Iona describes her experience of the SME Internship Schemes during her final year at the University of Bristol. If you’re inspired by her story, you can find out more about the schemes and how to get involved here.
Hi, I’m Iona. I graduated with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine in July, and from March to June interned as an Assistant Editor at the leading events website in the city – 365bristol.com – through the Santander scheme.
I have been creating content for my own lifestyle blog since my first year of university, writing everything from restaurant reviews to life pieces, body confidence articles to advice for students starting university. Last year, whilst in the midst of a career crisis and not knowing what I wanted to pursue once I graduated, I decided that I would like to get some experience in an editorial position where I could make use of my writing skills.
I found the opportunity with 365 on the Careers Service internships listings shortly after Christmas and following a friendly and successful interview, I worked part time during summer term (alongside studying for my finals, which people either thought was admirable or insane!), doing up to 3 full time days a week at the company’s office which is based within Aardman Animations. The staff at 365 were brilliant and let me have complete control over fitting the internship around my studies and making sure that it didn’t interfere with any exams.
Whilst there I felt like a true member of the team and was given a huge amount of creative freedom, publishing articles daily and regularly contributing and following through on ideas. The highlight of my internship was an interview that I organised and conducted with my favourite (Bristol based) body positive illustrator, Hollie Ann Hart.
My job included writing news features, reviews, events and business directory listings. I also got the chance to attend a networking event hosted at the opening of a new cocktail bar, enabling me to meet people from independent businesses in Bristol. Working part time alongside my degree and extra-curricular activities improved my time management and enhanced my professional skill set, as well as giving me an insight into the Bristol events scene, which was a wonderful way to make the most of my last few months at university.
The best advice I was ever given about university was to throw yourself wholeheartedly into everything. New societies, sports, friendships, and I would include career opportunities that present themselves to you within that. I am so glad that I applied for the internship at 365 and would definitely encourage budding writers to do likewise. My career trajectory has been somewhat of a rollercoaster so far, but even though I have now decided to apply for a PGCE at Bristol to teach Secondary Biology, the skills and experience that I acquired during my internship are, and will remain, extremely valuable throughout my professional career.