Ellie, Rowcroft's Marketing & Communications Intern joined the Communications team back in August, as part of her University's sandwich year placement. Here she talks about her experiences working at the hospice:
What made you want to do your internship at Rowcroft?
I was eager to find an internship that gave me opportunity to learn as much as possible; I wanted to develop my skills within a small team where I had real responsibilities. During my second year at university, several of my assignments involved researching third sector organisations; this sparked an interest in working for a charity, particularly a small, local one.
What are your main responsibilities?
I assist the communications team with their varied job load and work closely with the Fundraising team to help promote their events and campaigns. One of my biggest personal achievements during my time here has been learning how to write good press releases. I also write and implement content plans for Rowcroft's social media channels, including Barbara the Sheep's Facebook page. Impersonating a sheep online is definitely a different experience and something I didn't imagine myself doing, but it's quite rewarding to see Sleep Walk supporters engage with her posts!
What key lessons have you learnt here and how will they help you with your University course?
One of my particular interests within Marketing and Advertising is branding. I have learnt about Rowcroft's re-brand back in 2012, this was particularly interesting for me. I was fascinated to learn how a focus group listed keywords which they felt fully embodied Rowcroft's core values and qualities and how the words then helped to develop Rowcroft's visual identity. For my final year at University I have chosen 'Brand Management' as one of my units of work so I hope I can put in some of the teachings from Rowcroft's re-brand into this.
Obviously whilst working here I have experienced a full workload and varying deadlines, although I have experienced this at University, I have developed my time management skills a lot more working here.
What has been your favourite project/event to work on while you've been here and why?
When I started in August, I was immediately thrown into working on The Colour Rush, which was really fun. As this was a new event for the hospice, we had to create eye-catching photos that would encourage our social media fan base to engage with the event. One particular day, Simon our Digital Marketing Officer at the time, volunteered to be the model for a photo, as this was a fancy dress orientated image, we gave him a pink tutu to wear, whilst other members of staff threw powder paint at him - that was definitely a fun day!
What affect has working at Rowcroft had on your future career plans?
I would definitely consider working in the charity sector after I graduate, I like the challenge of raising awareness on a limited budget as I believe it demands a more creative approach. I have always had a strong interest in branding, in particular seeing how a business conveys its core brand values through its visual identity; this is especially important for third sector organisations and it is an element I believe Rowcroft has done very well.
What will you miss and not miss about working at Rowcroft?
I don't think I'll miss waking up at 6:30am, along with my hour long drive to the hospice, although my housemates have made a pact to make sure we're all up and working by 9am in our final year, so I hope to continue working productively. I will miss seeing the beautiful hospice grounds on a daily basis, especially in the summer when the Meadow is blooming!