What I have learnt throughout my internship at The Creative Collective, Newcastle – Sarah Penman

What I have learnt throughout my internship at The Creative Collective, Newcastle – Sarah Penman

In my third and final year of studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Media Production and Public Relations, it was essential that I started to look for hands-on experience in the industry. I will be graduating soon and finding a job in this industry is difficult without relevant experience and a wide range of knowledge.

But how is a university student supposed to get hands-on experience? 

An internship/placement at The Creative Collective provided me with a variety of skills that are necessary to grow and improve while transitioning from studying to the beginning of my career.  I completed 80 hours over the course of three weeks at the Newcastle office and the team were incredibly welcoming and supportive of me being a student with little to no previous experience in an agency setting. 

No Two Days Are The Same

It was especially important to experience first-hand how an agency operates on a day-today basis. From meetings both face to face or online with clients, producing digital and written content, analysing social media or website performance and designing rebrands for clients, no two days were ever the same at The Creative Collective. They have a variety of clients from all different types of businesses, who are located all across Australia and even some internationally.

Time Management

As the team works both collaboratively and independently to meet the needs of a large clientele, efficient time management is one of the most vital skills to possess in order to succeed in this industry. A couple of days into my internship, I found myself starting and finishing tasks a lot faster than when I had started out. Much of this was due to a new-found confidence in myself and the knowledge I had gained, but also thanks to the confidence that the team had in me.

New Programs

This internship also provided me with the opportunity to learn how to use a number of new programs and facilities that I was not previously familiar with. Throughout my internship I used programs and websites such as Canva, WordPress, PandaDocs, Google Sheets, Active Campaigns, FanBooster, Teamwork, Creator Studio and many more. 

It was great to use these programs and sites in a professional setting, as we do not have the opportunity to use these while studying at university. The skills to use these programs cannot be taught, without the ability to jump in and just start working on different projects and trying them out. 

It was also incredibly valuable to watch and learn from the team at The Creative Collective, as they gave me some great tips and tricks in regards to using these programs effectively to achieve wonderful results for their clients. 

Self Confidence

During my internship, I was given a number of different tasks that I had never done before. At times this could be daunting, however it was important to believe in myself and just give it my best effort. I surprised myself on a number of occasions and once I got started on things they usually weren’t actually as difficult as I had originally perceived them to be. 

This internship was a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone and also get a taste of what working in this industry is truly like. It was great to complete this experience in an agency that offers a wide variety of communication services, as it allowed me to complete tasks covering all different aspects of the industry. 

I was able to write blog posts for clients (for SEO purposes), edit/produce digital content, research and schedule social media posts, follow up with media outlets for a PR clients media release and sat in on meetings with clients. 

Completing tasks such as these has greatly increased my confidence in my knowledge and skills within the workforce and has made me feel so much more comfortable applying for jobs once I graduate university.

Online Connectivity

I really enjoyed my time with The Creative Collective, they were not only friendly, supportive and encouraging, but they embody what it means to be a flexible, innovative and creative agency. 

Before my last week of placement, COVID restrictions in NSW tightened once again and masks were made mandatory everywhere including workplaces. The Newcastle office decided to work from home rather than all be in the office together, so this meant that I had to complete my last week of placement online at home. 

For people doing placement with other companies or industries this could have been an issue, however The Creative Collective are digitally savvy and this caused little inconvenience. Everything is set up well to run online and all programs necessary to complete work for clients can be accessed from home. They also have a number of different internal communication channels such as Google Chat, Google Meet and Teamwork to discuss matters with one another. This was helpful for me to still be able to ask questions and get advice or feedback from supervisors/colleagues.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with everyone at The Creative Collective throughout my internship/placement and will miss seeing their friendly faces. I am incredibly grateful to have learned so much about the industry from such talented people, the experience has been invaluable for my future career.

A big thank you to all the team for having me!