Gabriel: My Equator Internship
I was last at Equator 2 years ago, in the summer of 2017. This was before I started university, and I was just out of high school. In short, it was a different time. I’ve been back at Equator for a month now and thought a blog would be a good idea to contrast the past and the present.
The fact I’ve now completed two years of university at the University of Glasgow has made a large change. I’m studying towards an MA in English literature and Philosophy. This has changed what I’m suited for. Rather than working in PR and Social, I spent the last month working as a copywriting intern. This reflects another change. In the last two years I’ve got better at producing content, as a result of exposure to the different beast that is student journalism. Polished writing and a defining style are the main themes. I like to think I‘ve given up trying to imitate other writers as well, but you can probably see something in my writing that reminds you of someone.
Even in my first week working with Lorraine in copywriting, I learned some completely new things. From the basics (copywriters don’t use justified text where academics do) to the industry-level knowledge. I developed a knowledge of UX copywriting, an entire topic I was completely unaware of because of my isolation from everyday agency life.
I found myself doing more important work than I did in my last time at Equator. This was a welcome challenge, and a real show of faith in me that I’m very honoured by! While physically the spaces might have changed since two years ago (hello, Studio 5), the mentality has not. Indeed, one thing is definitely the same at Equator: as an intern, you’re not there to make the coffee. I found that people genuinely cared about the work I was doing. It’s an extremely welcoming workplace to walk in to, especially for a student who hasn’t even reached graduate level yet. As mentioned earlier, to actually be working on proper projects, generating content that would actually be used by somebody was a great feeling.
The internship was a learning opportunity as well. To go from university to work is a daunting transition for many graduates, and especially for writers. You have to change your tone and style entirely. At university, a writer will go for long sentences with complex wording and structure to make themselves sound more intelligent to their tutor or marker. This has the effect of turning your writing into a swamp for those who aren’t at university or don’t read academic writing any more.
I learned this in the first week of my internship, and, safe to say, it’s been a revelation. It’s such an important piece of knowledge that seems obvious when you work in an agency, but is completely counter intuitive at university. It means I’ll be a better writer in every way after this internship: whether I’m writing a CV, a case study, or even a blog.
It was a refreshing experience to get out of the English department and to write for a general audience again. University, while it can be the best time of your life, can also be really constrictive on how you express yourself and present ideas. There’s a lot of baggage that comes with it. At Equator, there’s just not the same kind of pressure. I was given the space to develop and learn in my own way.
That’s what internships (in theory) are: places to develop skills and workplace experience. That’s what Equator has given me. I’m now a lot more experienced in creating content, in CMS, and in copywriting, in the space of just one month. In the extremely competitive jobs market that exists, especially in jobs around content and copy, this experience with a well-respected, large digital agency has been an invaluable learning experience.
All I can say to finish off is a massive thank you to Equator for having me, and to everyone I worked with and chatted to over the last month. You made me feel so welcome and I loved working here. It’s been an absolute pleasure.