BLOG POST BY ALLANAH REGAN
For the last four weeks I have been undergoing an internship at The Creative Collective office in Newcastle as part of my Bachelor of Communications (majoring in Journalism).
Despite majoring in Journalism, I don’t actually want to become a journalist. My university degree has been an absolute rollercoaster and up until the end of 2016 I was majoring in Media Studies. After a life changing trip to Europe last year I decided to abandon my Media Studies major, and instead, change to a Journalism major for the final year of my university degree.
When given the opportunity to study a placement course at university I jumped at the chance. I knew that I didn’t want to intern in a traditional journalism setting because that is not where I could see myself working in the future, so I decided to intern in a workplace that I truly felt would provide valuable experience for my career as a communications professional.
As a born and bred Novocastrian (person from Newcastle for those not in the know) I was well aware that The Creative Collective were a digital marketing agency, something that I have become extremely interested in throughout my degree. I reached out to their Newcastle office to see if they had any positions for university interns and, thankfully, they did!
So, now into the nitty gritty stuff…after a four-week internship at The Creative Collective what did I learn?
1/ Skype can easily be used as a team communication tool
Despite working in a communication position for an established medium-sized business for two years, never did I ever think of using Skype as a primary communication tool, but, it makes sense!
You can call people, video chat and text with people. You don’t have to give your number out to clients and it allows all communication to happen in one place!
As I’m sure you know, The Creative Collective have an office in Queensland and an office in Newcastle. Now, before interning here I would have had no idea how the two offices communicate efficiently, but, as it turns out, they do it very easily through Skype.
2/ Google Docs is amazing
This includes Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
In the past I had used Google Docs for group projects at university, and, perhaps through my frustration of group projects, dismissed the platform as something I would never use…now, however, I am absolutely obsessed.
Gone are the days of emailing documents, merging group projects and have files mixed up. Google Docs simplifies documents.
Something that is a stand out for me is that it is all online! You don’t need to pay a heap of money to download something onto your computer that takes up countless gigabytes of space. Google Docs lets everyone work on the same document, updating in real time and you can access and edit the documents on any device.
3/ Google Partners is a must
In a team meeting, the founder of The Creative Collective Yvette Adams from the Sunshine Coast office said something that really resonated with me (and scared me a bit at the time!) “I would rather hire someone that is a Google Partner and has Google Adwords and Analytics certificates than someone with a university degree. Those are the skills that are industry relevant today.”
Now, as someone who is graduating from university at the end of the year, you can imagine that is a bit of a shock to hear.
However, it makes sense. Would you rather hire someone that has a university degree and no experience in actually applying digital marketing, or, would you rather hire someone who is proactive enough to become a Google Partner (it’s free!) and has undergone online exams (that are free!) that show that the person actually knows what they are talking about from the practical experience you gain in the Google Partners exam? It’s a no-brainer!
4/ Transparency is important
I’m sure that the large majority of businesses in the world don’t have the same level of transparency that The Creative Collective has.
The team is 100% open with each other and great at keeping people accountable. It was amazing to work with a group of people who are completely over each other’s schedules and are willing to help anyone out when they need a hand.
Transparency is much more than this though.
Transparency is making sure that everyone is part of sales reviews and budgets. Ensuring that everyone knows what is happening in terms of finance and that everything is discussed with openness and responsibility. The Creative Collective has this level of transparency!
5/ No two days are the same
Now, I’m sure this comes to as no surprise to many of you, but when talking about The Creative Collective, I really mean that no day is the same.
In my internship I did everything from creating graphics for clients, creating graphics for The Creative Collective, writing case studies, writing blogs (like this one!), making presentations, analysing client results, sitting in on client meetings, emailing clients, sourcing social media content for clients, editing slide decks, creating pages on websites, editing images, working on spreadsheets, creating draft client quotes, writing social media content for clients, writing lists of keywords, sourcing graphics, writing copy of websites, sourcing digital tools…and much more!
To say it is extremely generous of The Creative Collective to allow me to gain so much experience in a wide variety of areas is very much an understatement.
I am positive had I interned at a larger corporate company I would not have gained such a variety in work experience as I did interning with The Creative Collective. And, I am absolutely sure that corporate companies would not have integrated an intern into their business so thoroughly for such as short amount of time.
Now, I could go on and on about everything that I learned during my four-week internship, but these five things are standouts because I believe they are the groundworks for an amazing career as a communications professional.