My name is Jess and I recently started my role as an intern at the Brynmor Jones Library.
Find out what I have learnt in the first week and why it has already been beneficial to my future career.
The application process
Up until two weeks ago, I worked in a pub as a supervisor. It definitely wasn’t what I expected to do after getting an English and Philosophy degree from the University of Hull in 2021. But, it meant I could pay for my rent and the cat’s food.
One day, I received an email from Student Futures. It contained a long list of different internships available within the University. I scrolled through and found one entitled ‘Social Media and Communications Intern’, at the Brynmor Jones Library. I got excited as soon as I read it. Working in an academic library had always interested me. I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I had to apply.
The downside? The deadline for applying was the next day and I had to start a night shift in a couple of hours. I needed to attach my CV and a cover letter. I had never written a cover letter in my life. The pressure was on.
Luckily, I managed to apply for the role and make it to the bus stop on time.
The next day, I had an email from Lee who works as an Academic & Library Specialist. We arranged to have an informal chat for later on in the week. I was nervous, but in retrospect, I didn’t need to be. The chat with Lee was very relaxed and gave me a chance to express my interest in the role.
Not long after, I found out that the internship was mine. After we agreed on a start date, I signed my contract. All I had left to do was sort out my sleeping pattern and wait until my first day.
My week so far
Throughout the week, I have been introduced to many different Library staff members. What they have in common is that they have all been extremely kind and willing to help. This has made settling in rather easy.
I have also started to develop skills related to social media, as the title of my internship applied I would. This process started with me learning about which social media platforms the Library use. The team and I also discussed what aspects of the Library social media we believe could be developed. So far, I have been given training on Hootsuite, Canva and the different types of image licensing and copyright. As well as mandatory training on diversity and data protection.
It has also been important for me to learn about the Library facilities and what is available to students, so that I can promote them.
Using all this information, I have been able to draft some posts for social media and I’ve written a couple of blogs. I have found this aspect quite challenging as the last written work I did was my undergraduate thesis in 2021. It has been strange to go from academic writing to writing more informal blog posts. This has been especially hard when my previous job didn’t rely on me being creative. As the week has progressed, I have found it easier to come up with some fun ideas. So, I am sure it is a skill I will develop further over the next few months.
And lets not forget that I have received my very own iconic, yellow Brynmor Jones Library lanyard.
What I enjoy about being an intern
One brilliant aspect of being an intern at the Library has been the networking opportunity. In one week, I have spoken to a lot of different people, all with extremely different backgrounds. It has become clear to me that there is more than one way to work in an academic library. This has been very reassuring to learn as I believe it will be applicable to many job roles.
My tour around the Brynmor Jones Library with Helen was also really exciting. You can read more about my experience of the tour here.
In the upcoming weeks, I will also get the opportunity to tour the Hull History Centre, which is linked to the Brynmor Jones Library. The team I work with have really encouraged me to pursue my interests and have happily accommodated my request to also gain some experience in the archive sector. This will be important to decide the next steps in my career or studies.
Another aspect of being an intern in the Library that I have enjoyed is that it is an environment that is constantly changing and adapting to community needs. This means that my day-to-day routine so far has never been the same.
And finally, probably the best part of being an intern is that the stereotype that librarians love cats is proving to be true. Meeting and office-talk often entail us all talking about our pet cats in some way or another.
What i hope to learn in the next few months
One of the initial reasons that I applied for the Social Media and Communications Internship at the Library is that I wanted to gain first-hand experience of working in such an organisation. I have already discovered the large variety of job roles available in an academic library, and I hope to get to know more.
In terms of social media and blogging skills, I am looking forward to engaging my brain in a more creative way of working. I also think it would be beneficial to the Library if I could create content in the form of short, informal and aesthetic videos. The purpose of these would be to showcase the Library and its facilities in a way that I believe modern audiences would engage in. This is something I haven’t tried before, but I am aiming to gain confidence in video recording and editing.
It will also be good to meet the new interns that are joining the Library in the next few weeks. This way, I have a support network of not just staff who have worked in the Library for years, but also those who are in the same boat as me and trying something completely new.
I can confidently say that there have already been many benefits to being an intern at the Brynmor Jones Library.
Yes, it has been quite a nerve-wracking process, but ultimately it has been good to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.
I am only one week into a ten-week journey, and I have already started to gain new skills from working in a different environment. The training that has and will be provided will no doubt enhance my CV and career prospects. Plus, I have made lots of worthy connections who have already offered a lot of support and guidance.
If there is one thing that you can take away from this blog, it’s that if you get the opportunity to do an internship in an academic library, then do it. You’re sure to learn something new, and you will definitely find a fellow cat lover!