Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meet the TARGETjobs Summer interns

TARGETjobs has two new editorial interns, Ross and Alex. Throughout this summer they will be writing about their experience here: what they are learning, getting used to working life and other bits and bobs along the way. Hope you join me in giving them a big warm welcome. 

Hello bloggers, I’m Ross and I’m one of the summer editorial interns at TARGETjobs. I’ve been here for two weeks and I’m feeling progressively comfortable with my relocation from Scotland to the Wallingford office (even if English people are still really weird, he joked). I arrived here as a relatively recent graduate looking to gain some experience in the publishing industry, based primarily on my enjoyment of writing.

To give you an idea of my background, I studied Scots Law at the University of Dundee (based on the arbitrary selection of a career path at the apparently mature age of 17) before completing an LLM in International Criminal Justice and Human Rights at the same institution. This academic pathway is probably quite appropriate in setting the scene for my arrival at my position at TARGETjobs. I had originally decided (with as much conviction as you can when you don’t know what a job involves) on the idea of an academic career. Following an unguided stab at securing PhD funding, which was unsuccessful, I felt that perhaps my thirst for a career in academia was based more on a notion of a passion as opposed to a concrete enthusiasm.

I moved on to searching for a graduate job. I hadn’t really considered this idea before and felt, with misplaced confidence, that securing a place on a graduate scheme would be a formality given that I had a strong 2.1 and a masters degree. Not so. Over the course of eight months, I experienced a series of peaks and troughs of enthusiasm for a number of potential career paths. At times I would decide that I would be well-suited to a role in management consulting and would pursue this until I was met with the decisive and seemingly insurmountable ‘no entry’ of a rejection email. After recovering from this knockback, I would switch perspective and angle myself towards a career in politics, initially as a parliamentary assistant, to the same conclusion.

It was a galling experience to have my delusions shattered by the realisation that a university degree by itself does not guarantee an immediate career. It did however give me time to focus on what I might like to do when I grow up…

During this confusing period of my young life, I worked full time in the call centre of an apparently regal Scottish bank. Although I wasn’t too unhappy about it at the time, given that I was unused to being given so much pocket money, I reflect on this time with a slight shudder. I guess this is testament to the enjoyment I’ve experienced in my jobs since: firstly in a rural distillery on a Scottish island, which gave me a different sense of perspective and the realisation that putting yourself into an unfamiliar situation can lead to unexpected opportunities arising; and now at TARGETjobs, which has been cosy and tea-assisted, but also exciting as I find myself exposed to the unforeseen complexities of life within the publishing industry.

Over the next few months, I hope to supply you with some interesting insights into my time at TARGETjobs. Thank you for listening (with your eyes).  

Hello guys, I’m Alex, another one of the summer interns. I’m twenty and lacking letters after my name unlike Ross. During the holidays I live at home in Marlow.

I’ve recently finished my second year at Swansea University where I study English literature (I’m always asked how many books I have to read for my course – I just like to carry them around to look intelligent).
Swansea, despite being somewhere close to my heart, is one of those places that receives around a week of summer weather a year, before descending back into winter again, so when told I had the opportunity to come and work for TARGETjobs, I grabbed at it. 

As far as my career aspirations go, I’m set on becoming a journalist, so I see TARGETjobs as an ideal opportunity to broaden my horizons and become familiar with web-based content.

As far as employment is concerned, apart from TARGETjobs, I’ve been working since I was 16. A job at a coffee shop (the name of the company will remain private, though I will say it was a big one) broke up my routine during sixth form and it was an ideal way to get employment during the student holidays. Whilst in Swansea I haven’t particularly worked, although I’ve recently been at one of the local bars serving the revellers (I’ll be sharing a few stories on serving tricky customer in the next few months, fear not). That’s the paid employment. In terms of work experience, I’m a bit of a show off. What with journalism being highly competitive, I’ve been hassling newspapers all over the country to take me on for a week at a time to build up a list of newspapers and articles to add to my cv. My method of calling up everybody on a newspaper’s “contact us” section of their website has yielded results and I hope to be able to put my experiences towards supporting an application for a postgraduate degree (Again, blog post on hassling employers for work experience is to come).

Although in person it’s a lot harder to shut me up and I’m regularly hassling the guys in the office, I’m keeping this post a little shorter, but I promise to update you guys regularly. I’m currently lacking in a classy sign off line like Ross.

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