Firstly, a confession. I’m not actually Welsh – in fact I come from Northampton which isn’t a million miles away from Oxford. However, after living in Wales since the age of six, it can be a struggle to remember what it’s like over the border – particularly with Wales luring me back with rarebit and welsh-cakes (if you’ve never tried either of these, you’re missing out). I’ve been working as a bookseller in the Cardiff branch of Blackwell’s for the last four years, but I never really got a sense of what happened outside of our little Welsh bubble.
In order to remedy this, I decided to go for the Events and Marketing Internship offered by Broad Street. Having been here for a grand total of three days, I feel qualified to say that it is a much more challenging experience than I might have anticipated. For example, picture the Norrington Room – those of you that have visited it, if not, get yourselves down there immediately!
The Cardiff shop could quite easily get lost, never to be seen again in this one ‘room’. On my first day here, I was introduced to about twenty different people. The Cardiff shop has a grand total of seven staff members. It was clear that my two greatest challenges would be not getting lost in the five whole floors of this amazing building, and also remembering about eighty names.
After three days, I’ve just about got seven people’s names down, and I can now find my way to my desk without accidentally wandering into the manager’s office. (I don’t think anyone saw me…) Fortunately, my colleagues have been unfailing friendly and willing to repeat the codes for the staff door at least four times – I had worried that I would find such a large and close knit group of people rather unreceptive to a newcomer.
Coming to the end of my first week as an events intern, I’ve already written a magazine feature, been shown around Oxford on the Inklings walking tour by Peter – the fount of all Oxford knowledge, I’ve researched things I’d never really even heard of before and had the chance to start revamping our publicity materials. There has been a great deal of debate around internships, and I do maintain that any company offering unpaid internships should not then take their interns for granted. We are useful for something other than making coffee and stapling – we have degrees and, in my case, Masters degrees for goodness sake! Thankfully however, the staff at Broad Street are offering me the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects, are genuinely interested in my progress and are willing to listen to ideas and opinions from everyone.
If this has been the first week, I can only imagine that the next eleven will be increasingly more weird and wonderful – and I shall keep you lucky lucky people informed of how I get on… In the meantime, why not visit our events page to see just how exciting my work is going to be this summer?