight to their recruitment pages (which was pretty much a full time job in itself!) Completing application after application.  Only to have cliche responses stating that I lacked any relevant experience.  I was in a catch twenty two.  I couldn't get the jobs I wanted without experience and I couldn't get that experience without having a job!

I was finally offered a junior publishing role at a magazine in London. I couldn't wait! I remember rocking up to their rented office, bright eyed (probably about twenty minutes early!) and ready to work.

However, to my complete misfortune, no one was there. Feeling unnerved, I waited for what must have been about three hours before finally going home. Despite sending numerous emails and making what felt  like 354 phone calls, I never heard from them again.  I was utterly devastated!

After that (dent)  I did a lot of work experience up in London.  This included anything from logistic jobs at awards after parties, creating set designs for music videos and a bit of runner work for TV production companies. I also began filling my post-uni portfolio by creating graphic design projects for various family and friends and doing a bit of nightclub photography on the side. I knew I needed to be proactive! (Applying for jobs solely, wasn't enough!)  I was busy, but I couldn’t find permanent work and wasn’t ready to go freelance with my design.

It was at this point that I came across Wired Sussex and their Internship programme... 'Can't get a job without experience? Can't get experience without a job?'...was their slogan.  It was exactly my predicament! I applied for every available internship I knew I could do and to my delight I ended up getting interviews!

I was offered a Marketing role with WPM Education, which at the time coincided with another offer to work for Empire magazine (outside of Wired Sussex).   An unpaid internship with Empire, versus paid with WPM Education... you do the math!  Not to mention that it was supported by Wired Sussex and offered a great network in the industry. I still think that I made the right decision!

1. What were you doing prior to your internship?

Before I went to university I was a recruitment administrator for an aviation company. I was there for seven months before I realised that I needed to go to university and get some more life experience.

I finished Uni in 2010, where I studied Print Journalism at the University of Huddersfield. Once I finished there I moved back down to Sussex to live with my parents.

2. What did your day to day duties involve?

As a 'Marketing Assistant' intern at WPM Education, my duties involved anything from updating the CRM, proof reading the website, creating email communications, manipulating data, copy writing, creating adverts, other visuals (and so much more!)

There was only myself and the Marketing Manager, so I was doing a real job! (Not just filing and tea making) It gave me a full overview of how the Marketing department functioned in a corporate company.  I knew that this was what I wanted to keep on doing!

3. What sorts of projects did you work on?

As there was only myself and the Marketing Manager when I first arrived, I hit the ground running! I was working on some huge events, literature design, merchandise design, data manipulation, website design and updates, as well as advert design. (I was doing a bit of everything!) It was hard work, but enjoyable and in an industry that I found exciting! (Not to mention the fact that I was actually getting to utilise the  skills I had spent £19,000 in student debt on!)

My favourite projects were always the BIG events! These involved a lot of design work ( both printed and website). With help from the Events Coordinator we created several 100 page delegate packs for various events!

I was also sent on an InDesign refresher course with some of my colleagues which kept me up to date with the tools I needed to use!

4. What did your Internship lead onto?

After a month as an Intern I was lucky enough to be offered a 3 month probation period and that lead to a permanent job with the company that I stayed in for 2 and a half years!

I now utilise all of the knowledge I gained  from WPM Education in my new role at Anagram Systems, where I look after all the Marketing.

5. Would you recommend doing an Internship?

Without a doubt.  The knowledge that I learned through doing my Internship at WPM Education not only led on to full time work, but also provided me with a skill set and industry knowledge that I still utilise on a day to day basis.  It was a really useful stepping stone into the “real world” from university and was a huge confidence boost after my drastic experience before hand!

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