Louis Collin takes over our blog to explain how he gained an internship…
“My journey into online marketing began after yet another fruitless day looking for jobs. Having left a position working as a Teacher’s Assistant in a primary school a month earlier, I was growing tired of seeing days disappear without anything to show for them. Spurred on by this frustration I decided to start a music blog. A couple of days later I was the proud owner of MEGATUNES. Working on my blog gave me something productive to do with my days, and something to show for the hours I was already spending in front of my laptop. It also provided a healthy creative output.
On top of all this MEGATUNES was a way of advertising myself to potential employers, and ultimately it kick-started a chain of events that led me to my current position. When I applied for an internship at Competitionhunter (a small internet start-up company), I was able to call upon MEGATUNES as an example of my experience within the blogosphere as well as an indication of using social media to promote a product. As a direct consequence of my internship with Competitionhunter I got some freelance work with Theorymine: a company that sells unique mathematical theorems as a novelty gift. I knew the brainchild behind the company, and was able to offer my services when she told me she was looking for someone to do their online marketing. These experiences proved key in landing my current position at Lifestep.
In a relatively short time I have gone from unemployed – with very limited experience – to working in an area I would have never previously considered. It has taught me the importance in staying productive. Job hunting can be a soul destroying process. A day in the life of the unemployed can be a tedious monotony of checking emails, sending emails and countless cups of tea. This coupled with having no money can sap morale. MEGATUNES allowed me to have a different focus to my days, I loved blogging and this kept me positive.
When opportunities did arise at Competitionhunter and Theorymine, I made sure I achieved at least one thing at each position, which would stand out on my CV. At Competitionhunter I thought there was a story in the relationship between the economic downturn and the increase in the number of people entering competitions. I sent countless emails to journalists whom I thought would be interested. A few carefully negotiated phone calls later, I managed to get the story run in The Metro. It was a similar tale at Theorymine. I believed journalists would be interested in the story of Flaminia Cavello (The founder of Theorymine) who is uniquely positioned as a young female entrepreneur with a background the sciences. Journalists agreed, and her story was run on a few prominent websites as a result.
These achievements may seem small in themselves, but they serve the purpose of providing practical evidence for future interviews. So, when I am asked “What can you bring to our Company?” I will be able to provide these examples as a demonstration of my strengths.
Parenthetically, I would recommend working in a small company to anyone. Competitionhunter, Theorymine and Lifestep all have less than 5 employees. This means I have been given real responsibility from day one. I have seen how a company is run first hand and have been asked for input on key matters. Essentially I have been fast-tracked into gaining invaluable experience.
I am currently doing a paid internship with Lifestep. In many respects it’s a dream opportunity for me. Lifestep is a company that excels in training young students or graduates on how to get the jobs they desire. I am picking up new CV tips and interview techniques every day! As part of the internship I also get a place on their much acclaimed Headstart course in Easter. I know I will come out of this opportunity in a strong position to pursue any future endeavours.
Working for Lifestep has been a rapid and natural progression. Yet it all began very simply with MEGATUNES. What started as me pursuing my passion for music had resulted in me becoming favourably positioned in a very competitive job market. So far I have learnt you have always got to stay productive, even if it is something as simple as a blog. You have got to find the right opportunities and make sure you take something from every single one. If you do this, you will always be moving in a positive direction.”
You can catch Louis tweeting at @Lifestepcareers