By Charlotte Cooper
I was at university studying for my one-year Master of Arts in Publishing in the middle of the pandemic when my tutor explained to my cohort that we would be required to undertake a minimum of a two-week relevant industry work-experience as part of the course. Having already undertaken a few other work-placements during my three-year undergraduate degree, I already knew how tricky it could be secure this type of experience, even unpaid and even without a pandemic complicating things!
For most companies, taking on an individual for work-experience can be daunting; it often requires them to entrust in an individual they hardly know with how their business runs on a day-to-day basis. It can also be time-consuming for the company who need to schedule time to teach, support, and provide constructive feedback to the individual in order to provide them with a rich, meaningful experience.
I consider myself very lucky that I had met my now colleague, David Rose, through social media when connecting with others who have a rare or chronic disease, like myself. Having spoken to David about his potion at RARE Revolution Magazine and knowing a placement like this aligned to my career aspirations, I sent him a message asking about the possibility of work experience. David kindly put me in contact with Nicola Miller, editor-in-chief of RARE Revolution Magazine, for an interview and, long story short, I secured a two-week work placement
My placement with Rare Revolution
Due to Covid-19 and my location in Devon, my work-placement was remote. Initially I was concerned being remote for my placement would negatively affect how much teaching and support RARE Revolution would offer me, but after the first day I knew this wasn’t going to be a problem. The engagement in the industry work placement exceeded expectations with the level of participation achievable through a remote placement relying on digital communication. This is now how I work permanently at RARE Revolution: remotely from home, always with an iced coffee beside me!
Participating in the work placement was fundamental to apply knowledge and technical skills established in an educational setting to a professional environment. It provided me with the opportunity to explore the industry I was interested in and the type of work I would be doing, without expectations of my existing skillset and without the pressure of long-term commitment to the company, should it have not been what I had hoped.
Of course, the placement was what I had hoped for, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A key highlight of the placement was the opportunity to have editorials published in the May 2021 issue of RARE Revolution Magazine, where you will first see my name popup!
Getting a job offer
By showcasing my skills and work ethic to the RARE Revolution team during those two weeks of placement, my now colleagues were able to see first-hand how I would fit into a working position alongside them. I was offered a part-time position to sit alongside my postgraduate studies, and following my graduation, I was offered a full-time position as RARE Revolution’s editorial assistant!
I have now been at RARE Revolution for over a year and looking back I am so grateful I did a work placement. I had no idea at the time the extent it would change my working life by opening the door to my first industry position.
My advice to a young community who are looking to start their career
I would high encourage young individuals, whether they are at college, university or in between jobs, to apply for any work placements or internships that come their way. They are, after all, the best opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience. Regardless of whether they lead to job at that company, the experience is something you can add to your CV and help you stand out against the competition when you apply for jobs in the future.
I would also encourage young people to apply to internships programmes regardless of whether or not they directly relate to the field they think they want to enter. Sometimes by doing an internship for a role you have not yet considered can broaden your mind to new areas of interest or allow you to discover skills you didn’t know you had. Plus, all experience is valuable and can offer transferable skills that you can take forward into other positions, for example, communication skills, organisational skills, or teamwork. Let’s face it, how many times when applying for a job or in an interview have you been asked “Can explain a time where you had to work as a team to achieve a goal?” Having a good answer for this where you can reflect on a real experience can make all the difference as to whether or not your application is taken to the next stage.
Apply for an Illuminating RARE Talent internship programme
Here at RARE Youth Revolution, we have partnered with industry professionals and employers to help our youth community find a fantastic range of work experience opportunities to boost CVs and accelerate career ambitions!
Many of the positions do not require any specific educational qualifications or previous experience. There is a mixture of paid and unpaid positions, remote and location based. We have opportunities in marketing, administration, research and more.
Find out more about the roles available and easily apply to positions by going to: https://www.rareyouthrevolution.com/internship