Over the past 10 weeks, University of the West of England student Sam Forman has completed a summer internship with us. We asked him to write about his experience at Big Wave Media:
After completing my first two years of studies at Bristol's University of the West of England, I was very keen to put some of the theory I'd learnt in to practice and gain some work experience over summer before I returned in September to complete my degree.
When Big Wave Media offered me an 8 week internship (which turned into 10 weeks), I snapped at the chance. As I'd never worked in an office environment before, I was very nervous on my first day and wasn't too sure what to except. However, I was soon woken up, along with everybody else, when the Town Crier bell proceeded to announce the Big Wave Town Hall meeting! I couldn't have wished for a warmer welcome, and to my surprise, a very relaxed working environment, completing tasks in a fun, innovative manner.
A few weeks into my internship I felt extremely relaxed and like I'd worked here for years, being given real responsibility and encouraged to use my own ideas. In one particular task I had to generate content ready for the designers to create the information in a visual format, known as an inforgraphic. I loved being able to express my own ideas and when it returned from the studio it was just as I'd pictured, if not better. This level of responsibility really helped me to gain confidence and to trust my instinct.
Whilst working with the digital team I saw first-hand just how important social media is in a business marketing strategy. I was amazed at the effectiveness of the tool when delivering content to a niche, targeted audience and much useful information can be gained. I could not have asked for better mentors in Simon and Flo, who between them I don't think there is anything they don't know in digital marketing. I feel like I have learnt so much in the last 10 weeks and am even excited to write my dissertation on digital marketing. Hopefully I will still be as excited about it after 15,000 words!
One of my personal highlights at Big Wave (apart from the staff night out) was attending the Exeter #hootup training session, organised by the social media management system, Hootsuite. @Devon_Hour interestingly demonstrated the power of Twitter alongside another guest who told their amazing story of using geo-tagging. They searched people within a 10 mile radius of a local locksmith, who had tweeted about losing their keys, and tweeted them back offering his services. It was very inspiring to see so many people passionate about social media as well as illustrating how it can be used most effectively.
I started my internship at Big Wave Media with only a basic knowledge of marketing and a very vague idea of what field I wanted to focus my career after University. I have now developed a real understanding of digital marketing and feel that this is a field I will look to develop a career, following my graduation in 2014.
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