It was already June – one month to graduation – and unlike some of my fellow students, I didn’t have anything lined up for when I finished university.
Luckily for me, a position for a Graduate Internship with Frontline was advertised on my university careers website – a 6-month role in their Head Office in London. The job description talked about supporting the recruitment team as applications for the Frontline programme opened and closed, and said that having strong organisational skills was a must.
What the job description didn’t tell you is how welcoming the recruitment team are (as well as the rest of the Frontline staff), and also how challenging a role with the charity can be. Pushing your multi-tasking skills to the limit, I was encouraged to suggest new ways of cooperating with the team and invited to use my initiative whenever I had a new idea for attraction, communication, or cultivation.
For example, when the application deadline for the Frontline programme was nearing, I was able to create and set up an online webinar, which is now available for everyone to view on YouTube. Despite the slightly shaky beginning, which I can thank inexperience and a technical error for, the webinar has now had almost 400 views!
As well as this, all four Graduate Interns (or GIs as they call us) had sole responsibility of organising, preparing for, and running the assessment centres for Frontline programme applicants. What I’ve learnt is that coordinating a team of experienced social workers is easier said than done, and a lot depends on the day running smoothly and to time. This was what built my confidence the most, and enabled me to approach other tasks self-assured and safe in the knowledge that I could call on the support of my fellow GIs or other members of the team if I needed to.
And that hasn’t even been the highlight of the role. Working with a fast growing charity, you’d be one of a fresh-faced team, so you wouldn’t be the only newbie – which is oddly reassuring. I joined alongside three others; Heather, Amelia and Iulia, who have become my close friends and trusted colleagues.
Before the internship, Heather and Amelia were Brand Managers for Frontline, originally interested in the marketing side of things. But their passion for Frontline whilst promoting the Frontline programme meant that they were familiar with the charity, and trusted it as a Times Top 100 graduate employer.
For Amelia, the six-month contract seemed like a good opportunity and a next logical step after finishing university. After the internship, Amelia is going travelling and then is looking to progress her career by attaining a further business qualification in either the corporate or charity sector.
Unlike Amelia, Heather was more uncertain of what she wanted to do in the long-term, but staying with Frontline (from Brand Manager to GI) seemed like a good way to gain new skills. After finishing the internship, Heather wants to work in event management, such as charity fundraising or running big conferences, drawing on her experience helping out at Frontline events: from cultivation drinks, to graduation ceremonies and leadership seminars.
Finally, Iulia joined Frontline following her passion for charity work. Finding that the company’s values aligned with her own, she chose this internship as the first step in paving a career in this sector. The challenging nature of the role is the thing she has most valued, enabling her to develop and build her professional skills, and she now aspires to continue working in the charity sector.
For me, as well as being a key part of a worthwhile charity organisation, I have really enjoyed getting to know and support the people who want to become life changing social workers, learning from the process, and building close friendships with the other Interns. My experience as a Graduate Intern certainly says something about how special Frontline is to work for.
Applications for our Graduate Internships are now open until 20 March. Click here to apply.