Opening your eyes to opportunity

Natasha used skills gained from her degree to sidestep into a career in marketing



Marketing Assistant and Social Media Campaign Manager for Pollenize
I did something different every time I would work – it was never boring.” 
Natasha Beadon - BA (Hons) Anthropology student

Finding the right fit

What do you want to do once you graduate? It’s a question we’ve all been asked many times by friends and relatives, and a lot of the time we aren’t sure. There are so many options available that it can seem a bit daunting at first. How do I know which one is for me? 
In the final year of her BA (Hons) Anthropology degree, Natasha Meaden found herself wondering what she was going to do next. 
“I knew I wasn't going to be an anthropologist, so I was just thinking, ‘how could I use my course in something else?’” 
For people like Natasha, internships provide the perfect solution by giving you a chance to gain experience in different roles and sectors before you’ve even graduated. 
This is not only great for your CV, but it gives you the opportunity to try your hand at different things and figure out which area is right for you – and you might find yourself enjoying something you’ve never even considered before! 
After taking a placement module on her Anthropology course, Natasha was put in touch with the School of Society and Culture Industry Liaison, Lee Whittock. Once Natasha had told Lee about her interests, he curated a list of available internships that would best suit her. 
“I looked at them all and I really liked the sound of Pollenize purely based on what they do because I thought it was really interesting,” Natasha says, “and so I applied for them.” 

Making positive change

Established in 2018, Pollenize is a social enterprise based in Plymouth that aims to improve biodiversity so that pollinating insects can recover and the environment can flourish. During the warmer months, you’ll be able to see lots of the vibrant and colourful wildflowers they’ve planted around the city, including on our very own campus. Working with a social enterprise such as Pollenize doesn’t just provide you with great skills to attract employers, but a sense of personal satisfaction. 
“It's so nice knowing that you're making a positive change,” says Natasha. 
Image courtesy of Chis Parkes Photography
Pollenize image - Matt Elmes at PMLImages only to be used on Natahsa's SSC case study, very specific credit instructions.

Marketing as a potential career choice

Natasha completed two linked internships with Pollenize as a Marketing Assistant and a Social Media Campaign Manager for a campaign against pesticides in Plymouth. Trying to figure out where she could best use the skills gained through her degree, Natasha saw marketing as a potential career choice. 
“I thought marketing would be really good, but then I did my internship and I just really liked it. And I enjoyed it so much that it made me want to go into marketing after university.” 
Pollenize Pesticide Free Plymouth logo
The main reason Natasha enjoyed her marketing internships so much is because of the varied nature of marketing jobs. 
“I did something different every time I would work,” Natasha explains, “so it was never boring.”  
From blog posts to Instagram captions and direct messages, Natasha’s internships provided a constant flow of fun and creativity as well as the opportunity to expand her knowledge.
“You just learn so much while you do it, because you're getting all this information and you're also learning about loads of it yourself.” Natasha found that her internships helped change her perspective on the world. “I mean, I knew about bees and stuff, but I didn't know about it the way I do now. I think about it all differently. It's just really nice to learn and work.” 

Supported every step of the way

A safe learning environment is one of the many benefits of an internship, allowing you to try new things and gain the confidence to put forward your own ideas. 
“It’s great for character development – I gained loads of confidence doing my internships,” Natasha shares. The welcoming environment at Pollenize helped Natasha to feel at ease – “they're all so nice, and really helpful as well. They're just very supportive, I didn't feel judged by them or anything.” 
That supportive working environment is what makes internships the perfect place to nurture your skills and gain new ones. 
“It was a really nice working environment,” Natasha recalls. “It's stuff like that makes you want to go to work because you just know that you're going to have a nice time there. You're not going to feel uncomfortable.” 
Natasha was supported throughout her internships across every step of the way, particularly in the new territory of managing a social media campaign. 
“It felt more like joint management than anything with Brit, the marketing manager,” Natasha explains, “which was nice because it's good to work collaboratively with someone, especially when I'm doing something new because she was really helpful. It was nice because I didn't feel alone, so we did it all together.” 

From internship to job offer

If you’re wondering how you could possibly fit an internship in around your studies, especially in your busy final year, then don’t worry! Like all good internship providers, Pollenize was flexible and accommodating for Natasha’s needs as a final year student. In Natasha’s case, this meant the opportunity to work from home when she needed to.
“They were really relaxed about it,” she says, “so once things got a bit more serious with the deadlines at university, I started doing it more remotely.” 
The skills and experience Natasha gained from her marketing internships helped her to land her very own job in marketing just a few weeks after she handed in her final piece of Anthropology coursework, showing just how useful internship experience can be.  

It was worth doing and very beneficial, especially when you're in your last year struggling with what you could do. And even if you're not and you have an idea, it's still great to just get experience. Having a degree is great if you want to go into something specific, but having experience will put you above other applicants. If you’re unsure of what you want to do after university, then consider applying for an internship to help make that decision easier. I recommend an internship to anyone because I feel like it really helped me figure out where I wanted to go after university.

This article was written by Aimee Whittle, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing student as part of her internship with the School of Society and Culture.