Intern Diaries: Why A Local Graduate Scheme Could Be Better For You
After a year of unpaid interning, living in annoyingly expensive places like Canada and then London I was very excited to finally be back in Leeds and to actually be earning some money. I mentioned in earlier blogs about my expectations for the internship, the expectation of an internship, a cool job title that, when translated, actually means data input and coffee making. So, when I was being asked to be creative, write blogs, plan and deliver new campaigns and join in with Calibre incentives I was very pleasantly surprised.
Now, I am delighted to say its grey and raining outside, I have ugly work shoes on and I now have my own cereal in the cupboard. You know what that means of course? It’s clear, isn’t it? I am now a permanent member of the Calibre team! It’s grey because my summer internship is over and I still get to be here! I have ugly shoes on because if you are still wearing heels to work after the first few weeks you are either very committed to your work wardrobe, which I am not, or slightly mental, which I hope I’m not. And finally, the cereal is in the cupboard because I have had to accept I am still a student who fails to wake up with enough time to look acceptable and eat before heading to work.
There’s a lot to learn from an internship and after completing six in the last two years I think I have proven I am a fan of them. One thing this internship has taught me is the benefits that can come from staying close to home and not underestimating the opportunities on your doorstep. I was unbelievably excited and very lucky to be able to intern in some fantastic locations. Moving to a new city or country and living independently is daunting but hugely rewarding and I would always encourage anyone to try it. On the other hand, looking locally is an option you should give some real consideration, not just for internships but for the graduate jobs that inevitably have to come after spending the last 18 years in education.
Sometimes the idea of moving to a big city abroad or miles from home can be a great step and an exciting challenge, but don’t think staying closer to home can’t provide you with new challenges, opportunities and career potential. Here are my top six reasons for staying in your hometown.
1. See your city in a new light
Rather than your typical student nights out and big shopping centre by working in your own local area you will find even more of what your hometown has to offer. While working at Calibre Search I have found some of the nicest lunch spots in the city and even a lovely running route. With the extra money you are saving from not having to commute home every so often, and
2. Making Plans with Friends
Unlike when you’re at university being close to your friends while working means you have the money to do new and exciting things rather than just binge-watching Netflix and eating beans on toast together. Trips to the theatre, bowling, a food festival or a bottomless brunch are all now financially viable. And don’t think staying in your hometown means you won’t meet new people either: a good friend moved jobs two months ago to an office 100 metres from her old job. Last week she joined a new gym with a group of her new team and she has just booked a holiday to America with some of the girls!
3. Feeling Guilt-Free
As much as you drive your family mad with your messiness, coming in late from a night out and taking all their food (or maybe this is just me), they are always eager for you to come home for the summer or Christmas. So spending some quality time with your loved ones means you catch up on everything you’ve missed while at Uni and don’t have to worry about your mum missing you. Even if you’re not living at home the chance of an after-work dinner with mum and dad can’t be beaten. A place where there is usually a full fridge of goodies or, even better, a dinner made for you and some treats to take back home with you! (Or am I just very spoilt?
4. Changing Your Opinions
I have to admit, for a long time I thought that if you wanted to progress in most industries you had to start in London. But working at Calibre my opinion has changed; we recruit for international companies with head offices across the entire country, many of industries top organisations are now based a few miles from my home. I now see where I live as a hub for enterprise, new opportunities and career growth. I also have a better chance of buying a house, driving a car and getting home from work by 6… something I couldn’t say in my time in London.
5. Treat Yo’Self!
With all that extra money you have saved not paying for rent, transport to visit family, or expensive commuter prices you will have earned a fair bit more than you originally would have. Use it as an excuse to treat yourself to something you have always wanted, a trip away, a new jacket or (if you’re like me) treat yourself to a few weeks out of your overdraft….
6. Try out something new
Calibre Search was not a company I knew about before applying for the internship. I had never worked for a recruitment company but decided to take the risk and try something different. Luckily for me, it has really paid off! I love the company, the people I work with and my role. Taking the risk of a new or different type of career can be daunting but doing it at home makes it a little less overwhelming, if it’s not the job for you, you are safe in the knowledge you haven’t spent lots of time and money moving somewhere you don’t want to be.
I am an advocate of going for the job you want no matter the risk, but sometimes the expectation of a new city and a large company does not match reality. Focus less on what sounds good and weigh up your options and opportunities. You don’t always have to go for a big international company in a capital city, like me, you could learn a lot and meet great people simply by looking a little closer to home.