The leap into the working world from education can seem quite daunting. I know I was daunted by this jump. Many teenagers and students, myself included, take on part-time work which provides them with many skills required for a full-time role once they leave school or University. However, the prospect of moving into a role which requires a high level of responsibility, skill and knowledge is still scary.
That is where internships and other forms of work experience come in. They provide an opportunity to submerge yourself in the sector, company or job that you think you would be interested in working in. They give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to apply for permanent roles. In other words, just like school, college or University, it is just a more focused, practical form of learning.
My initial fears
For me, my internship opportunity came in the form of LID Publishing, a publishing house that specialises in business and self-development authors. I knew that publishing could be a good fit for me career-wise so when the chance to do some work at LID arose it was the perfect opportunity. Before my one week experience, I had just completed my English Literature and History degree at Lancaster University. Compared to some I was slightly late for the internship and work experience game with many students now completing an internship in the summer after their penultimate year of study. Initially, I was worried that this would be a problem not particularly for my time at LID but for my career as a whole. However, once I got talking to all the lovely people at LID I realised that a lot of graduates went on to do internships in order to get into work.
What I got up to
My experiences at LID dismissed my fears rather than confirming them. Much of this was down to the friendliness and enthusiasm of those at LID to give me a good experience. The staff went out of their way to accommodate and chat with me. I was given an insight into their roles and I was also given the opportunity to get some work under my belt.
Throughout my time I was given two week-long assignments. The first involved researching and preparing a presentation on an influential leader, their leadership style and public reputation. The second was hosting a podcast on my last day where I interviewed two of LID’s team members on ‘Navigating the Working World’. I was also lucky enough to edit a press release with the help of Liz, the Assistant Editor. The press release was published on LID’s website. Towards the end of the week, I attended The Telegraph’s Leaders of Transformation conference and assisted with the book launch of Purpose by Ben Renshaw. Finally, I helped shape LID’s social media strategy and assessed the development of LID’s social media accounts.
My week was jam-packed but this was just the way I wanted it. It gave me a far more valuable experience than simply shadowing someone in publishing. The internship demonstrates that I am capable of completing tasks at a high level. Additionally, it gave me a sense of what kind of pace I would be working at in a permanent role.
I knew that working at LID would be faster paced than completing my essays and assignments at University. It was something that I found took me a few days to get into the flow of.
How I feel about internships now
I feel I definitely achieved the goals I set out for myself at the beginning of my internship. By asking lots of questions and taking many notes, I quickly got a sense of what the working world was like and what I needed to do in order to be successful in it. I got the chance to work with all the teams in the office. I experienced a wide range of disciplines, including business development, publicity, events, and editing. This allowed me to discover that I really enjoyed editing so this is something I’ll be looking into further.
The experiences I was most proud of were hosting the podcast and networking at the Leaders of Transformation conference. These experiences boosted my confidence especially as I was told I hosted the podcast well. Also, I decided to present my research on Sadiq Khan, my influential leader of choice. I knew presenting my findings would be a greater challenge for me as I am much more comfortable with writing than speaking.
Even before I stepped into the entrance of The Record Hall (where LID’s London office is based) I knew that my week at LID would be would push me out of my comfort zone. It gave me the opportunity to learn new things and enable me to adapt my knowledge to publishing. That’s exactly what my week at LID delivered. It showed me what a valuable work experience looked like and how to make the most of it.
Posted By Sophie Bird
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