Thoughts from YellowDog intern, Beth
You’re a student! You have very little money and an awful lot to prove. You have reached the summit of your teen years and you find yourself at the bottom of a new, adult pecking order. You take comfort in the refuge of university but you are only too aware of its finality.
Toward the end of your study, the value of your degree falls almost second place to your CV.
To stand out from the crowd your experience counts, you sacrifice your free time to do a company’s grunt work just to get that precious bullet point under “Work Experience”. If you’re like me, you’ll avoid this for as long as possible – hello Master’s degree! – but at some point you have to face the music.
I saw the role of ‘Sales and Marketing Intern’ at YellowDog. It ticked all the boxes: part-time to fit around my studies and paid! It gave me the reassurance that even if I got stuck with boring admin I’d at least make a little bit of pocket money. I applied for the role.
I got the offer! I told my family, they congratulated me…then sent me into the kitchen to start practising my tea making skills.
…But you know what they say about people who make assumptions.
Not only did the top dog, Gareth, make me a cup of coffee of my first day, on a few occasions he even washed my mug! Since day 1 I’ve been given real tasks and real responsibility. During my time here, I’ve written content for the YellowDog blog, set up their YouTube channel, and assisted the sales team in researching VFX and animation studios so that the right people can learn why YellowDog could be their new best friend.
My time at YellowDog is coming to an end and it is now time to collar another student looking for more than a statement on a piece of paper. So to my successors, if you’re reading this, here are my 3 top tips to get the most out of your internship.
1 | Turn up and stay engaged
As our parents often tell us, “you only get out of something what you put into it”, so when you’re working for YellowDog, work hard. It can be challenging to go from the ‘uni lifestyle’ – where you start work at 10am, get up every 5 minutes to make yet another coffee, and have Facebook as a permanently open tab in your browser – to a full day in the office. Just remind yourself it is only one day so get stuck in and do as much as you can in that day. The more you get done, the more experience you’ll get. I’m regularly asked whether I’m happy with the jobs I’ve been given, whether I want to do anything specific, or learn a new aspect of sales and marketing. The team are only too happy to give you different tasks to get the most from you but ensure you get the most from them too, so if you want to leave with lots to show for it, get stuck in.
2 | Take pride in being part of YellowDog
YellowDog is a seriously cool company. It has big ideas and hard-working people. It’s not a faceless corporation with senior staff who are unaware of their employees; it is a team of people who take pride in their work and love what they do. Embrace this attitude, if you love the company you work for, you’ll be driven to perform your best. Take the time to learn about how YellowDog started and what they want to achieve in the future, and what their customers have to say about their experience. You’ll soon see why the office is such a positive environment to work in!
3 | Be grateful
An internship doesn’t have to just be a tick box, it can be a rewarding experience that you enjoy. The team invest time and interest in your progression and learning so be grateful. Be helpful and get involved – no matter what the task. Even if you think that what you’re doing is a boring task I guarantee whoever has set you on to that recognises it too and has something exciting lined up when you’ve finished.
Just enjoy it, there’ll be no hidden surprises, no grunt work, no trick questions; just hard work and great company. I haven’t met one team member who is unfriendly and who doesn’t love what they do, it’s infectious. And better still, they have really valued my opinion.
YellowDog has flipped my assumption about the role of an “intern” on its head. They’ve given me more than a statement on a piece of paper. I have real experience and I have learned things that I will take into future jobs.
If this is what working life is like, sign me up!