Guest blog from Dániel Hegman, SOAS student, BA Politics (Graduating summer 2017)
Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert email@example.com
How did you start working for start-up?
In my first year at SOAS, I was really keen to get some real work experience. So I went to SOAS Careers Service to ask for their advice. They drew my attention to a couple of interesting opportunities that I could do part-time. After looking through them, one stood out – a Brand Ambassador position at a start-up. I liked the fact that the company is based on an innovative idea and that they are providing a relevant service for students. They are sorting out summer storage for students, amongst many things, in an innovative way. So I applied and became a Brand Ambassador.
What is your work like?
After my successful application, I received marketing training and I was then responsible for running my own online and offline marketing campaigns. For the offline marketing I put up posters in strategic locations around campus and handed out flyers to students. For the online campaigns I researched relevant SOAS societies on social channels and crafted personalised messages for each one to increase awareness. These efforts resulted in me being the top Brand Ambassador in terms of generating sales! This has not only given me first-hand experience in marketing but also boosted my confidence.
After the successful campaigns, I joined the company as a Finance and Sales intern. On the one hand my job is to ensure the financial sustainability of the company by analysing our expenditures and incomes then making sure all the payments go through. On the other hand, I am helping the sales department with market research and contacting potential customers. However, being a startup I am helping out other departments too.
What is the favourite part of your internship?
My favourite thing at the start-up is the friendly atmosphere. The teams are under the same roof, there is no strong sense of hierarchy and everybody is free to sit wherever they wish. As an intern I get to interact with the different departments and I sometimes have the chance to engage with other aspects of the business. On one of our record days, I got the chance to join one of our drivers on his collection route in London. These experiences truly made me understand how the business is run from different perspectives.
On my first week when my father asked me about my internship the following analogy came to mind. I am working on a ship as a chef, responsible for cooking. However, the ship is in a constant storm so I often have to help out on the main deck!
What advice would you give to others?
Definitely give it a shot and try the start-up life for yourself! Life is too short to spend it all in a corporate office. Start-ups are not for everybody but they provide a unique atmosphere where you can grow and feel that you are truly part of the team, working towards a common dream.
Many thanks to LOVESPACE, the student storage company, for providing the internship! Check out their website if you’re interested in future internships or becoming a student brand ambassador.
Dániel Hegman, SOAS student, BA Politics (Graduating summer 2017) June 2016