Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to complete an internship with the University’s social media team. The amount of independence and creative freedom I was given was well beyond what I could have hoped for.
For example, one of my responsibilities was documenting the summer graduation period on the official Instagram and Snapchat accounts, as well as creating a Facebook album with my photos from the days. It was pretty much up to me what I posted, which was a lot of fun – and very surreal!
How did I find it?
When people ask me what I’ve been doing over the holidays, they’re intrigued to know how I discovered this opportunity. It’s definitely quite out of the ordinary for a typical student summer job. I found it advertised on the Student Internship Bureau (SIB): a hub exhibiting a plethora of paid placements and internships in and around the local area, exclusively for University of York students. There is such a variety of opportunities, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t something of interest to everyone.
What’s the point?
I had been at a bit of a loss as to what to do for a summer job. I knew I wanted something at least remotely relevant to what I wanted to pursue (social media marketing and PR). But as is the case for many similar fields, paid experience placements are few and far between.
These internships can really set you apart. I now feel I will have a lot more confidence interviewing for a position in this industry in future. I am more familiar with a lot of the software and underlying processes used to produce and monitor media content.
The SIB provides the ideal opportunity to gain this competitive edge, along with a rare, genuine insight into a career you’re interested in. It also has the added bonus of being reliably arranged and organised entirely by Careers and Placements, in collaboration with the host company.
What’s the process?
If I remember rightly, the Careers and Placements team gave us a departmental talk around Easter time and mentioned this SIB platform, which was something I’d never heard of before. I basically routinely checked it and waited for something I was interested in to pop up. Luckily, I more or less had a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ moment when this role appeared, so perfect it may as well have been tailored specifically towards me.
The application process was super simple and all done through the online Careers Gateway (now called Handshake). I just answered a few questions about my skills and interests relating to the role, submitted my tailored CV and that was that. I was notified that I’d been shortlisted for an interview for the following week, then had the interview and got offered the position the next day!
It’s also worth knowing that if you’ve never applied for a job or internship, the Careers and Placements team offer individual guidance meetings. During these sessions a member of the team will work on your CV with you and help you practise interview skills, to give you the best chance of success.
Yay or Nay?
I can’t speak for everyone, but thanks to my internship supervisor (who was just wonderful) and the Careers and Placements team, the whole thing was so straightforward. Communication was great from start to finish and everyone I chatted with in the office was unbelievably friendly and helpful. They were also interested in finding out about me and my plans for the future.
It’s safe to say I’ll be gutted to leave the amazing team I’ve been working with over the last 12 weeks, but I’ve gained invaluable experience and it’s already opened the doors of so many further opportunities I can’t wait to pursue.
Wendy Sissons says
Brilliant Tara, I hope this encourages more students to consider the internship offer this next summer