Date published: 01 January 2016 by Anna Jackson
Before University I didn’t really know what an internship was, most of us had all done work experience during school but with no real idea of what we actually wanted to do in the future. However, once I got to University with a specific interest in politics, a career in the charity sector appealed to me. During my second year I attended a lecture titled “How to get into the Third Sector”, this was very informative and what one speaker brutally highlighted has stuck with me; everyone is going to leave University with a degree so you need to have experiences that will make you stand out from the rest. This made me reflect, apart from the part-time job I’ve had since I was 15 I have had no real work experience in my prospective career sector.
After this piece of advice, I started to look for internships online. This proved challenging as the majority of internships were unpaid and in London. I felt disheartened when I first began my search as living 45 minutes away from London seemed to be a huge disadvantage; I simply wouldn’t be able to afford to get there. Yet this piece of advice was constantly in my head and I knew I had to continue my search. I then found a variety of internships at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and the fact that expenses are covered meant that I was able to afford to get some real work experience.
I read the descriptions of each internship from the different teams within the charity and decided to apply for an internship with the corporate team. I was drawn to the research and development of new business aspect of the charity as this was something I hadn’t considered when thinking of charity work and so I was curious to learn more.
From hearing internship horror stories from friends I was sceptical of the experience and jobs that I would be doing, constantly making tea and not given independent tasks were amongst my fears! However, my experience here at Rainbow Trust has been invaluable. From the first day it was clear that the Corporate team wanted me to get the most out of my internship and develop skills that would be vital for the workplace. This became evident when I was invited to various workshops such as an Introduction to LinkedIn, CV writing and Public Speaking which were specifically organised for the interns. These extra workshops on top of the daily tasks really meant that my employability was in the interest of the charity and so the internship was worthwhile to me. I have learnt so much more than I first expected and now feel confident that I want to pursue a career in the third sector which would have never been confirmed without my experience here.
Ultimately, I am extremely glad that I have interned with Rainbow Trust, I believe this internship has developed my employability considerably and I now feel confident to start a career in the third sector.