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Marketing and Advancement Internships: Q&A with Ella Kirby

Do you think you have what it takes to be one of the next Marketing and Advancement interns at Loughborough University?

Photo of Ella Kirby graduating, stood outside

If you answered ‘yes’ and love being part of the Loughborough Family, then we want to hear from you.

We spoke with current Web and Digital Intern Ella Kirby to find out more about the skills and experience the role has given her, as well as her advice for those thinking of applying.

What inspired you to apply for the University’s Marketing and Advancement intern scheme?

I first saw the intern positions advertised on the University’s Instagram story and the title ‘Web and Digital Intern’ sounded very me. I had dabbled in web and digital during my Graphics A-Level and my time as Media Rep for my hall, so I knew this was the area I wanted to go in to. The internship was a perfect solution for me as a recent graduate; I was unsure about what I wanted to do specifically in my future career in digital marketing, so getting a taste of different roles to discover which area I enjoyed the most was really appealing.

What skills have you taken from your experience?

I’ve gained invaluable skills within digital marketing - from creating engaging content for all of the University’s social media channels, to developing and redeveloping websites and working with the Video Production team.

I have learnt a lot about the importance of working together as a team to reach goals and deadlines. The University also offers a unique Intern Development Programme which really helped me to evaluate the skills I’d learnt so far and how I can improve on them to enhance my prospects for my future career.

My internship has also been the perfect stepping stone into adulthood coming straight out of university. It has allowed me to adjust to the ‘9 to 5’ routine whilst being in an environment that I know as my second home.

What have you enjoyed doing the most during your placement?

I really enjoyed creating the content for ‘This Week at Loughborough’, a weekly blog and Instagram campaign that informs students what’s going on every week on campus and in town. I was given full responsibility and entrusted to meet my weekly deadline. I loved learning about all the different events that were going on each week, which I somehow missed as a student! If there was a significant event, for example International Women’s Day or LGBT+ History Month, the graphics for the slides would be altered to fit the campaign theme which I enjoyed as it enabled me to be more creative with various tools.

How has it been adapting your role and working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

My role has adapted quite substantially since working from home. As events on campus have stopped, This Week at Loughborough has stopped temporarily too. Instead, I’ve been working on more web-based projects. Although the social media aspect has changed it really surprised me just how digital my work is, as everything I did in the office I can do remotely from a laptop – the wonders of technology!

What advice would you share with those who are thinking of applying to the scheme?

My advice to applicants is to be honest. If you don’t have much experience in certain parts of the role, don’t be afraid to say you’re excited to learn them on the job. An internship is all about learning new skills that you may not have been taught in your degree – I studied Politics and International Relations which has very little to do with marketing!

Furthermore, remember to talk about how you’ve contributed to the University during your time as a student, whether that be a committee role, raising money for RAG or partaking in a sports team – just prove that you have the passion!

What’s your next goal after finishing your internship?

I’m sure everyone can relate when I say the immediate future is looking a bit uncertain. I was initially planning to go travelling once my internship finished but that has been postponed. I think my next goal will be to get a job to follow the end of my internship in an area of digital marketing as this role has definitely confirmed that this is the industry for me.

Ella’s line manager and Digital Projects and Campaigns Officer Rachel Mackenzie commented: “It has been great to see Ella’s confidence grow and to see her take advantage of the personal development opportunities available to her. She has been involved in large scale web development projects, learning the processes, conducting user testing and bringing ideas to life.”

For more information about the Marketing and Advancement internships – including how to apply and the person specification – visit the dedicated webpage.