Blog: Experiences of an intern working for the IGDC and the BA in Global Development.
Anna Clark talks about her experiences as an intern for the IGDC and the BA in Global Development while adjusting to life in the Covid-19 Pandemic.
By Anna Clark
I am Anna, and I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Politics with International Relations at the University of York. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working as the Social Media and Marketing Intern for the IGDC and the BA in Global Development at the University.
Throughout my degree, I had brief encounters with the IGDC through the Department of Politics and their events, yet it wasn’t until I applied for this role that I truly became aware of the fantastic work, research, and opportunities that the IGDC provides. I applied to this internship somewhat on a whim, having heard about the role through the BA Programme Director, Jappe Eckhardt. I was eager to gain more experience in the field of social media marketing after working as the University's Zamar Gospel Choir Press and Publicity Officer. I sent off my application but did not think I would have a chance, so I was very thrilled when interviewed and offered the role!
From the outset, I felt engaged and involved in the IGDC and gained a good understanding of the BA in Global Development. Primarily my job was to manage the BA’s Instagram account, aiming to boost its following and engagement through content creation. More specifically, I was asked to create a posting schedule that could be applied and maintained over several months. I created a vast number of posts and stories. I promoted relevant events within the IGDC and the Department of Politics. I also introduced weekly live Q&As to offer more interactive content and to help answer the questions of our current and prospective students. Beyond this, I was also asked to help with communication with prospective students through the creation of an E-Newsletter, which advertised Post-Offer Visit Days, introduced staff members and gave prospective students a better insight into the Department of Politics and the University. Creating an exciting newsletter was particularly important considering the missed opportunities of in-person events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I tried as much as possible to offer a personal touch to the newsletter so that prospective students felt part of the York community, which is at the heart of the Department of Politics.
This internship came at a busy time. Yet, in many ways, it came at a perfect time. The Spring Term is one term that is often dreaded due to increased workload and the pressure of looming deadlines. And this year, it was even worse because of the added pressure of Lockdown 3. Despite this, the Internship provided me with some well-needed routine. I had weekly meetings with the BA programme director, Jappe Eckhardt and administrator, Laura Oxford, became a new normal. And the new posting schedule became a welcome routine, helping pass the long and dark weeks of lockdown and offering a productive escape from academic work. I could not have been more grateful for the kindness and support that Laura Oxford gave me throughout my internship as I bombarded her with questions, draft posts and queries about font choices! Despite never meeting in person, I was so grateful to have developed such a positive working relationship which allowed me to push myself beyond my comfort zone by reaching out to other staff, expanding the E-Newsletter and creating video content! Laura truly is at the heart of the BA, and her insights and support allowed me to develop an aesthetic and content that was truly reflective of the programme. It was such a joy to see the account grow in followers and engagement throughout the course of my internship, and I cannot wait to see it continue to flourish as the programme grows. I want to give a huge thanks to Laura, Jappe, lecturers, and others on the BA in Global Development team for their help and support, especially as for many of them, the words "Instagram", "Stories", and" Highlights" seemed like a foreign language. Their willingness to get involved helped create an account that showcases the BA programme and the lecturers that teach on it, and I am so grateful for that!
I began January 2021 clouded in apprehension, longing for normality and engulfed in uncertainty for my plans for my future. This Internship, however, has provided me with workplace experience and has enhanced my team-working and lots of other skills. It also helped me realise my strengths and gave me a sense of clarity for my aspirations. Particularly, it has reinforced my desire to further my education and apply for Masters courses in York and opened up ideas for future career paths in Marketing, policy or communications.
Photo courtesy of Anna Clark