my experience as an intern.
Updated: Jun 25
I decided to take a gap year before applying for University as I was unsure about what I wanted to do and didn't feel ready yet. To dip my toes into various industries I applied for some internships and work experience. This is my experience applying and being accepted by a credible company.
During my A-Levels and at the start of my gap year, I was unsure of the exact industry I wanted to go into but I knew that I loved writing content and enjoyed the thought of marketing and advertising. So I started looking into PR firms.
I remember being sat in front of the TV in the evenings, in between revising for my exams, typing 'PR companies near me' into Google over and over, scrolling to the 'Contact Us' section at the bottom, and copying and pasting email addresses.
I ensured my CV was up-to-date and the wording geared toward the PR industry and I created a template email to send to companies. Of the 52 PR companies I emailed, I got 1 rejection and 1 follow-up email. A failure to some, but a success for me!
This is the email I sent to Berkeley PR. Short, to-the-point, and probably not a winner. But it worked for me. This is the response I received.
After a phone call with the lovely Marie, I was actually told that they couldn't find any work experience available in any of their departments. Although disheartened I thanked her for her time and started applying elsewhere. A few weeks later, Marie reached out to me again and informed me that Berkeley had recently started a sister company, Arlington Research, working alongside Berkeley to provide the surveys and stats for their future content.
I was invited for an interview which I was incredibly nervous about. I even made my mum drive 45 minutes to the Berkeley offices the day before so I knew where I was going. This would be my first official interview in a swanky office with a bunch of adults. I wore my highest heels (a big regret) and left 30 minutes too early leaving a very sweaty Hannah waiting in her car watching the minutes go by.
The interview went smoothly considering my hands were shaking under the table. I had done some extensive research on the company the night before so felt I knew it inside-out. I also made sure to ask the interviewer's (Marie from the HR department and Carolyn, the head of the Arlington Branch) how they got into the roles they are in. I was given the internship with the paid role of Research Assistant a few days later.
When you apply for an internship, you will have to prepare for your role to be slightly menial, picking up some of the work that others don't want to do. My role involved a lot of data entry in Excel and proofreading documents, and although slightly dull, the fact that I could do this at my own desk with my own email box with huge glass windows made the process a lot more glamourous. If your internship is only for a couple of weeks, make sure you grasp every opportunity. I made sure that if someone asked me "could you do this" I met it with an excitable "yes!" The more tasks you do, the more you can put on your CV.