What did I learn?
I work as a Student Engagement Intern for the Faculty Placement Manager Team, helping to promote Placement Years to undergraduate students in the Arts and Humanities and Science faculties. I have learned a lot about marketing and communications through the role, using platforms such as Mailchimp and Canva to create content to advertise opportunities and resources to students. I have had an incredible experience gaining these skills working as part of such a friendly and collaborative team. Through the role, I have had experience of: copywriting and editing for a weekly newsletter; using analytics to cater the newsletter for the audience; interviewing students; researching opportunities; video editing; using Microsoft Sharepoint to build a website; working in a team and as part of the wider network of Careers and Enterprise.
How did it help my career ambitions?
Before doing my internship, I had a vague idea that I wanted to work in marketing or PR. Through working in this role, which has provided me with a range of experience working in marketing and communications, I now have a much clearer idea of what I want to do in the future and what work I enjoy. I am now more interested specifically in consumer PR and communications due to my experience in content creation and communications within this role. I really think having some form of professional experience during university is so valuable, not just in helping you gain experience, but also in helping you understand what you actually want to do, what you’re good at, and what you enjoy doing.
What was the process like?
The recruitment process for my internship was very straightforward and quick. I found the role on the Student Services Portal, applied and was invited for interview a few days later. The interview was really relaxed and enjoyable: I was interviewed by my future manager, another Faculty Placement Manager and another Careers Adviser from Careers and Enterprise. I then found out I had got the role the day after my interview, so it really wasn’t long to wait. Over the course of the internship, I have had a great experience working alongside the Faculty Placement Managers and other interns, especially my Line Manager, Gemma. She has given me lots of feedback throughout my internship and really helped me develop the skills I have gained. She is always available if I have any questions or queries, and we have developed a great working relationship, regularly keeping in contact. Within my team, there were also two other student interns whom I really enjoyed working alongside, collaborating on various projects. Having other student interns was also useful if I ever needed advice or to talk through anything I was finding challenging within the role.
My advice to a current Durham student would be…
I would definitely recommend doing a DU Internship to any current students. It is such a great way to gain experience in a manageable way during university. Because I was working for Durham, my manager was always very accommodating and understanding whenever I had upcoming deadlines or exams, offering help whenever I needed it. I don’t think I would have had this flexibility if I had a job or internship with a third-party employer. In an increasingly competitive post-pandemic job market, having tangible experience through a DU Internship is such an asset, and an amazing opportunity.
The University provides internships across the University, exclusively available to Durham students to support their development of key employability skills. All opportunities are advertised through the Student services portal and via Careers & Enterprise newsletters