Intern in the Special Events team which sits in High Value Supporter Partnerships at Cancer Research UK
Expect lots of admin, odd jobs but also opportunities to take charge of your own projects
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Really enjoyed it, lots of tasks to get stuck into the office, people were really friendly and encouraged you to get involved in anything that you wanted to do including shadowing people in other departments
they also try to match you to the department/stream that most suits you so I was really happy to get into the special events team as that is what I want to have a career in
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone was really friendly and approachable, felt like I could ask them anything from what I was meant to be doing to interview advice and general career tips, especially in the charity sector
made the interns feel involved in the team meetings, and encouraged us to speak up when we wanted to
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
very supportive, gave me tips on my cv and job applications as well as linked in and cv workshops. also had practice interviews and allowed generous time off for job applications and interviews. This support not only came from my team but also from the general intern managers, and people from the wider teams
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
most days I was really busy as from September to December is my department (special events) busiest events season with around 10 events, so there was a lot of admin and odd jobs to do as well as volunteering at the events in the evenings. I also took on other office admin projects when there was less event stuff to do and if you want other tasks my manager always tried to find other things for me to do
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
you were given a lot of responsibility on small tasks, such as creation of auction vouchers, booking couriers, acquiring gift in kind donations, volunteer food and auction prizes. Whilst these tasks seemed small when you've just joined and are tasked with completing it yourself from start to finish (with feedback from manager of course) it can be a lot of responsibility
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
so, so helpful as have now had real life experience of working in a busy dynamic office, using fundraising database, gdpr knowledge, fundraising knowledge- as in how to communicate with donors etc., how to create a compelling case for support, cold-calling, desk research, working in a busy team, assisting on wide variety of large events, and attended multiple workshops on cv, linked in, presentation etc. organised by the intern team
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was really friendly but as busy event season, everyone was also really busy and seemed quite stressed at times which was more than understandable. the offices are very nice and modern and open plan so there is an atmosphere of collaboration, especially with hot-desking every Thursday, where you are encouraged to sit with random different teams to spark new ideas etc.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was pretty well organised as they are quite accommodating with the start date and understand that you might have prior commitments, when you start they give you a pass, phone number and email and desk. some interns also got lockers but this depended on your department. the only problem was the fundraising database CRUK uses - Siebel- can be quite tricky to gain access to from the IT team, which can be quite annoying when you need to use it to check donors etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
they gave you lots of time for personal development, the hr team and manager of my team looked over my cv for me, my interviewers gave me feedback on my interview, they organised multiple workshops for cv, LinkedIn and presentation skills, as well as a team building dragons den day. the is also a learning and personal development zone on the cruk intranet where there are lots of online courses that you can take
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
because of the nature of the special events department it can be quite hard to know when they will have vacancies, and whether they will be permanent for fixed term or extended etc. I have managed to secure a short fixed term contract 2 month role in the department I interned it which is great but obviously if you want a bit more stability and want to know what you will be doing for the next year a long time in advance then it might not be for you.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
we appointed a social secretary on the first induction day before the internship started and the intern manager informed us of bars and pubs nearby that previous interns went to and which ones gave CRUK discounts. there were a few 'thirsty Thursdays' and 'wet Wednesdays' after work, as well as pizza lunches, and also a trip to winter wonderland
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in London, everything was quite expensive, but this is unavoidable and not really the fault of the charity. they give you money back for lunch and travel which is quite good and there are discounts such as 20% off a pub down the street and the subsidised canteen so eating together and drinks after work weren't too bad, but if you're on a strict budget, it might be quite tricky.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I'm not too sure as we never really stayed out too late, but there were a lot of pubs, bars (and restaurants) near the office and the office is only a ten minute walk away from kings cross etc. so the location was pretty good and I'm sure there is probably quite a decent nightlife but as the interns were often tired after work we didn't really explore that area
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
there was the intern fundraising committee which was voluntary outside of the internship where you split into intern teams and organised small fundraising activities such as a pub quiz and sweets in a jar, or selling candy canes etc. there was also the intern yearbook committee where you created the intern yearbook given out at the intern thanking party