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Can I Be Your Intern? : Before You Say No Thanks

Since I launched Grainger Public Relations 15 years ago, I’ve received a steady stream of CVs, intern and work experience requests.

Despite being impressed by several and appalled by others, especially the one who stated, “I’m fed up of being employed’, it was always a no from me.

I work from a home office, have no extra space and regularly deal with confidential material.  To be honest, an intern just wasn’t going to work.

Fast forward through a pandemic, new ways of working and perhaps a little more willingness to bend than before.  A greater appreciation and awareness of people who would benefit from exposure to new opportunities, some time and some consideration – including those who are often dismissed before they get the chance to reveal their potential.

So when one of my longest-standing clients, Dundee charity Front Lounge approached me to take on a Kickstart intern, the standard ‘no thanks’ response changed to a ‘well, maybe…’

Jynx Gotch is one of five ‘Kindred Clothing’ Kickstart interns embarking on a paid placement which is divided into two parts.  The first three months are spent working towards the Kindred Clothing clothes-making qualification, which I’m a tutor on, helping the learners promote themselves and the clothes they have made.  We talk about launching their (hypothetical, for now) business, how they’ll pitch it and tell their story.  Following a presentation of what they learnt and made, the interns were allocated a local business where they spend the second half of their internship.  And that’s how Jynx found Grainger Public Relations and how I found Jynx 😊

While the other businesses mainly focus on designing, sewing and making, I’m teaching Jynx about audiences, messaging, and the role press and media coverage can play in the success of a business, event or charity.   If – and I have no doubt it’ll happen – Jynx goes on to launch a fashion brand, comms will be a massive chunk of that.   Let’s face it, regardless of your business, if you’re not clear on your audiences and how to reach them, you’ll fall at the first hurdle.

We’re now a couple of weeks into the three-month part-time placement, and Jynx has some great ideas and endless creativity. As someone who thrives on being busy, who is always on time and ready to listen, Jynx is also embracing a meaty operational task I’m seeking support with. It’s fair to say Jynx has shifted my view of what an intern can be.

As Chika Inatimi, Project Leader of Front Lounge added, “Kindred Clothing was always about more than learning how to sew.  We want to show our learners, some of whom might otherwise be left behind, that by applying their talents, their interests, with time and commitment, they can do anything they set their minds to! The Kickstart employment will provide this group with genuine opportunities to develop themselves and their skills. It will lead to an SQA certified qualification, gaining real-life knowledge and insight from industry professionals.”

For more information on Front Lounge activities, visit http://www.frontlounge.org

ENDS