“After completing an undergraduate degree in communications and journalism at Webster University in St Louis Missouri, I chose to study international relations for my master’s at Cardiff University. Once I graduated, I went to see the Student Futures assistants in the Centre for Student Life for their advice. I knew I wanted to continue working in communications within higher education, and I asked them to review my CV and make sure that I was on the right track, which is when they recommended that I look through my Student Futures account and the jobs board to see if there was anything that stood out to me. This is where I saw the internship opportunity with Student Futures themselves. I knew the role was tailored to things that I wanted to do; it meant I could work in a higher education environment, in a communications role, with the bonus of also working with student engagement and student success. It meant I could help other students build their future.
“The internship was so beneficial for me in terms of the experience I’ve gained. I've learnt so much from the team who were so kind and welcoming right from the start, and what I loved so much is that they didn't treat me like an intern, they just treated me like a colleague. I've had previous internship experiences where they treated me like a little kid, but here I felt valued and respected in my role.
“I learnt so many valuable things that I’ll take into the rest of my career, like the importance of being flexible and adaptable - things in a communications department change day-to-day, and making sure that you're staying on your toes and being flexible is very important because requests and changes often come at times you least expect, and you need to be able to adapt.
“This experience has definitely influenced my career path because I now know more about what kind of career I want moving forward. I loved every minute of the internship working in communications with the university in careers and employability; it's been amazing and so rewarding.
“Initially I didn’t expect to apply for an internship, because when I first started looking for roles I was only considering full time positions. But Student Futures and my parents really encouraged me to look outside of the roles I was already searching for and find something that I would enjoy and would really influence me. I found this role, which has really influenced how I want to move forward with my career, and I wouldn't have that if I would have just stuck with applying for full time jobs. So, my advice to other graduates would be to really encourage them to look outside of what they would originally think in their tunnel vision of ‘this is what I want to do’. I had thought that I was going to be working in journalism but now I could not be happier with my choice to work and progress in higher education communications. It's been one of the best decisions of my life.”
Haley secured her internship with the help of Cardiff University’s Student Futures – a service which tailors resources to aid job searches, offers reputable links to organisations and provides visa advice on top of the suite of existing career resources.