Jenny, our recent Press and Celebrity intern, tells us what it was like to intern for Breast Cancer Now and gives her advice to students thinking of applying.
Landing the role
I found out that I had got the internship while on the journey back to university, the day after my interview in Breast Cancer Now’s office in London. My nerves about getting the job quickly turned into excitement and anticipation for the upcoming internship.
I had always been interested in online journalism and PR, and after sorting a week’s work experience at my local paper, I applied for the PR and Celebrity internship at Breast Cancer Now to gain experience in this area. The application was straight forward as it required only a CV and a cover letter, and I was called to an interview a couple of weeks after I applied. My manager Heather made me feel really comfortable during the interview, and it was really good to have it in the office so I could see what it would be like here.
Press team, wear it pink and photoshoots
Fast-forward two months and it was the first day of my internship – I was nervous but excited and wondering what I was going to be doing. After a tour of the office and introductions to my team and the other interns, I got started with checking the daily newspapers for healthcare stories, something the press team do every single day. I was excited to see that even on my first day I had lots of calendar invites to departmental meetings and intern inductions with every team at the charity. These meetings were a great way to become closer with the other interns and learn valuable information about the running of a charity.
Throughout my internship, my work has been focussed on assisting the press team in the run up to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the fundraising day wear it pink. Every day was varied and interesting, and I love that I was given responsibilities and trusted from start to finish working on a project to send template press releases to businesses for them to generate their own press about their wear it pink event in October.
A personal highlight for me was getting to accompany my manager, Heather, to a filming day with actress Lisa Riley. Hearing her talk about her personal connection to breast cancer was touching, and it was really eye-opening to discover how photoshoots work from behind-the-scenes.
Leaving the university bubble
I have learnt so many new practical skills which I can take away from the internship, and learning about PR from the perspective of a charity was enlightening. The whole experience has made me more confident in my abilities, and the personal responsibility of the commute, organising expenses, working out what working schedule suits me best has made me feel like a proper adult (it’s very different to the uni bubble).
I would definitely advise to keep notes on what you do each week, the six weeks have flown by for me, and in doing this I now have a record of all the new skills I’ve picked up which will be useful for interviews in the future. And don’t be afraid to get involved and take every opportunity to learn – booking in meetings with your colleagues if you’re curious about a project they’re doing is a great way to gain more experience in this field.