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The Intern Diaries: Unique Benefits of On-the-Job Experience

The Intern Diaries: Unique Benefits of On-the-Job Experience

Exposure to the fast-paced events industry is key

Written by: Millie Porter, Marketing and Events Intern, FreemanXP EMEA. Currently studying International Event Management at Regent's University London

In today’s competitive workplace, it’s important for school leavers and graduates to consider the different ways that they can stand out from the crowd and catch employers’ attention. While top final year grades or a degree are well regarded, on-the-job experience is also a must for those looking to secure that all-important first full-time role. This is especially the case in the brand experience industry, where exposure to the pre, during and post-event delivery stages is invaluable.

Below are just some of the ways that I’ve found an internship can benefit a student looking to pursue a career in the brand experience industry.

Gaining Knowledge of the Working World

On-the-job experience has allowed me to apply what I’ve learned at university so far around event management and the industry generally to a real world environment, and in the process I’ve found that there are particular skills that are a must here. The sector is very fast-paced, which makes time management absolutely crucial, and an internship can help you to become more efficient at time keeping, as you get to juggle different tasks at any one time. Strong interpersonal skills are also key, as this enables you to interact with and understand people from different backgrounds and with mind sets. I also believe that internships are a great way for those who might not be naturally academic to shine — in this industry they’ll soon learn that common sense, a strong work ethic and personality traits such as enthusiasm are all valued very highly.  

Taking a Deep Dive into Your Chosen Career Path

It makes perfect sense that the careers most of us choose to pursue tie in with our interests outside of work. I have a passion for organising events and I love to travel and meet with people from across the globe, which makes my current degree — International Event Management at Regent’s University in London — a perfect fit. Sometimes though, your expectation of a job can be very different to the reality. That’s why internships are so valuable — they allow us to see whether the career path is what we expected, so we can decide whether it’s actually a route we want to continue to take. On the outset events can appear very glamorous, but it’s only once you get involved in the behind-the-scenes organisation and delivery that you discover it can be tiring, with long hours and weekends often spent working, but it is also incredibly rewarding. This type of experience might put some people off, and for others like me, it confirms that this is a career they would like to pursue.   

Building Industry Relationships

Internships are a great way to meet people in your respective industry, and this is particularly the case in events, where face-to-face communication is so highly valued. Not only have I had the chance to learn from Freeman and FreemanXP employees who work across departments ranging from strategy, creative and marketing through to operations and production, I’ve met various other people within the industry, from brands, venues and suppliers. Building up a strong list of contacts within the industry is not only important when it comes to securing a full-time role after graduation, these interactions have highlighted to me that networking is also incredibly important when it comes to building your profile furthering your career.

There’s no doubt that an internship can improve a job applicant’s chances at securing their dream role, as you’re more likely to stand out from those who haven’t had the same level of exposure. This is especially the case when it comes to the brand experience industry, which is not only highly competitive, but very hands on. I’ve learned that the more work experience you gain, the more you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors in the long run. 

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