How an internship helped me see the light

Lewis Comber is a second-year BSc (Hons) Marketing (Digital) student. Until last year, he hadn’t had any real-life work experience in marketing. That all changed with a short-term internship with a candle maker.

New venture

In my first year – February 2018 – I decided to apply for short-term internships through the University. I thought I would benefit from the practical application of what I had been learning on my course.

After receiving help with my CV from the University support team, I applied for ten internships. To my surprise got invited for an interview from six of the applications. After attending a few interviews (which was great experience in itself), I took up an offer to work part-time as a creative marketing intern. This was for company called On a Wick and a Prayer, based in the heart of the Peak District. They are a bespoke candle making company.

They had taken me on to help with the launch of a new venture, EaziCandle. This is a DIY create-your-own candle kit at home and they wanted help with targeting a new younger demographic. My time working with them involved:

  • Building an e-commerce website, using Weebly
  • Holding product photoshoots and creating a promotion video
  • Looking at their branding strategy and devising a marketing plan, including setting up social media.
  • Conducting primary market research by running a focus group at my university
EaziCandle logo

New skills

I hadn’t used Weebly before as a platform to build a website but I had used WordPress as an open-source content management system to create a couple of websites before. It didn’t take long to understand the platform and get used to editing their template system. However, I’d never had to develop an e-commerce website before, this was a first for me. I really enjoyed it!

My first-year module, Design and Creativity, really helped me with the visual aspect of developing this website. Developing an e-commerce website was a great experience for me and I could definitely see myself using the skills learned from this task in the future.

The website included a checkout system with around 20 available products that could be added to a cart.

Social integration was important and the three key social media platforms we wanted to use were Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The website also had downloadable PFD instructions, a newsletter sign up and a contact form.

Creating content

I was involved in the content creation. Armed with a DSLR camera, I was set the task of getting the necessary images for the website and social media. I suggested creating a ‘how to’ video that we could use to show customers visually how to use the product properly and give people an insight as to what the product is.

I created a stop-motion video to be used on social media. It sits on the front page of the EaziCandle website.

The practical application of putting together a strategy and creating content for their social media platforms was a very beneficial real-world learning experience for me. It had definitely had prepared me for my career in marketing in the future. I am hoping to transfer all these skills and everything I’ve learned to a second internship this year.

I’m grateful for all of the help I received from the University in the application process. I think it’s great that I can have access to such great internship opportunities, with vital real-world experience and the chance to earn a bit of extra money. What University student wouldn’t benefit from all of that?

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