This summer I was extremely lucky to be offered a paid internship through the University of Derby to work as a social media assistant at the Y Not Festival. In my blog, I hope to share my experience with you so you can see what career enhancing opportunities are available to you through the University.
Y Not is an increasingly well-known music festival that takes place in the Peak District across four days in July. Being located within 40 minutes from the University’s Derby Campus, it is a perfect opportunity to attend for great music and, for me, an amazing opportunity to gain some valuable, life-changing work experience.
Finding the perfect opportunity
The role I applied for was a social media assistant. This meant I was working alongside the Y Not event organisers and marketing team. I saw through the festival over the four days and provided content across all their social media platforms.
I first came across this opportunity by browsing on the University’s Student Employment Agency (known as the SEA) website. As a student who planned to set aside time this summer to build on work experience, I kept an eye on this website looking for opportunities suitable for me – and this most definitely was! There were so many (and still are) job vacancies available through the SEA within a wide range of industries and a huge variety of job roles, so there’s something for everyone.
Aligning with my career goals
I chose to get involved in this particular internship because the role advertised aligned perfectly within the field of work I wish to pursue once I graduate. Plus, who doesn’t want to work at a music festival? It sounded like a whole lot of fun to me.
I went into this internship not really knowing what to expect. Stepping out of my comfort zone of education and studying and into the ‘real working world’ is always daunting and scary, even if you’ve held a part-time job since you were 16. Starting something new, somewhere new is always a leap of faith. But I wanted to throw myself in the deep end and see how the social media marketing industry worked for a big organisation. And I loved it!
My full experience
During my first few days on site (pre-festival), I had a mix of job roles. These involved copywriting for the Y Not mobile app, responding to customer enquiries, organising a press/influencer event and putting together a marketing strategy.
Once the arenas were built, I took last minute ‘teaser’ images for the avid festival goers and continued to collect content once the festival was in full swing. As a member of the production team, I had access to all areas, which meant I could experience the backstage and side-of-stage buzz before an artist performance and see the crowds get excited.
Being a content creator meant I threw myself into the festival 100%, switching between the six music venues and jumping between additional events in order to get an overview of the whole festival weekend. Each day was different. On one occasion, I was an escort for two lucky winners who won side-stage passes to see Franz Ferdinand and the next I was taking part in reggae yoga! But most of all, I had a lot of fun and I couldn’t have wished for a better group of talented people to work alongside.
From this opportunity, I have not only walked away with muddy boots, but a whole lot of helpful industry-based skills. And I’ve had the perfect opportunity to network with other professionals such as event organisers, photographers, videographers and marketing managers.
All of the skills I have gained are transferable and I can apply them to any future employment, which is a huge help. Not only that, but having this experience on my CV is highly likely to help me get my foot in the door with future employment. I now feel extremely motivated to work even harder on my final year of university, learn new skills and gain more work experience in order to reach my career goals.
Fingers crossed I can do it all over again next year!