Internship - Kitty's story

Kitty McDonald

Kitty McDonald recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a 2:1 in BSc Medical Science. Keen to gain the skills required to thrive in a commercial and creative environment Kitty pursued an internship with the Complete University Guide, using it to take her career in the desired direction.  

Throughout school and university, I contemplated many career options, unsure of which direction to take. I was convinced that I would stumble upon my perfect job. Turns out that didn’t happen. On leaving university it seemed as if all my friends had plans for what to do next and I still didn’t have a clue. I graduated with a 2:1 in Medical Science but decided to deviate from the typical research or medical-based careers that my course mates were aiming for.

I began the job application process by updating my CV. I’ve always had holiday and weekend jobs in hospitality, retail and various other sectors, and just about managed to pack out my CV. Unfortunately, I found that the skills I’d picked up didn’t translate well in a business or creative environment – picking strawberries for a pick-your-own farm shop is hard to big-up on your CV. I had many job applications rejected due to my lack of experience, and I was kicking myself for not looking for work placements throughout university or applying for a graduate scheme. I decided that the best way to gain experience would be to look for an internship.

I moved to London and was fortunate enough to secure an internship at The Complete University Guide (CUG). Not only has the position provided me with invaluable experience, but it is also fully paid (not just expenses), a rarity in many internships. I couldn’t have asked for more (especially with the shock of London rent). The internship has been a fantastic way to kick-start my life as a fully-functioning adult.

When I started with CUG, I had little knowledge about the company and what my role would involve. I was nervous that I would spend two months making teas and coffees. However, working in a small team, I was surprised by the responsibility I was given. Every day was varied, helping me develop valuable new skills that I know will set me in good stead for future job applications. I learnt how to source information and construct concise, informative articles related to further and higher education. Assigned the task of researching and producing profiles on UK colleges, international universities and university cities, I was excited about the prospect of editing and publishing my own work on the site. I was responsible for updating league tables and for making contact with international universities and tourist boards. I was asked to develop the company’s LinkedIn and Google+ pages, keeping the target audience in mind – something that is so important in today’s business world. I found it highly rewarding to see my work pay off in whatever small way.

The last two months with CUG have been indispensable. Not only have I expanded my skill-set enormously, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.  I have learnt so many valuable skills, gained insight into the world of online publishing and exposure to working in a private sector job.

I am leaving CUG to start a new internship with a whole foods company, an area of industry I am extremely interested in, which will hopefully lead to a permanent job. At my interview, my new employers were impressed that I was producing my own work for The Complete University Guide, and I know that my experience here was a key factor behind my acceptance for the new role. I would highly recommend interning with The Complete University Guide - not only will you have the opportunity to work with a great team, but the experience will provide you with skills that you can use across a wide variety of careers.