I am Samiya Hussein, and I have just completed a 5-week internship programme with SBY. I am a student at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College (2022-24), studying Sociology, Business and Media Studies. I am a member of the St Brendan’s Students’ Union as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and an esteemed member of the Bristol City Youth Council – where I was elected for the role of Media Representative.

I found my internship with SBY through a national social mobility charity called Career Ready. They aim to boost social mobility by empowering young people and give each individual’s talent a platform to flourish. By participating in this programme, I have gained access to many life-changing opportunities such as: working with a mentor from the world of work; work placement opportunities; a series of skills masterclasses; and a paid internship.

Through Career Ready, I was matched with SBY with a role of within the marketing department. My role entailed producing new and dynamic content, strengthening SBY’s social media presence. The goal of my work was not only to attract young people to SBY’s social accounts through insightful careers and life-skills related content but to retain them as followers.


What My Internship Involved

During my internship, I was introduced to the entire SBY team and was able to attend in-person staff briefing day. This allowed me to understand everyone’s role within the charity and the purpose of SBY, as well as learning how collaborative aspects of the running of a third sector organisation function.

  • Week 1
    • Cyber security training and shadowing some members of SBY.
    • On my second day, I attended a celebration event for one of SBY’s programmes, where I was tasked with capturing a photo of each secondary school with their certificates.
    • I was introduced to the Professional Apprenticeships Office and friendly staff, where they explained more about their purpose. Professional Apprenticeships are supporters of SBY and both organisations work closely together to support the young people of south Bristol.
  • Week 2
    • I worked on some more training (safeguarding) and was introduced to my role and what is expected of me during my time at SBY.
    • I took a tour of the office space of Origin Workspace, another great supporter of SBY, where I was free to drop-in and spend time on my work. SBY are one of Origin’s named charities and have benefited from using their space and the expertise of the many companies who use the space.
  • Week 3
    • I practised making some social media posts (such as National Careers Week) and learnt the official branding guidelines for SBY and relevant content.
    • I studied other charities and companies and took notes on their social media output, and how it could be transcribed and embedded into SBY’s social media.
  • Week 4
    • Making more social media content for Instagram and Twitter, I experimented and exposed myself to more creative styles to incorporate into SBY’s existing social media (colours, fonts, and graphics).
  • Week 5
    • I focused on pulling all my research together into a presentation, to look back at all the work, experience, and skills that I had gained during my time at SBY.

Pre-Internship Worries Vs Reality

  1. Having to travel to an office space that was far away!

FALSE: SBY are a remote charity meaning that the team have the flexibility to work from home or wherever they choose. Additionally, I had the use of flexible working places such as Origin Workspaces and Professional Apprenticeships. This meant I could get active and fully experience what office and hot-desking life is all about (as well as experiencing what it is like travelling to an office every morning!)

  1. Strict working hours.

FALSE: SBY offers flexible working hours, where I was able to fulfil my working hours however I felt necessary. This meant that, if I have fulfilled my expected scheduled for that day earlier or later than expected, I would sign off at whatever point I was content with.

  1. Individual working would feel isolating, and I would not have direction or support.

FALSE: At the beginning of my internship, I was continually working alongside someone until I understood what I was doing. Then I was given the freedom to work independently but with the direction I needed! What I thought would be nerve-wracking became something that allowed me to work openly and creatively from the comfort of my home whilst gaining a sense of autonomy. My team were very communicative and always reminded me that they were there for me if needed and that they were available to check in with me when I needed them! This gave me a sense of comfort, knowing that I had a team of amazing people supporting me whilst I explored this uncharted area of my academic career.

I have gained/developed an abundance of skills such as:

  • Communication skills:
    • The confidence to attend, and speak at, various meetings both in person and online. This boost in confidence gave me the added freedom to openly contact anyone within the company!
  • Adaptability
    • The ability to adapt from a classroom setting to an independent, versatile working space.
  • Independent working
    • As someone who enjoys working in a team, this internship has allowed me to hone my ability to work independently and be able to direct and schedule myself appropriately.

Additionally, I have created relationships and bonds that will allow me to excel within my career and academic journey, developing a network which will stand me in good stead as I progress.


Benefits of an Internship

Obtaining and completing an internship is advantageous both personally and academically. This is because you acquire skills and experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom. Internships help you increase your current knowledge and skills by applying what you have learnt in the classroom to real-life situations. Whilst gaining life skills, you simultaneously learn more about your possible career choice and projecting yourself into that working position

I would rate my overall internship experience from the moment I applied, to my last working day would be a solid 10/10.

I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone, that the best way to get your foot into the working world, is through an internship or work experience!