University of Nottingham psychology graduate, Amy Rainbow, has just finished an internship at We Are Unstuck in Cobden Chambers and will now be staying on there full-time! We caught up with Amy to find out more about her internship, and how it led to a full-time job with one of the Creative Quarter’s most exciting creative businesses. Amy explained:
“The role of Research Associate advertised here at We Are Unstuck, in the heart of Nottingham City Centre, sounded perfect to me. We Are Unstuck is an SME – a ‘small to medium enterprise’ – and I was initially worried that this learning curve would be too steep, with a lot of pressure and with nobody to hide behind. And whilst it’s definitely true that it would have been obvious if I wasn’t pulling my weight, I’ve learnt so much more in three months than I would in a placement year at any large business.
“The support network was right there and there were few barriers to communication. Any worries I had could be discussed with the relevant parties in an instant – and over a custard cream, rather than a department meeting!
“I’ve received in-depth insights into every area of the business, and have been given much more responsibility; there are no coffee runs, and no afternoons spent photocopying and stapling.
“In my first weeks I helped out at a conference in London and went to a workshop in Manchester. Next, I did research to back up We Are Unstuck’s methodology, and helped to prototype and test a new website and app. This balance of freedom, respect and support has been an incredible way for me to gain confidence and experience.
“In a larger business, it probably would have taken me four times as long to speak up with my ideas, let alone to be proactive about sharing my thoughts – with the knowledge that I have a skill set that can make a real difference here.
- Photo Credit: Rich Nixon www.richwillnixon.com
“Following my internship, I’ve been incredibly lucky in landing a full-time role at We Are Unstuck as a Research Associate, and I think there’s a few lessons I’ve learned that could apply to any intern. Firstly, collaboration is key. You’ll bring your own skills and so shouldn’t be afraid to know your worth; they hired you for a reason! But you can also pick up some amazing knowledge and inspiration from the people around you. Asking questions goes a long way, and most work can be improved by getting a second opinion.
“Secondly, learn how you work best. I sometimes need time to sit back, get my head down and read through mountains of research; but equally sometimes need to sit on the floor huddled around pieces of paper to sketch out ideas with someone else. We Are Unstuck have given me the freedom to experiment with this, and whilst it was initially very challenging to be honest with myself and how I’ll be most productive, it’s definitely refreshing after years of rote learning and revision.
“Finally – ENJOY IT. You can use this time to make a real difference to a company, and come out the other end with work that you can be proud of. Just jump straight in, get stuck in, and have fun with it.”
Sarah King, Founder of We Are Unstuck, said:
“Participating in the University of Nottingham’s internship programme provides a really effective way to spot exciting new talent. My brief was quite specific – a psychology graduate, curious about organisational psychology and how to unlock creativity in the workplace. Amy has proven to be the perfect person for the role. She’s immersed herself fully into the business – learning about our methodology and customers; applying her knowledge and experience to the development of our app, marketing plan and methodology. She brings a skillset to the team that didn’t exist previously and I’m already seeing the benefit of that. I’m delighted that now her internship has drawn to a close, she’s joining us as a full-time member of the team.”