I was lucky enough over the summer to get a place as an editorial intern at GTI Media, the parent company of TARGETjobs, a popular graduate careers website.
The internship lasted four months, my entire holiday, which proved tough at times. But it was a fantastic opportunity and I kept reminding myself that the experience would be great. Here’s what I learned along the way.
I knew I had to throw myself in. The internship was near Oxford and I live in Kent, so the first step was relocating for four months. I rented a room that I found online and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Moving to a new area was daunting, but I’d done it before when I started university. I knew there would be four other editorial interns, so I was excited to meet them on my first day. As it turned out, a full-time job and a social life with new friends and colleagues meant I didn’t end up feeling lonely.
I wrote articles for the online site and print publications, conducted telephone interviews, worked with marketing to write blog posts and draft tweets. So I certainly wasn’t short of things to do! My approach certainly paid off because I feel far more confident about my written and communication skills.
One of the best parts of my internship was interviewing such amazing people. I had the chance to speak to partners in law firms, accountants and technology gurus. Every interview was different. It was great to commission the client, conduct the interview, write up the article, communicate with the interviewee to get the draft approved, and then to see the article printed in the publication.
Be part of the team
I had worried about how friendly the editorial team would be towards me due to my lack of experience. However, my fears couldn’t have been more wrong. Absolutely all the editors and team members I met were happy to help and advise me. I really did feel welcome, which made the office a great place to work. I connected with many of my co-workers on LinkedIn and plan to stay in contact. I learned that it really is important to make the effort with people. It makes the job that much more enjoyable and rewarding.
Manage your time well
There were challenges, of course. I had a lot of deadlines some weeks, especially when publications were going to print. My time management and prioritisation skills were key. I made sure I put all my deadlines in my calendar and set reminders. At the end of every day, I would make a list of everything I had to do the following day in order. It was great to discover that my planning system worked! I never missed a deadline and I found it satisfying ticking tasks off my to-do list after I had completed them.
Take advantage of training
I leapt at the opportunity to receive training during my internship. I now know all about search engine optimisation (SEO), which means that I understand how to increase the amount of visitors to a website or webpage. I also used basic HTML and was trained on recruitment practices. I didn’t have any of these skills before I started the internship. It’s a great feeling to develop a whole new range of skills which I believe will help me in the future.
I feel as if I really did make the most of my internship. My experience helped me to realise that a media career really is right for me.
Charlotte Wharf is an English and Drama graduate from the University of East Anglia. She has been the editor of the After English website in it's early days. After leaving university, you can find Charlotte working in the City.