How interning at vInspired landed me my first job in Fundraising

Meet Lily. Lily started a job as a Fundraising Assistant at vInspired after completing a 6 month internship at the charity. She graduated from the University of Manchester in the summer of 2013 after studying English Literature.

In this blog, Lily gives an insight into her initial steps after graduating and what it’s been like as an intern.

"Towards the end of my final year at university, everyone was asking a question that I dreaded - “So, what do you want to do?” Those lucky medics, engineers and aspiring teachers all seemed to have a set plan. My degree in English Literature, however, made my future plans somewhat less obvious. As my graduation date dawned ever closer the excitement was definitely dampened by waves of panic.

I moved back home to Birmingham and began temping at a Children’s Centre. Whilst I appreciated the money, the work wasn’t particularly challenging and it certainly wasn’t something that I wanted to do forever. Neither was living at home for the next six months! I applied for a variety of jobs but my lack of experience always seemed to let me down in the final stages, so I started looking into internships. They seemed like a great way to start out on a career path, learn something completely new and required less experience.

I came across the vInspired fundraising internship and felt it would give me a chance to gain a real insight into the fundraising sector. It could also help me figure out if fundraising was what I wanted to do on a long-term basis. I also felt it would help me develop new skills and showcase ones I already felt I had. I applied, and after a slightly nerve-racking interview I was offered the internship.

My team made me feel really welcome. I had tasks to carry out immediately to assist the launch of a new campaign. It was extremely busy at times, but so exciting to be given real and worthwhile work. I was always offered support and help if and when necessary, and no question was deemed too stupid to ask.

My day-to-day tasks varied greatly; from looking after campaigns, to assisting creatively with research and the handling and sorting of data. I also looked after all of our individual fundraisers and wrote copy for the corporate newsletters. I even attended a couple of corporate meetings.

The length of my internship allowed me to become a real member of the team and gave me the time to explore a variety of different areas. I’ve gained so many new skills as a result, but crucially have gained a lot more confidence and belief in myself and my ability to do well within a professional environment. The most rewarding element for me was that it has allowed me to develop ideas for future employment and has shown me that fundraising is definitely a career option that I want to take further. After my internship ended, I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position within the team as Fundraising Assistant, so I am here for the long run!"

Whether you’re looking for experience, new skills or want to use a short period of time to figure out what type of career you want then an internship could be the ideal choice. Who knows, you may even find yourself with a permanent job at the end of it.

By Dan Bond
Posted on 07 May 2014
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