Date published: 13 May 2015 by Anna Jackson
From the moment I entered Rainbow Trust I was treated as a vital member of the team. The organisation has a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with individuals that were responsive to my individual needs and concerns, had an obvious love for what they were doing and had an approachable nature that extended an automatic helping hand; putting the new guy at ease when it came to asking “stupid questions”. This is embedded in their culture and they are all lovely people, but beyond that, at Rainbow Trust there is a true understanding of the value of the intern. I cannot count the amount of times I was told “we couldn’t do this without you” and their obvious gratitude was shown both in the time they invested in me and the emphasis placed on establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. And, at least in my case, it was a definite win-win situation.
Being a recent graduate, I wanted to get some hands-on experience working within a corporate fundraising team. I was given the support and time for my confidence to grow, I was trained in the organisation’s internal systems and a variety of team members took time out of their schedules to educate me on the different corporate fundraising revenue streams, provide me with an overview of Google analytics and offer their knowledge on the main challenges within the charity sector. I was given the opportunity to attend public speaking seminars, where I was given practical skills that qualified me as a Rainbow Trust brand ambassador. As the organisation’s trust in my abilities grew, so did my role within the team. I was given more responsibilities and the opportunity to work directly with some of the charity’s major corporate partners; I liaised with the Community Affairs department of Nomura (Japanese Investment Bank), where I coordinated campaigns at the bank’s headquarters; I helped facilitate the launch of the Frankie and Bennies partnership at their annual managers’ conference; I was part of the initial brainstorm meeting with World Duty Free; I attended an I Love Claims networking lunch (hosted by Chris Moyles); and I was a key player in the wind-down of the Waterstones partnership. Additionally, I was given the freedom to pursue my own projects, where I could take real ownership and developed skills that I will draw on throughout the rest of my career.
During my time at Rainbow Trust I discovered where my strengths lie, where I can best use them and how to sell myself. Towards the end of my internship, I was provided with many additional resources to help me on my job search, working directly with the Head of Corporate Fundraising I did numerous mock interviews, honed my CV and general cover letter, and was given detailed feedback that highlighted different areas of my job performance. Purely as a result of my internship at Rainbow Trust I am now a more confident person, I know where I want my career to develop and I have a plan of how I’m going to get there – I now have the skills and experience to become a corporate fundraiser. Where else would you get all this, as well as the chance to dress in a Bungle character costume, the opportunity take part in a pancake race and the fun-filled craic that comes alongside forming lasting friendships?
I would whole-heartedly recommend an internship at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity for anyone hoping to gain practical experience and develop their professional skills. It’s an experience I will never forget… and would never want to.