Alex our Intern sitting at the desk ready for work.
Alex our intern ready for work.

Hi everyone! I have been undertaking a marketing internship with PinkGold, owned by Anne Collis, and Barod CIC, co-owned by Anne’s husband Bryan. I have a BSc in Business Management and an MSc in Strategic Marketing, in which I achieved a First and a Distinction respectively. I am neurodivergent, with diagnosed autism, and suspected dyspraxia and ADHD.

I very much enjoyed working with PinkGold as it has given me an opportunity to utilise the skills I learnt on my Masters in an autonomous but supportive environment. Due to my neurodivergence, I often struggle to follow instructions, particularly when delivered verbally, but Anne and her colleagues deliver them very clearly and patiently, in a way that allows me to understand them. However, I do appreciate that developing my independent working skills would not go amiss. Therefore, I have been trying to be more of a self-starter, and not to ask for clarification unless I really need it. I hope that by the end of this internship, I will have mastered this skill. This will prepare me for subsequent roles where there is likely to be less support available, particularly if I decide to work for a large, multinational organisation. With Anne’s services centred around knowledge mobilisation and public engagement, this has allowed me to learn about an area that I was not previously familiar with. As I have good research skills, this perfectly played to my strengths, while allowing me to use my knowledge to develop a tailored marketing plan.

I have also developed my Excel skills while on this placement. With Anne often looking for me to compile information I have researched in a database, I have used this frequently, and would now feel confident using it on a more regular basis in future positions. As Excel is fundamental to most contemporary positions, I am very pleased about this, and it is a skill I can promote at interviews. I am also grateful that PinkGold has been able to take into account my neurodivergent needs in this placement. For instance, she has allowed me time each day for ‘’facilitating productivity’’, which is time spent undertaking activities that do not look like work, but are fundamental for me to perform at my maximum. This might involve going for a walk, for example. I believe this has been essential in helping me to perform at my best, as it allows me to burn off excess energy and give me that dopamine hit, which I am lacking due to my ADHD.

Anne has also allowed me to use my working hours for self-development, such as working on my CV, applying for jobs, and attending job interviews. This has allowed me to prepare for life after PinkGold, which I am grateful to Anne for allowing me to do, as I would not otherwise have had enough time to plan my next steps. This self-reflection time and the advice I have been given throughout my internship has made me realise that I need to be applying for roles that are pitched to my level, and have training and development opportunities. This will challenge me and allow me to learn new skills, without having
unrealistic expectations of my abilities.

I have enjoyed the ability to work remotely. Due to my neurodivergence, working in an office has been challenging at times in the past, so I am glad that PinkGold has offered me the chance to work remotely. This has helped to maintain my productivity, which I believed I would have been more difficult in a busy office environment, in which there are plenty of distractions. While my productivity could still improve further, I have implemented some strategies which could improve this. For instance, using noise-reducing headphones.

Overall, I have had a fantastic experience at PinkGold, and I am grateful to Anne for giving me the opportunity to develop a marketing strategy for her organisation. I am also pleased that I have worked for an organisation which aims to empower neurodivergent individuals, and I believe that if more did so, they would be a lot more innovative. Though my confidence was low when I started the role, it has boosted my confidence again, which will stand me in good stead to succeed in my next position.

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