British Council Digital Intern Sum Sze Tam describes here experience on the Internship programme
The British Council summer internship scheme attracted me because:
The British Council are a huge organisation, who seemed to really value being courteous, warm, and helpful (which I can say for sure is definitely reflected in all their staff). I was eager to get work experience with an organisation with a big reputation, which seemed to genuinely care about the wider world. Another reason was that the British Council has put an awful lot of effort into making this internship scheme as rewarding and useful – which isn’t something most students are used to at all! Most other internships give interns very few opportunities to actually learn or practice any useful skills, let alone give them roles with responsibility, where they’re allowed to think for themselves!
Before joining the British Council I was:
A Journalism & Sociology student who was perfectly happy to go along with the route that I saw everyone else around me taking – either into Marketing, or professional Journalism. I had also never seen any kind of project management in action, nor knew about all the different approaches to carrying out projects.
My internship was based in the Digital department, where my major responsibilities were:
Building multiple British Council country sites, including building pages, putting content (text, images, promotions and widgets) onto them, and dealing with translations (many of the websites are in multiple languages). I also reviewed content on these websites, to make sure that all the content was written and presented in a way that made it easy for the reader to absorb it.
The most exciting project I have worked on at the British Council during my internship is:
The country site for Mozambique. I was given the opportunity to fly out to Mozambique with a team to hold a week of workshops with the staff there, introducing them to how we were going to create and launch their new website together. I’d never been to Africa before, and I got to see how transnational organisations really work, and how different offices abroad are from London. I also got to eat huge amounts of seafood (which is my version of heaven)!
My plans for the future are:
To continue through my final year at university a woman changed – I’ve learnt so much from my time with the Digital department that’s applicable to my extra-curricular work at university, and also to my modules related to digital media. I’ve learnt so much from my time here that I’m even considering trying out a new career direction, into the digital business, whereas before I was quite set on working for a traditional media organisation as a writer or editor. The particular area I want to go into is UX, which is not a term I’d heard much about prior to my time here, but now I can see that the digital industry is growing increasingly dependent on it. I’ve had so many tips about how I should go about it, and heard so many different career stories; I think it’s worth at least giving a shot.
To sum up my experience at the British Council in one sentence I would say:
It’s been a long summer; I’ve learnt an awful lot about what I want to do and how I can do it, from some very amazing people.
Find out more about the British Council Internship Scheme and check out what other interns have had to say about the program.