Making the most of an internship

After graduating from the BA Performing Arts course, Anastajia Poddubnova secured a role as a Graduate Communication Intern. She reflects on her experience and shares her top three insights gained during her internship.

I faced several rejections before landing a role as a Graduate Communication Intern. Achieving your goals requires significant time and effort, yet the sense of accomplishment that follows makes the journey worthwhile.  

Every new experience is an opportunity to explore your capabilities. My internship placement helped me to believe in my abilities and boosted my confidence. If you are considering applying for an internship position in the future, here are some insights from my experience:  

Your degree does not define your future. Your aspirations do!  

As a (BA) Performing Arts graduate who had quite a bumpy education journey (due to the pandemic and online training), I discovered that there is hope for all creative minds if we are ready to be resilient and flexible.  

No matter what, you should remember that you are more than your degree classification. The other, non-academic skills acquired during your time at university are highly transferable to various professional spheres—I am a living example of this.  

During my final year I got into content creation and started researching how I could steer my future career in that direction. Although lacking extensive experience, I was passionate and willing to learn.  The Bath Spa Graduate Scheme took a chance on me, and I was determined to make sure it didn't go to waste. I wanted to prove that one can achieve anything with determination, even without the exact degree or relevant experience that employers typically seek.  

Stay open, stay sharp. There’s no such thing as being too prepared.  

With limited knowledge about how an internship operated or what to anticipate, I was stressed about how I would fit in or be able to cope with the work.

I had never delved into Digital Marketing or Content Creation at a professional level before; it had only been a hobby for me. So, I did what I could with the time I had before the placement - I prepared.  

To gain a better grasp of the role, I was proactive, asking questions and implementing a personal training routine. This included familiarising myself with fundamental Digital Marketing terminology and completing an online course through Future Learn. Additionally, I created some content using recommended apps and sketched out potential project ideas.  

It can be difficult to follow your dreams as a creative in a fast-paced corporate world. It’s therefore important to consider what other work placements you could secure for yourself. Could you find work as a performer, artist, photographer, etc.? What else will you enjoy doing? What will keep you afloat as well as connected to your creative nature? Find it, learn it, practise it. Stay open to upcoming opportunities and be prepared. 

Let go of things which don’t work out.  

During the placement, I learned that being bold, resilient, and adaptable is crucial when completing projects. As one of my professors said: 'As a student, you have the chance to fail in private.' Now, as a graduate, I appreciate that an internship serves as the next stepping stone, enabling you to showcase your skills in a supportive work environment.  

One thing I learnt during my internship was that things may take longer than you think in a work environment, and this is okay! Quality outcomes take time, and this isn’t a reflection of your work. It just shows that projects can go through several edits before they are finished. Be prepared to incorporate feedback effectively and make the necessary revisions. Do not lose hope! It’s all part of the process. 

Final thoughts

My internship experience has been a valuable journey of growth and discovery. I learned that I have a lot to offer and there is always a way to shine through.  

Spending time with professionals who are eager to share their expertise is invaluable and will undoubtedly establish a solid foundation for future success. Remember to thoroughly assess the blind spots in your CV, ensuring a clear understanding of what you aim to achieve during the placement. Stay prepared to tackle new challenges head-on, and I wish you the best of luck! 

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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