Earlier this year (23), The Cusp took on Grace Bader-Jones for an internship in partnership with Career Boost at Swansea University. At The Cusp we firmly believe that a great internship experience should hold substance and quality – it should be an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and empowerment. We invited Grace Bader-Jones back, to tell us about her recent internship with The Cusp. From honing essential skills to embracing a culture of continuous learning and fostering meaningful marketing harnessed. This is what she had to say…
TC: What specific skills or knowledge did you acquire during your internship with The Cusp and the Career Boost Team?
GBJ: I learnt how to use specific software such as WordPress, HubSpot, AirTable, Canva and Slack. The Cusp’s senior management gave me access to complete training to become HubSpot certified which allowed me to reach out to clients and have knowledge on how to create links, landing pages and other digital marketing tools. Canva to create reels, images, and change information into The Cusp branding. Slack to communicate with my team, AirTable to create a timings and manage large data for clients and WordPress to edit The Cusp’s website and post blogs.
The Cusp improved my team working skills. We worked in a group 5 (including me) we were very close, communicated well and supported each other by proof reading each other’s work, bouncing ideas back and forth regarding creatives for clients and were very encouraging and supporting of each other’s work and professional development. Career Boost gave me information to apply for funding for clothing, training, and travel expenses to support my employability needs.
TC: Can you share some examples of the projects or tasks you worked on during your internship?
GBJ: During my internship an aspect of my role included representing The Cusp at networking events. This enabled me to network with business professionals, have insightful conversations about the wide of world of business and expand my knowledge in how to connect and be successful when developing into my professional career. Moreover, networking allowed me to connect and acquire potential leads for The Cusp, which allowed me to use my communication and sales skills to successfully pitch what The Cusp could do to improve how their businesses approach marketing, especially social media, by giving snippets of useful tools and knowledge of how to improve their reach and engagement online. This increased my confidence in communicating and reaching out to clients, which encouraged me to send emails via HubSpot and make phone calls to acquire clients for The Cusp.
Another aspect of my role was supporting senior marketeers marketing with research for proposals, tenders, and presentations to present to clients or support The Cusp acquiring clients. For this Louise allowed me creative freedom and autonomy to research and gather information to create audits for clients. Finally, I wrote blogs for The Cusp’s website. The team gave me specific topics to target when creating blogs, and gave me the freedom to research, structure and write how I saw fit.
TC: How did your experience at The Cusp and with the Career Boost Team align with your career goals and aspirations?
GBJ: As a year in industry student, (even though it was remote) this wasn’t my first ‘office job’. However, my year in industry was based on finance, which I decided I didn’t want to pursue a career in. When I realised that marketing is where I wanted my career path to go, I was very aware that I didn’t have marketing experience when applying for graduate positions, therefore, had no relevant and specific examples to give employers. Therefore, this placement was perfect to ‘boost’ my career to align with my career goals as it allowed me to gain relevant experience and develop my skills in a working environment. This placement gave me an advantage over other graduates, and ultimately landed me in a graduate position working with Torfaen Council.
TC: Were there any particular challenges you faced during your internship, and how did you overcome them?
GBJ: During my placement I faced a lot of uncertainty with my academic career based around the teacher boycott. Due to this, I was very anxious and stressed and I made Louise aware of this. Louise made a point to check in with me, and my team were very supportive of what I was going through. The entire Cusp organisation were very close, and I appreciated all of them being there for me even though my feelings weren’t due to professional circumstances.
In terms of professional challenges I faced, I was very unexperienced to networking and attending events. Even though this was an amazing opportunity I was very nervous about representing The Cusp and speaking to business professionals, I was extremely nervous to speak my 45 seconds about The Cusp at a BNI networking event. Louise coached and mentored me through this by giving me key pointers of what to communicate about The Cusp and ran through it with me until I was confident enough to attend the event.
TC: From a marketing perspective, what strategies or techniques did you find most effective or interesting during your internship?
GBJ: The strategies that I learned during a student in Swansea University, it was very exciting for me to see them being implemented in real work life scenarios. Market segmentation allowed me to isolate direct competitors to potential clients which supported my social media analysis of a business. It allowed me to identify key aspects of marketing that other organisations were doing, for example, which hashtags they use, types of content they create and what they’ve posted previously and been successful. I could then use this information to highlight areas of improvement for the client and how The Cusp can leverage this research and information to support the client to increase scope and engagement online. I had learnt the theory of marketing segmentation in University, and this background knowledge supported during my placement at Cusp.
TC: Did you have opportunities for mentorship or learning that contributed to your professional growth?
GBJ: During my placement at The Cusp’s senior team was always accessible to me and the team, in and out of work hours. They truly dedicated a lot of time to all of the team to ensure we understood the tasks we were given, had enough knowledge to complete them and be mindful of our workload. Louise did this by carrying out team meetings every Monday and Thursday, along with 1-1’s throughout the week as and when needed and being accessible on Slack throughout the day for questions and advice.
Louise personally supported my professional growth by supporting my job hunt. Louise talked me through standing out in an interview, mentored me through the recruitment process and was always available for career or personal advice and support. The Cusp’s management was always very encouraging, supportive and gave great insight into the professional world I was about to enter.