To help with your application for our upcoming Social Enterprise Internship Programme, we caught up with 2021 cohort participant Livvy Sutherland to get her top tips and advice about applying.
Firstly, why did you apply to the 2021 Social Enterprise Programme?
I thought Bounceback looked like a great initiative, tackling one of the biggest social issues in the UK – food poverty – in a creative way. If you’re keen to work for a charity or a social enterprise, like me, you may have already found that there are far fewer traditional internships available than in the business sector, so it can be more difficult to build up your work experience. The Social Enterprise Programme was a real find in that sense!
How did you research Bounceback Food CIC?
I went through the website and social media channels, and listened to some of Bounceback’s podcast. This is really important because:
- You need to make sure that this social enterprise is a good fit for you.
- If you get to interview, you need to understand the aims and methods of Bounceback – the Team don’t need you to be a social enterprise expert, but they do need you to show genuine interest!
- If you’re interested in marketing on the internship, understanding Bounceback’s social media is key.
How did you structure your application?
The most important thing about your response is that it’s tailored to the tasks and responsibilities Bounceback lists – for example, creating marketing content and organising events. If you’ve got any experience that could be relevant to these tasks, structure the application around it. So for marketing, I wrote about my experience promoting my podcast, and for events, my experience organising meetings as a society secretary at university.
Don’t panic if you can’t instantly think of anything – you can think of your most valuable skills, and see if they might be relevant to the tasks at hand. For example, I was proud of my research work at university. This could actually be relevant to both marketing, in the form of market research, and events management, for example in researching potential collaborators in the sector, who might be interested in partnering with us at events.
What tasks and activities did you do during the 2 week programme?
A real variety! Planning a social media campaign, researching potential Third Sector partners for Bounceback and getting in touch, researching and contacting bookshops to stock Bounceback’s fundraising cookbook, and designing a marketing poster. We even got to do some cooking and recipe design, for Bounceback’s online Food Portal!
What skills did you learn?
- Writing compelling copy and adapting it to the appropriate media channel.
- The best tips and tricks for big research projects, when you’ve got to search a wide area for specific information.
- Planning a social media campaign from scratch.
- Using Canva for social media marketing, a totally new bit of software to me!
- Collaborating with a large team, including all the other interns.
- Presenting work to the group.
- Clarity of communication, from writing persuasive emails to useful recipes!
Any other advice about writing your application?
As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t have a lot of words to waste on the application! Following a sentence briefly stating that you’re writing to express interest in the internship, you need to launch straight into a snappy introductory sentence explaining why you’d be a good fit for the team. This is the place to highlight your qualities most relevant to the internship, which you may expand on as you talk about your experience later on. I described myself as ‘a hard-working, high-achieving recent graduate, with a determination to work for a greater social benefit’. This is one context where it’s ok to be boastful!