One thing that stood out from day one was the team.
It was an early crisp February morning when I arrived at the offices, slightly pumped with adrenaline – the kind that always comes when starting somewhere new. I stumbled down the alley way to the door, pressed on the buzzer and two seconds later Jonjo (my boss) met me with a warm smile and made me feel comfortable straight away. Throughout the morning, as we worked our way through first-day- admin, one by one members of the team poked their heads around the door to say hi. Even Nick the charity’s CEO came to say hello. I always think that says a lot about an organisation, particularly when every member of the team is made to feel equally valued regardless of professional rank. This continued throughout my time at Refugee Support Group and is one of the key benefits of working for a small but close-knit organisation.
I had previously done a marketing internship which had been completely remote, so it was lovely to be back in an office again; the inevitable buzz and banter making the work lighter. From the start, I was very keen to learn more about the charity’s work and expand on my current marketing experience. I think it is very important when working for a charity to have an active and genuine interest in their cause. This is needed when writing copy and content for website and social media pages. Attending RSG’s events outside of work really helped me to see for myself the type of work that they do, as well as get to know the rest of the team and meet clients. The Spring Gospel Concert was a highlight. Who doesn’t love a bit of clapping and dancing to Pharrell Williams and Bob Marley?
From the internship, there were certain skills I wanted to expand on – blog writing, writing copy and navigating the dreaded WordPress. At the beginning, we wrote down what both Jonjo and I wanted out of the role. This is so we could track my progress and progression. While we didn’t manage to achieve everything on the list, I got ample opportunities to expand on these main objectives – particularly writing and designing content, both for the website and for the blog entries. I thoroughly enjoyed getting creative reign on Canva to jazz up social media posts with GIFS and animations. The opportunity to design and write the monthly supporters’ newsletters was also another great way to keep up to date with the charity’s work, while receiving feedback on my own.
One of the other highlights was the staff training. As part of RSG’s ending partnership with Deloitte, with the team I was able to attend a series of training sessions which covered topics from public speaking to how to conduct difficult conversations. This provided invaluable experience and knowledge that I had never had the opportunity to access before and will take with me to future endeavours.
As said previously, there were a few things in our original target list and initial job description which we were not able to meet. This was down to several factors: working one day a week and timetabled study. As a final year student my timetable became quite manic during summer term, which meant that I couldn’t attend some of the charity’s primary support sessions such as the drop-ins and client visits. This is something that I would have really liked to do, and feel would have really enriched my time at the charity. Because of this, I would recommend considering your study timetable before applying for this role – whether your study timetable allows you to commit to your working hours and a bit beyond. This role really does offer some fantastic and interesting opportunities, so you don’t want to miss out.
As an intern, you will inevitably do some admin. Like a lot of marketing roles, this position does involve some administrative tasks but that is the part and parcel of it. The main one I had to do was recognition letters and checking and editing mailing lists. These are not the most exciting tasks, but they do offer insight into the workings of a charity and provide further administrative experience to add to the old CV!
All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Refugee Support Group and I hope future interns do too.
If you are looking for a part-time marketing role, are interested in refugee issues, enjoy working as part of a small (and lovely) team and appreciate a good cup of coffee, you need look no further.
Tehya Connery was a Marketing Intern with Refugee Support Group from February to June 2022,. Thank you to Tehya for her amazing work and to The University Of Reading for funding the internship.