Things I wish I had known before I started interning

things i wish i had known

It’s strange to think how fast time goes and how much changes in such little time; this time last year I was handing in the last of my second year deadlines in between partying as much as I could before packing up my things and saying goodbye to my friends to start what was supposed to be my year-long fashion PR placement in London (but we all know how that story ended)

I handed in my placement year assignment yesterday which was all about reflecting what I have learnt from my year in industry and so being in a reflective mood I began to think about what I wish I had known before I started my interning and here are the top 3 things I came up with:

  1. The money aspect – I put this at the top of the list as its one of the standard worries of being a student, but it wasn’t until I’d fully signed on for a placement year and had applied for my student finance did it become clear that my loan would be virtually non-existent for this year and was cut by just over half of what I normally receive. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a paid placement as well as a supportive family but not everyone has this opportunity/type of support, and it was made pretty clear to me that if I didn’t have enough money to fund myself this year then I wouldn’t have been able to undergo a placement year which virtually makes no sense as work experience is highly encouraged and so you would think they’d try to be a bit more lenient with helping out. In addition to this, I still had to pay course fees which I had anticipated and although it wasn’t close to the £9000 mark like I normally pay, £3000 is still a bit steep for the occasional check-in with my tutor and for an assignment to be marked.
  2. The friend aspect – I found moving away from my uni friends really hard at first especially when I’d see snapchats of them all together and going out and drinking and I’d already be tucked up in bed by 9pm because 6am starts are a struggle. As time went on and the more I began to feel settled at home and reconnected with some of my old friends from school and made new friends at work as well as speaking to my uni friends nearly everyday I didn’t feel as lonely as I did at the start of the year; whether you love social media or hate it, its ability to connect people from long distances is really helpful in the modern age. This year made me realise more than ever that it doesn’t matter if your friends are a few hours away or if you don’t talk everyday it doesn’t matter because if they’re really your friends it’ll feel no different when you meet up.
  3. The me aspect – I’ve had a lot of ups and downs through my placement year and although this time last year I was debating about scrapping it and continuing onto uni with my final year I’m really glad I didn’t. I’ve come across so many marketing aspects that I haven’t been taught at university as well as invaluable experience of what its actually like in a working environment (email and phone etiquette is a real thing!) and have met some really cool people. In myself, I am so much more confident than I was at the start of the year, I feel a lot older than I am (am I actually 20? I’m not sure anymore) and have experienced things such as attending marketing events which I wouldn’t of had the opportunity to if I had only done a summer placement. Before going on my placement year I never would have anticipated how much I would have learned about both marketing and myself and I couldn’t be more pleased with how things turned out!

Parting thoughts: After handing in my assignment yesterday and being given my unit descriptors in preparation for third year it looks as though there’s another interesting year is ahead!

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