Nightlife intern Georgina de Souza shares some lessons that she didn't learn at uni

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Advice from an intern: what I learned interning that I didn’t at uni

I’m Georgina and I’m studying a double degree in Biomedical Science and Business, majoring in Marketing. I bartend in a music venue, as well as working one day a week at Nightlife Music in the marketing department.

My university studies are important, having a part-time job is vital and I have picked up real-world experience in business marketing while interning, but the biggest lesson is personal.

Lesson One

Behind the bar, there’s a pretty simple to-do list; serve drinks, polish glasses, clean benches, stock fridges.

In the marketing and communications department, the to-do list is long and usually has a time frame attached.

Nightlife Music is a business which provides music in public areas to over 4,900 clients. The music industry is a rapid-fire place and technology is constantly evolving. New music is being released, trends in what people listen to change and the marketing department must keep up. I have quickly learned that urgent jobs pop up unexpectantly and deadlines need to be met.

Working at Nightlife has forced me to manage my time. I am now in the habit first up in the morning of arranging my daily to-dos from most to least important then working down that list. I have also become a lot better at not beating myself up if I don’t get to things at the bottom of the list, as long as I meet critical deadlines and have done a job I’m proud of. This habit has translated into my university studies and I have welcomed it willingly.

Lesson Two

I have realised I learn better by doing.

This internship has allowed me to use a range of marketing tools, which I have studied at university. Applying those skills at Nightlife has helped me to fully understand how to use them and more importantly why. For example, scheduling social posts up to a week in advance. If the content isn’t prepared in advance, many small jobs or even one major task can land, and an entire campaign or planned posts could fall through. Also, having content ready and scheduled in advance leaves time for changes to be made if someone in the team has modifications to improve it or current issues make it more relevant.

Lesson Three

University assignments tend to give you large theoretical marketing problems to solve, which don’t get me wrong is very important. However, I think the importance of stepping through the marketing P’s (product, price, place and promotion) for smaller projects is forgotten.

My manager has really helped me to think about the why, who and where and consider the audience before creating anything for social platforms, no matter how small. The differentiation between brands and their contrasting voices have also been a focus during my time at Nightlife. The presenting of the same message through different voices has proven difficult and is not as simple as changing a few words and adding different emojis.

Lesson Four

What I have discovered (although I probably was aware, but ignored it) about myself is my spelling, grammar and relying on spell check. Spell check cannot correct the wrong usage of there, their and they’re, which I have learnt the hard way.

In marketing and communications where there is no room for a mistake, I am now proud to say they’re being used properly, and my team agrees their intern is a grammar genius.

Lesson Five

Sleep is important.

Interning on top of all my other commitments has highlighted my sleep schedule is a bit off and the 9 am starts can prove difficult. Of course, the late-night bartending and being 19 can explain a lot. However, I have made some adjustments. I grab sleep whenever I have time and now I am getting up early every day, which leaves more time for uni work and some exercise and fun, so it’s a win-win!

Interning one day a week has given me the opportunity to apply and practice what I have been learning at university and I can’t recommend it enough! Giving me more structure to my weeks and days, recognising personal strengths and weakness and ultimately helping me on my career path.

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