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Internship – Griffin's story

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Griffin

Griffin studied American History with Politics at the University of East Anglia. He interned at Jon Tibbs Associates and now works as a Content Producer for the Complete University Guide.

In the summer of 2016 I came back from a year studying in America with no job and no money. I knew that I needed to get a summer job or internship. I had undertaken short unpaid internships before but this time around I needed something longer and preferably paid.

Luckily, I knew someone at Jon Tibbs Associates (JTA), a public relations consultancy specialising in sports teams and organisations. They were looking for a summer intern to work in their London office to cover their team going to Rio de Janeiro to cover the Olympic Games. I applied, had an informal interview and was offered a 10-week paid internship. It was exactly what I needed.

A lot of the work was very interesting. I’ve always closely followed sport and obsessively watched the Olympics so their client portfolio fascinated me. I did a lot of research, compiled reports for clients and learned about the business side of sport as well as crisis management, communications and working in an office environment. For all these reasons, it was a positive and useful experience.

However, internships do not have to be entirely positive to be useful. I’ve discovered from all my internships that they are the best way to discover what you do not want to do as well as what you do want to do with your career.

My time with JTA made me realise that I do want a job that involves research, client interaction and public relations. It also made me realise that I wanted a job that allowed me to write more creative content rather than just compiling reports of what other people had written on an issue.

A year later when I was looking for jobs after graduation I knew what my priorities were – I wanted to be in London, writing content about something that interested me. When I saw the Complete University Guide job it ticked all the boxes of what I wanted from my first job – had I not experienced the positives and pitfalls of my previous internships I would not have known exactly what I was looking for.

Top Tips for internships 

  • Do your research. Companies do not always advertise on job sites so look on their websites and even ask friends if they’ve done any good internships or know of any available.

  • Take an opportunity when it comes your way. That's not to say you should go for an internship that looks like a waste of time. However, if there is one which looks like it could be of value, go for it – they are difficult to get and they are a great way of getting into full time employment.

  • A bad internship can have a positive impact. These internships will make it clear to you what type of role, working culture, sector and even what location you want to be working in. Knowing what you don’t want to do is just as valuable as knowing where your passion lies.