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What it’s like to do an internship for a start up

Almost a year ago, Olivia joined us after graduating from Edinburgh Uni. As 2019 comes to a close, this is what she’s learned.

OneFifty offers one of the most competitive internship programmes in the digital marketing sector, actually in the country (trust us, we have the Linkedin stats…). Many of the things I have learnt during the period of my 6 month internship, albeit only 2 months of this was as an intern with the following 4 months being within the role of a Junior Consultant, are lessons that will play a significant role in shaping my career and something I wanted to share. Whether you are years into your career, about to start or even thinking of applying for a role at OneFifty, entertain my musings and get involved – I’m interested in hearing what you have to say about these points as much as I am interested in sharing them…

If you want to be the best, you need to surround yourself with the best.

I have been lucky enough to be relatively good at the things I have tried. However, arriving at OneFifty made me feel as I have only felt once before when joining the Edinburgh University Performance Swimming Team: so incredibly out of my depth. I was suddenly surrounded by an incredibly talented and intelligent group of individuals and to be frank, it was insanely intimidating. As time has gone on, I have been nurtured by and learnt from these same individuals and when you’re learning from the best, you can’t be learning from any better…

Be like a sponge.

Honestly, soak it all up! I don’t think -in fact, I am relatively certain- that I have never learnt more in a similar time frame as I have during my first 6 months at OneFifty. I have a notebook from my first month at OneFifty in which I wrote down everything that was new. This notebook only lasted my first month because after this it was full and I realised from an environmental point of view, I needed to turn these notes digital. My sponge mindset has enabled me to learn and progress with OneFifty and be given increasingly high levels of responsibility as an acknowledgement of all that I have keenly absorbed.

Work is hard. But, that’s what makes it so rewarding.

I love working at OneFifty, but it is by no means easy. We produce excellent work for several clients every single day. How? Because we care, so we work hard for our clients to ensure we deliver the best. I am not work shy, I studied for an Ancient History degree at the University of Edinburgh whilst completing around 30 hours of swim training a week, but I would say my current working week is just as hard. Why? Responsibility. It’s not just about me anymore. I have a responsibility to my colleagues to deliver high calibre work every day so that we as a team can fulfil our responsibilities to our clients. But, when work is hard, the reward is greater.

Speak up.

When working in an office, it is important to speak up whether that be for a personal reason or just within general office chatter. Being a part of what you’re working within will provide a greater sense of purpose because you feel as if you’re part of it, a piece of the bigger jigsaw. But, speaking up also has a far more pragmatic purpose to it: if you’re not speaking up about something, people might not know about it. If they don’t know, they can’t help! Whether that be that you are going through something personally, you can’t meet deadlines due to workload or even something trivial such as having different snack preferences to that currently on offer in the office (a frequent point of discussion within our office…). If you’re not voicing it, people can’t hear it and if they’re not hearing it, they can’t do anything about it.

I could keep writing, but the lessons learnt within the first six months of my career have been countless, and invaluable. I have been set up for my career in ways that have outstripped those that I could have ever imagined. I hope you’ve found this read interesting, perhaps even thought-provoking and for those that are interested in how I am getting on with the whole working girl part of my life, I hope it has been satisfyingly informative.

Now, over to you, what are the most important lessons you have learnt in your career so far?


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