In this blog Lisa Greghi outlines what she has learnt so far as a communications intern. She hopes her learnings will give some insight for other students considering undertaking an internship.
The role of University of Exeter Education Incubator Communications Intern has exceeded my expectations, providing me with an incredible amount of expertise.
In this role I have understood what it truly means to work in a professional environment and to work in a collaborative team. I was also taken out of my comfort zone with social media tasks and learning to write for platforms that I was less familiar with.
Designing with purpose
Through this internship my goal was to develop my knowledge and gain more experience in social media content creation, specifically copy writing and designing images. My knowledge wasn’t at all comprehensive and I have expanded my expertise in platforms I wasn’t familiar with: LinkedIn and Twitter, by learning to write posts with an academic tone, as well as conveying the most important information with limited characters.
Furthermore, I wanted to learn how to write blog posts professionally. The role has forced me to think about writing in a more purposeful way and designing with a specific audience in mind. After researching and identifying the Education Incubator’s main audiences I crafted social media and blog posts in a way that made it appealing to our audiences. This is a challenging task which has equipped me with new skills such as using specific language and vocabulary to identify different tones of voice.
Designing for specific events, such as the Education Incubator April Writing Retreat, allowed me to be more selective with the design tools that I use and gave me an understanding that some are more fit for purpose than others. I’ve realised Canva is not as ideal for larger creative projects like posters. My experience is that the platform is more suitable for deigning social media images. I therefore learned how to use Adobe software InDesign that offers a wide range of professional tools that grants the best results when it comes to digital designing, manipulation and editing.
Working in a communications team is as much about communicating with each other, as it is with internal and external audiences. How we share briefs, content information, images and support each other’s copy writing skills through the use of differing platforms such as GoogleDocs, Slack, Trello, helps develop a streamlined team approach. I have learnt that correct filing and naming is an important part of this collaboration! Filing know-how are important transferable skills in wider career domains.
What employers want
My aim after university is to be able to work in the publishing industry as a Commissioning Editor or as Social Media Manager. Both positions are something I have been working towards in my academic career by studying publishing throughout my degree. Furthermore, next year I’ll start a part time masters at London Metropolitan in Creative, Digital and Professional Writing, which will cultivate my passions and prepare me for the workplace.
A position as Commissioning Editor according to targetjobs.co.uk, requires: adaptability, being capable of meeting deadlines, IT skills and verbal and written communication skills. All of these requirements I have developed in my position as Communications Intern, making me a valuable asset for the workplace.
A Social Media Manager, according to Sproutsocial, necessitates skills in communication, writing, creativity, efficiency and top-notch organisation. These skills I have met by managing to prioritise my tasks efficiently within the allocated required 4 hours of work per week to deliver the relevant activities.
The last important skill for the role is making connections and developing relationships. This is something I have learnt through the weekly and bi-weekly meetings with my manager Kerry Deacon and my mentor Hazel Beevers. The process of listening, giving and receiving feedback, ensures that tasks are delivered within the role and as a team. More importantly we learn from each other when we share our skills and experience.
Overall I believe I have achieved a great ability to allocate my working hours and social media skills that will be very valuable in a working environment.
I am very keen to discover what this experience will teach me over the following months left within the academic year.
The University of Exeter’s Education Incubator scheme. Promoting pedagogic innovation and collaboration with an aim to enhance learning across the University and beyond.