Dear Ayrshire College Foundation Trustees,
My name is Scott Clark and I have just finished my creative summer internship with Ayrshire College. I would like to thank you for supporting this career opportunity, I have really enjoyed this job and I thought you might be interested to know how I got on.
I started college in 2013, by attending the Prince’s Trust course. I then attended the evening class in photography in 2014. In 2015 I started in Kilwinning with an NC Photography and finished in 2018 with my HND Photography. Although I had loved my course, there was something missing – work experience. Then I saw the advert for the summer internship, and I was excited that there was this opportunity just for creative students.
My course gave me opportunities for volunteering, competition work and networking, and to do an internship on top of this, I knew it would look great on my CV. I felt very lucky to be chosen for the job.
I was working with the Marketing team, and they were very welcoming. I could not believe how quickly I was accepted into the team and soon felt part of the team. They were all very supportive to me and helped by answering questions, giving me advice on my work, and providing reassurance.
I was given an interesting list of tasks to complete over the summer including:
- Making a film of the Prince’s Trust Programme
- Promotional video for the You. Salon
- Setting up a studio and taking photos of the Board of Management, SMT, Student Association President and Student of the Year prize winners.
- Short videos of hospitality staff from Trump Turnberry
- Film about Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering
- Film of Project Search at Culzean
- Film about Student Services
- Film about what colleges do.
This was a great opportunity to show what I can do. There were high expectations and I knew I needed to work very hard to show that I could do it.
Here is what I learned about working in the marketing environment:
You need to be really flexible. I would come in with my plan for the day and then my day would end up being nothing like my plan and I would have to reprioritise. It was so different from being a student where my weeks were very structured.
The pace of work was very fast and I was juggling several jobs at the one time. I did not realise it would be so busy. I was keen to show I was able to keep up with the workload.
Doing photography five days a week non-stop with constant interruptions, and requests for live work, was much harder than expected. But, I was determined to show I could do it.
I think the work experience has raised my aspirations and given me the belief in myself to think about working in this environment and not just think about studio work. I didn’t think I’d like working in an office – but I was surprised how far and wide I travelled in this job from Edinburgh to Turnberry, Culzean, Underwood Estate – it was a surprise to me.
The thing I was most surprised about was, how much work I got through in two months. I made 20 videos as well as several photo shoots.
The film I was most proud of was – completing the launch video for the Ayrshire College Digital Strategy. I had not done anything like this before and working with a graphic designer, I learned so much about branding and paying attention to detail. This video was sent to 1000 staff and is on YouTube. I got to present it to the principal and she was pleased with the final result. I had never done any animation in video before and I was able to complete it in 2 days.
When I was reflecting on my experience at College, I was asked who had inspired me the most. That would be Gary McIntyre – my lecturer. At one point during my course he noticed I wasn’t myself – I had lost my mojo. He said – “You’re thinking about leaving, aren’t you?” and I was! I was worried about my graded unit – writing is not my strong subject, and I could not see how I could pass. He told me to keep going and that I could do it. He found out I could do it verbally, and he put things in place to give me more support and helped me with strategies to plan and organise myself better.
So, if it wasn’t for Gary and the rest of my lecturers, I would not have completed my course – and now I’m looking forward to graduating in November. If it wasn’t for the internship, I would not have had the opportunity to get some great work experience. My qualifications and experience have given me the confidence to take the next step in my career. I am also delighted to hear that after lobbying my lecturers to have work experience on the HND Photography course – this is actually happening this year.
Thanks again for giving me this opportunity.