This summer, I was lucky enough to be a Summer Intern for the marketing group Curzon Associate Marketing. It was the first opportunity I’ve had to get a real-life insight into the post-uni world of working and was definitely an exciting step up from my normal part-time job of waitressing. Below, I’ve listed my top tips and advice for anyone else who is wanting to be a summer intern, and what to expect!
I don’t really know what I was expecting on my first day as I nervously parked my car and started walking down the road towards what would be my workplace for the next 8 weeks. I guess I assumed it would be like the movies, I would just be getting coffee for people and taking notes, getting little chances here and there to do some actual work but generally just loitering around, trying to be useful. Oh, how I was wrong. When I got there Steve Curzon, the founder of Curzon Associate Marketing, greeted me and sat down with me for a chat. We spoke about the business, how things are done here and what he expected of me over the summer, and also what I was hoping to get out of this experience. I then met the team and was set up with an induction sheet, which included the necessary legal bits along with my first to-do list of the summer.
To-do lists will become your best friends. I found by writing myself a to-do list each morning whilst going through my emails meant I always knew what I was meant to be doing and wasn’t likely to forget anything important!
I got set up with all the logins I would need to email and google accounts etc. and then was set loose, free to start work! I remember feeling both really excited to get going, but also slightly anxious – I hadn’t even been here half an hour and already I was being given quite a lot of responsibility. My to-do list included things like writing blog posts and creating social media content for a number of clients, sourcing recipes for a photo shoot I would be attending later on in the month and evaluating Curzon’s own brochure. Despite feeling nervous, I got stuck in.
Trust in yourself, if someone else who knows what they’re doing believes you can do it, you almost definitely can, and if you’re not sure, just ask. People generally seem to appreciate it when you’re brave enough to ask because they aren’t sure or don’t understand.
Over the course of my first day, I had the chance to sit down with Ellie (who became as Ellie1, and myself as Ellie2), Jade and Alex and listen to them as they all went through with me which clients they were responsible for and what their days would normally entail.
Ellie1 and Jade have a lot of similarities in their jobs – they are both Marketing Executives which means they’re in charge of a number of clients and their marketing needs and would spend the days doing all sorts of jobs from social media schedule to email planning to create promotional offers and coming up with new ideas for the blogs and websites. Alex’s job is slightly different, as he is the Creative Executive. He is responsible for all the photoshoots, photo and video editing and production and design jobs that the clients may require. I was able to get an in-depth look into both the girls’ jobs and Alex’s over the course of the summer, as not only did the girls help me lots by giving me plenty to do, but Alex would let me tag along to assist at photo shoots with him!
Neverassume each day will be the same! One day I was working in the office, the next I was accompanying Alex to a shoot for protective gloves and ended up being the glove model for some of the shots!
My other main tips/pieces of advice include:
- Never underestimate the necessity of stationery. A notepad and a pen or two will ALWAYS be needed, and a highlighter and some post-it notes are super handy too.
- Keeping your desk clean and organised might seem like a boring task, but it keeps you looking professional and clean, and also makes it much easier to work, not only because you have a clearer head but also because you can find things you need rather than having to literally rifle through big stacks of paper each time you want to find something!
- Being on time, or even better, early is always worth the extra effort. You will seem far more reliable and motivated and will give off a good first impression.
- Finally, always make sure you’re trying. This sounds obvious, but really, whenever you can pause for a second and try to think if you’re really trying your best to do everything you possibly can. This might mean if you see the milk in the office fridge is running low replacing it when you’re out on your lunch break, or when you get close to the end of your to-do list ask anyone if there is anything else they’d like you to do. By making sure you really try with every opportunity you get over your time as an intern will mean you benefit the most you possibly can by learning at every stage.
Very thankful to the fab team at Curzon who have taught me so much over this Summer! Going to miss them.