Firstly, let me quickly introduce myself, my name is Annie, and if you’ve interacted with Acceler8’s social media in the last 8 weeks or so, you may have interacted with me! I’m coming to the end of an 8-week internship with Acceler8, through the University of Sussex. I’m still currently a student, studying Media & Communications and going into my final year this September.
I went to quite a few interviews when I discovered the university funded an internship scheme. I quickly noticed in the interview offer from Acceler8, Chris had added; “Our dress code is informal - you don’t need to be in a suit!”. This was a major change of tone to the other emails from companies I had received, they were quite intimidating in comparison. Acceler8 had been the only one to exercise any form of empathy towards the nerves of a student attempting to dip a toe into the big scary workforce.
By the time I had my interview with Acceler8, I had a few interviews under my belt, but that still didn’t help my nerves! As I turned the corner to head into the Spaces building my eyes widened, the place was so beautiful and clean! I can’t quite describe it, but most of my working experience has been in retail stores where there aren’t even any windows, so this was a stark contrast. As I stepped inside, the nerves started setting in (as they usually do). The interviews before had been so focused on statistics and conversion growth – very corporate. Due to my lack of experience however, I soon started to expect this from these types of interviews.
Fortunately, this soon disappeared once I was sitting at a table with Marcus and David. They were so accommodating to me, and as bizarre as it sounds, talked with me like a human. They weren’t only interested in my capabilities for the job, but who I was as a person, my hobbies, and interests. This alleviated my pre-interview nerves and through this I found more confidence to communicate openly with them. It was overall a really good interview experience.
So… when I got the call offering the position, I didn’t hesitate in accepting!
The next few weeks were pretty hectic, not just in that I needed to learn and adapt to a new job, but the business was having a full transformation. A complete overhaul really, an entire rebrand, including a new logo, new website, new office, and two new employees. It was certainly a stressful time, but I was never made to feel a burden for asking questions, and it felt like regardless of all these changes that my new co-workers had time for me – which I really appreciated.
Before I knew it, I was on my way to the CIPD Festival of Work at Olympia armed only with an iPhone and a DSLR. My mission? To cover the two-day event with as many photos and videos I could cram on to an SD card. This experience was so different to anything I had been to before, I’m glad I got to walk around with a camera rather than be tied to our booth. It gave me the opportunity to wander into things I found interesting, and really get a look into the stuff that was going on. In the evening of the first day we had dinner at The Mandrake, which was almost difficult to comprehend. The place was beautiful, the food was beautiful, as were the drinks…
This experience has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’m pretty reluctant to get off honestly! With that being said, it might be worth mentioning now that I’ve been offered to stay on! I still have my final year of studying starting in September, so as of today I will be going down to one day a week so I can balance my studies alongside. I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity; I couldn’t bear the thought of going back to retail! It’s been so rewarding to work with people I respect, and I feel respect me too. I’ve already learned so much from my time here and I can’t wait to keep learning and growing, and in what better place to do so?
Now, we're off to grab lunch in the sun!