Internship – Robert's Story

Robert studied biology at the University of Sheffield and has spent 3 months as an intern at the Complete University Guide.

Most of my adult life I’ve had my sights set on becoming a science teacher. After some time in the teaching profession, I sadly came to the realisation that it wasn’t the job for me. This gave me the task of starting all the way from the bottom; you can imagine what a terrifying prospect that was.

I have little experience of private sector jobs so knew that gaining some experience in the form of an internship was going to be essential. Initially I found it difficult to decide what area I wanted to work in and, as important,  what I wanted to do in that area. Despite this I spent some time applying to all sorts of companies and eventually managed to secure a place on an internship programme with the Complete University Guide.

Despite knowing very little about the company and what I’d be doing, I must say I’ve been very happy, not least because the internship is fully paid. My role is largely editorial but also has a marketing element, so every day is varied, and I’ve been learning new skills, which I know, will help throughout my career.

First and foremost I have learnt how to source and write education-related content, making sure it's relevant and appealing to the target market. This has given me a good knowledge base of the further and higher education sector, as well as teaching me how to produce editorial content in response to market demand, a useful skill in most industries. The Complete University Guide publishes solely online, so I have learnt to write with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind, another useful skill for now and the future. It’s really easy to see how this role in digital media and the related skills will be valuable for whatever I do in the future, and making a useful contribution to the development of the website has been satisfying.

As you can imagine, helping to design website pages that appeal to the target market is certainly a skill I can take forward. I have also co-ordinated social media for the guide, drumming up hits for the site and contributing to PR with the site’s users.  It may be early days but having almost total responsibility for an area is something I’ve relished and I know I’d be unlikely to have the opportunity to do so if I were interning for a large company. 

There’s no doubt that interning with the Complete University Guide has been a great opportunity to get to grips with working online and one that has taught me a plethora of skills that I’ll be able to take forward.