Ayrshire College has two fantastic opportunities for graphic design and marketing graduates who are looking to start their career and gain relevant experience. In this blog Ayrshire College’s Marketing and PR Manager, Shelagh McLachlan talks about the benefits of an internship, what we are looking for from applicants and some tips for applying for the job.
It’s not about what you know; it’s about who you know
One of the main benefits to internships is experiencing working as part of a team and developing professional relationships within the organisation and making external contacts. If you work hard and make a good impression you will leave with a great reference which will be invaluable when you are looking for your next job.
Stand out from the crowd
By taking part in an internship you can show that you are keen to gain employment in the industry and that you have the right skills, attitude and relevant experience to take on a job in your chosen profession.
In the real world
An internship is an opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to the real world. You will develop employability skills by working on real projects for a real organisation and it will also give you the interpersonal skills that you need to work effectively with others — and confidence in your own abilities.
What’s not to like!
We are looking for a graduate with great design skills who can provide examples of previous work. You will be able to think outside of the box and come up with ideas on how our brand could be brought alive in our new campus in Kilmarnock. You will be able communicate ideas visually and create designs that are visually stunning and professional.
This will be a perfect opportunity for a bright, ambitious individual who displays creative flair, an eye for detail and holds a strong passion for design.
You must have outstanding graphic design skills and be confident using Adobe Creative Suite, including Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat.
Along with these creative skills you should be an excellent communicator, with an engaging personality and be well organised.
We need someone who is energetic, enthusiastic, confident, quick to learn and not afraid to get stuck in. You should be a team player, detail-oriented, professional yet personable and friendly. A creative thinker with an appreciation for high quality and someone who is passionate about all things events!
You’ll have the organisational skills of a planner and the eye of a designer. You’ll appreciate the importance of taking care of every detail in every task you undertake. You’ll have a cool head under pressure – always coming up with solutions on your feet. You should be able to demonstrate experience of running events either at college/university or personal events you have organised.
Before you apply read this
In the past year, I have been involved in the recruitment of six new people to our marketing team. I have read hundreds of applications and what really struck me the most, is how many people are making the same basic mistakes which are letting them down when we score their application! So here are some hints and tips from a marketing employer’s perspective.
Do save all the details of the job to your computer before you apply – once the closing date goes, you won’t be able to access these online and you will need them to prepare for an interview.
Do read the application pack thoroughly and do what you are asked – don’t send us your CV – we ask everyone to complete an application form and if you don’t do that it shows you can’t follow simple instructions!
Don’t just tell us about your career history! Instead, address the specific job description in a structured way – giving us an example to demonstrate your skills and experience. We will be matching your skills and experience with all the essential criteria on the personnel specification and job description.
Do keep it concise. Keep sentences short. Make your points clearly.
Do check your application for spelling, grammar, spacing and typos – ask someone else to read it. Most of the jobs in our team require attention to detail, so if we spot careless mistakes it’s not going to make a good first impression!
Don’t have gaps in your career / education – make sure your timeline is seamless.
Don’t forget to tell us the name of your degree/certificate/diploma – it is important we know the highest qualification you have achieved.
Do add in any relevant short courses you may have completed showing your commitment to learning new skills.
Do make yourself stand out from the other graduates. Everyone else who applies will have similar or better qualifications than you, everyone says they are a team player, a hard worker and reliable – so what makes you unique? – Why should we hire you? Why are you ideal for this job? Why do you deserve this opportunity? Would you hire you based on your application form?
Hopefully you will make our shortlist! Time to prepare! Make a list of all the questions you think you could be asked. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes – if you were hiring an intern what skills and personal qualities would you be looking for? Make sure these are in your answers and you can give examples to demonstrate your skills.
Many of our questions will be competency based questions. In other words you need to give us evidence that you can do this job. For this you need some great examples to illustrate your answer. It might help to remember this acronym – STAR – this will give structure to your answers:
E.G. Can you give us an example of design work you have done that has been really effective in meeting the client’s brief?
Situation – set the scene. (At college we were given a brief to design a poster)
Task – what was the task or problem you had to solve? (To get people to stop dropping litter)
Action – what did you do to help? (I came up with an effective design and slogan – give details – show your work)
Result – what was the result? (I got an “A” pass, my poster won a competition and the client used my work. The feedback was terrific and the litter problem improved.)
If you are the successful candidate, internships will give you knowledge you won’t learn anywhere else. Together with increased confidence, real work experience and a chance to really prove yourself, this really is an opportunity of a lifetime.
To find out more and apply go to:
Closing date – 12 noon 1 August 2016