Isabelle Turner started as an intern at The Candidate last year and has been working part time whilst finishing her degree in Marketing. Now with graduation looming, she tells us what her options are, and what doing an internship has done for her career prospects.
Throughout my education, there's always been a particular emphasis that knowledge alone won't get you where you want to be in your career; work experience is the invaluable driving force you need in order to be able to succeed and stand out from the competition.
Whilst I was in my second year, at the University of Salford, I decided that I wanted to complete a 12-month placement within a marketing department. However, after many interviews and online tests, the chance of this happening diminished with each rejection letter. Not defeated, I decided to search for a summer internship, which would allow me to utilise the skills that I have learnt within the classroom. Fortunately for me, the words 'The Candidate' kept making an appearance on Reed.co.uk advertisements so, after researching the company, I decided to email them in the hope that they would be able to offer me a digital marketing internship over the summer.
As luck would have it, it turned out that I already knew Jack, one of the graduate recruiters as he's on my university course. He passed on my details to Melanie, the Digital Marketing Executive. After an informal, friendly chat combined with a small writing test, I was extremely happy to be offered a summer internship within the digital marketing department.
When my first day at The Candidate finally arrived, I was nervous and not quite sure what to expect. Nevertheless, everyone in the office welcomed me as a member of the team and genuinely wanted me to make a contribution. I hit the ground running, creating engaging content for the company's website whilst also offering my assistance when executing their social media strategy and improving my own knowledge of SEO. My understanding of digital marketing has grown massively since the beginning of my internship, and it has had positive effects on my work! Also, working within a recruitment agency has equipped me with the knowledge of what future employers look for in a candidate; something that will benefit my career a lot.
The months flew by and before I knew it, I was being offered a part-time job as a Digital Marketing Assistant - without hesitation, the answer was a YES! I loved the work that I was doing and more importantly the fast-paced, crazy environment in which I was working! Now, I am currently working as the Recruitment Operations Assistant within the CRT department, and it's so cool to be able to gain new transferable skills whilst still working for the company. It's not unusual for The Candidate to employee interns on a part-time basis, once they've completed their internship, with many previous interns now working within the marketing and recruitment departments. It's their job to be able to spot top talent, so if you're ever offered a job by them, you should feel honoured!
They say time flies when you're having fun and this couldn't be truer when it comes to The Candidate. They're a family that works hard and parties even harder! As an intern, you'll enjoy the many trips to Irish bars, Crazy Pedro's, and Revs de Cuba, plus you'll be able to take advantage of the PS4 and pool table located in the office! Don't forget their annual staff holiday if everyone hits their targets - Lisbon here we come! The staff are what makes the business so great; they are some of the most genuine people I've ever met and everyone looks out for each other. However, this internship isn't for the faint-hearted; the staff are wild, passionate about what they do, and trust me, there will be big debates over what music to play or who's on kitchen duty - you've been warned! Every day that you spend at The Candidate, I guarantee it will be filled with laughter, sarcasm and many stories to tell other people!
What's next for me? Well, by the end of May, I will have finished my degree and then I will be on the hunt for a permanent job within the digital marketing industry; a search which the recruitment consultants are already helping me with! I can't stress how much fun it is working here, undertaking work experience at The Candidate will not only provide you with excellent digital marketing skills, but they'll help you kick-start your career, plus you'd have a gained a work family for life!
High achievers lunch!
Finally, we asked Isabelle what her top five benefits of working part-time at The Candidate whilst studying!
A network of industry experts – working in an agency, it is amazing how connected they are! Some of our consultants have over 10,000 connections on social media, and genuinely are respected and credible in the industry. It goes without saying this is a valuable tool in growing my own network.
Learn new up to date skills in a working environment – I learnt a lot of theory in university and whilst we did a lot of practical projects to put these in practice, seeing them in a real-life situation has taught me so much more. Also, it feels good to see the results and outputs that come from it, such as winning new clients and achieving targets.
More confidence in your career direction – Being immersed in this world, I have become very familiar with what our clients are looking for, and what type of organisations they are. This has given me a feel for the organisations as well as ideas of where I would like to start and go in my career.
Recommendations from your employer – Doing work experience showed The Candidate I had a good work ethic, was driven and pro- active. I was thrilled when they offered me a part-time job, and now I am able to use them as a reference and, being a recruitment agency, I am in the best place when it comes to job hunting!
An impressive CV! - This has given me something extra on my CV that others don’t have; experience in a digital agency.
We're always looking out for top talent in our business check out Jack's story here!
Check out why you should work for us here!