Grow your ambition

How the iMayflower Virtual Internship Scheme helped recent illustration graduate, Tatum Croft, to launch her freelance creative career

<p>Tatum Croft<br></p>

 
“Graduating can feel quite overwhelming. You know what direction you want to take your career but stepping into the professional industry with little experience can make you feel lost. Working with the team at The Bridge and having the opportunity to be involved in the iMayflower Virtual Internship Scheme, made that experience much less daunting for me. The support I have received in helping to kick-start my career has been unbelievable.”

I was able to take the skills I had gained during my degree and apply it straight away, working with a professional client through the help of the internship scheme. Not only did the internship support me financially as a creative trying to find my feet in the working world, but I was able to learn so many new skills that I didn’t have before. Whether it was learning new practical skills, improving communication methods, using new software, creating timesheets and invoices or even becoming more confident in developing my own business, I was able to build on the fundamental tools to push my career in the right direction.

Being involved in such a unique opportunity after graduating comes with a lot of learning. You don't know everything straight away and sometimes you run into roadblocks. I mostly learn by doing, so this internship was the perfect way for me to take my degree and apply it to a real life job, without being chucked in the deep end completely. The iMayflower internship, and the team I connected with, really helped to support me and answer any queries I had about the experience. I was able to gain the confidence I needed to work in the industry and start my own business.

One of the most valuable things that I was able to take away from the iMayflower internship was the unique opportunity to connect with a real client in a professional setting, which would have usually been so difficult to do straight after graduating. I was lucky enough to be paired with Naomi Tyrell, who first spotted my work through the IGNITE website. As an illustrator, my job was to help create a children’s picture book which we have now almost competed. During the internship we were able to communicate online whilst working from home where we discussed our ideas that have now bloomed into a project that’s even better than we first imagined.

Without the iMayflower Virtual Internship Scheme, my illustration work on Naomi’s upcoming book “Gracie and Mouse Are Moving House” would have never been possible. The scheme has opened up so many amazing opportunities for me, and my future as an illustrator looks even brighter. It is often difficult to find work in the area you want so early into your career but the Virtual Internship Scheme allowed me to fall right into the professional world, I am so grateful for the personal support I received with this internship and instead of feeling lost after finishing my degree, I now feel like I can make it as an illustrator.