Spinning Plates – it can be done!

As a mature Masters Student studying Global Marketing, I considered that doing an internship would be invaluable experience and I was eager to find one. I couldn’t believe how many opportunities there are being a student at the University of York for internships. I took my first internship in January and my second in June.

The beauty of internships is that not only do you get some valuable experience, you get to ‘practice’ your new skills and use the knowledge you have learned in lectures and seminars. You can also some amazing people, gain a better understanding of how businesses work and gain valuable networking experience.

Clear Sky Medical Diagnostics

I worked remotely with a spin out company of the University – Clear Sky Medical Diagnostics – for eight weeks designing and planning marketing material. I made a video for their website, photographed products with a model and worked to tight deadlines. The only problems I encountered were parking tickets and having no designated desk to sit at. Luckily a helpful colleague had a free PC and desk in his office and had all the equipment and space for filming the video in the studio next door to his office. Great!

I loved working with a start-up company that was launching new products. And the fact that they had been designed and thought up from research done within the University gave everyone, including me, a sense of pride and a it was a privilege to be involved. I was told by my boss, Dr. Stephen Smith that my internship should in no way interfere with my studies. This meant I didn’t feel bad on the one occasion that I had to decline doing some work for them, as it would have infringed on a deadline to a module I was taking.

Chapel House Training Company

My second internship is with Chapel House Training Company in Tadcaster, which I will finish at the end of September. I was one of three other students interviewed so I felt really surprised and lucky when I was offered the post. I come to the office, which is 34 miles from home, twice a week. I also work from home the rest of the week to make up the 20 hours in my contract. I have met some great people who are passionate about what they do.

I was brought in to organise their marketing and update their website and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I have designed an email campaign, brought their website up to date and improved the traffic going to the site. I have implemented some social media advertising and created, using my design expertise, some marketing images. I have once again used my photographic skills as I am the designated photographer for the staff and facilities. The management and all the staff at Chapel House Group are supportive and very generous.  I was given two weeks away from the office (in lieu) so that I could finish my dissertation without the pressure of work.

Personally, as a mature student with two children and a teaching career behind me, I have found the two internships invaluable. This is true not only for my skill set, as I endeavour to transform my career from teaching to creative marketing, but also in giving me the confidence to continue in my quest for change and a new future.

I would recommend anyone to do an internship, young or old, inexperienced or not, as they are a great vehicle for learning and can give you skills to be ready to take the world on!


This guest post is written by Mary Young, a mature Masters student studying Global Marketing. She is married with two daughters and a big dog.