I feel that as students we all begin our placements with at least a slight hint of fear that the upcoming weeks will be bleak, tea-filled days upon days of photocopying and standing at the franking machine longing for something to sink our teeth in to. However, I can now say that being an intern at Alban Books is the polar opposite of these horror stories you might hear, in fact I was offered more cups of tea than days spent interning.
Alban Books, provider of sales, marketing, distribution and customer service in the UK and Europe for 6 US religious publishers, were my first choice for my placement option as I was really hoping to gain an insight in to the marketing side of the industry. I started my time with Alban Books on 18 March 2014 and after being shown to my very own desk with my own personalised email address I knew that I had made the right choice.
My first task really settled any worries I may have had. At my interview meeting I had expressed an interest in design and Jonny Gallant, the Marketing Director, really listens and plays towards your strengths and what you enjoy doing. With the design interest in mind I was set the task of putting together an email bulletin advertising their upcoming offers. My lack of HTML knowledge did make me wonder if I was up to this challenge but fortunately I was introduced to Mail Chimp. This online tool is amazing and allows you to create well-designed emails. I had a lot of fun putting together the email bulletin and found Mail Chimp extremely easy to use quite quickly. Design and marketing! This was exactly what I wanted to be doing. From then on I was set a mixture of tasks, some that I was extremely comfortable with and some that seemed a little daunting – the tasks that were based on the dreaded Excel. These tasks varied from AI creation, flyer designs, data input, huge mail-outs and e-Newsletter compilation. Fortunately I never struggled with any of the tasks set and by the end of my internship I was actually quite fond of the terrifyingly packed Excel sheets and was extremely impressed with all the amazing tricks you can do using this programme.
The most rewarding task I was set was specifically design based. Jonny Gallant knew my interests and allowed that to be incorporated into the work I could do for them by asking me to set my design skills to re-designing the look of their AI sheets. This was a huge honour and was extremely exciting for me. So, I sunk my teeth into the task and came up with a few designs which the team were really pleased with. The feedback I received was great to hear and made me feel extremely confident with what I am capable of.
Alban Books are a great company to intern for. The office is a lovely environment, with the small team of four being amazing to work with. My time with Alban Books flew by so quickly I couldn’t believe it was coming to an end. I already miss making my way down to that lovely part of Edinburgh and hearing how the team’s weeks have been. All members of the team were so friendly and showed a real interest in what it was that I was doing and what my hopes for the future were, I felt really supported. Working closely with the Marketing Manager, Elaine Reid, was a great experience from which I learnt a lot, as well as it being lovely company. Jonny Gallant is particularly helpful, as I said before, he asks what your interests are and makes it work for both you and Alban Books. I cannot be any more grateful than I am for having had the opportunity to gain the experience I now have from interning at Alban Books.