Catching Up with the Future Space Interns

We followed up with the guys who took part in our Summer marketing internship scheme

January 4th 2019

This year, Future Space and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) launched a very successful internship programme which gave marketing students the opportunity to work alongside the companies based at the innovation centre and help solve real-life business problems.

The benefits of internships for students are obvious, the experience and skills gained are invaluable. But for the SME and start up community of Future Space, having access to a fully funded scheme meant they were able to utilize additional support, that otherwise may not have been a feasible investment.

This isn’t a one-off scheme either; at Future Space, such programmes are run throughout the year, allowing members to take advantage of support when they need it rather working around a rigid schedule.

This is a great example of the value of being based at the innovation hub on the UWE Frenchay campus for start-up and growing companies in the science and technology sector, in addition to the state-of-the-art specialist facilities and on-site business support on offer at the centre.

We recently caught up with some of the students who completed the ten-week internship programme to find out a little more about their experiences of working with Future Space resident companies.

Future Space Interns

Phakhanan Piyanuttapool (Boat), 20, Marketing Communication Management

Marketing communications, digital marketing and management student Phakhanan started her internship with 500More in June. 500More provides support to tech companies developing healthcare tech products and services.
During her internship, Phakhanan not only learnt about the company but about herself too. She told us how the internship has helped her apply the theory she’s learnt throughout her course to real working situations and how she’s going to apply this to her learning during the next year of her course:

Why did you decide to do an internship at Future Space?
I wanted to gain confidence and real work experience as my previous experience had been in volunteering. For me, I believed that a paid internship would be another big step for me in terms of self-development.

Sum up your time with 500More in three words:
I would say difficult, challenging and valuable.

What is the key thing your internship has taught you?
It's different to studying. In real life, people don't discuss theories, names or detailed rules. It's more about applying our knowledge and experience in real situations. What I've learnt is to think more critically, not to skip any step in any process and not to get ahead of myself.

How do you think the internship will help you with your course/career?
Last year I did a group project on new product development where we selected our target market and moved on to the next stage right away. However, I’ve learnt that there’s an extensive process in identifying a target market and ideal customer profiles and how to approach them. This year, my course includes a module called ‘Enterprise Project and Specialised Marketing Practice’ and what I learnt during my internship will be very helpful for this course and in my future career.

What is your dream career?
I have several ideas such as being an independent marketing consultant and establishing my own business.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about doing an internship?
Doing an internship is seizing an opportunity to earn valuable experience, gain constructive feedback, broaden your network, make the most of your time and make yourself proud. Both a university life and an internship are short, enjoy them both!

Alberto Gonzalez, 20, Business Management with Marketing

Alberto, third-year business student at UWE Bristol, interned for Future Space company Koan which creates bespoke e-commerce platforms for online retail businesses. Alberto recounts the amusing moments during his internship as well as the lessons and skills he developed which will help him throughout the rest of his course and in his future career:

Why did you decide to do an internship at Future Space?
It was a good opportunity to gain more experience in a business environment and have more responsibility.

Sum up your time with Koan in three words:
Fun, challenging, enriching.

What is the key thing your internship has taught you?
To work as a team.

How do you think the internship will help you with your course/career?
I’ve developed my self-management skills and learnt how to use my time in the most efficient way, as well as how to work in a smarter way in order to be more productive. All these skills will help me in my course.

What is your dream career?
Owning my own business.

Tell us something funny that happened during your time as an intern at Koan… (don’t be shy!)
I could tell you 100 things because the founder Lee Tracey is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about doing an internship?
Based on my experience I would tell them to be as helpful as they can, be an observer the first week, propose new ideas and never be afraid to ask a question.

Farah Mulk, 22, Master’s in Finance

Finance student Farah completed her internship at HBXL, a company which creates estimating software used by builders and developers. Farah told us about her experience, from her emotional departure to advice she’d give students thinking about doing an internship:

Why did you decide to do an internship at Future Space?
I believed it had a lot of perks. It’s based at my university which was ideal for me as I could work on my dissertation before and after my working day, it was good pay and an all-round great opportunity.

Sum up your time with HBXL in three words:
An incredible experience.

What is the key thing your internship has taught you?
Effort and patience are key. Every single person at the office works hard and when things go wrong as they sometimes will, they have taught me the value of dealing with it calmly and patiently and finding the best solution to solve the problem.

How do you think the internship will help you with your course/career?
It’s taught me so much and enhanced my knowledge and skills drastically. It will be beneficial for my career moving forward.

What is your dream career?
It's early days to say but working within the financial sector.

Tell us something funny that happened during your time as an intern at HBXL… (don’t be shy!)
I have a lot of funny memories from my time at HBXL. Something embarrassing that happened on my last day was I ended up crying my eyes out for 2 HOURS because I wouldn't get to see this great bunch every day (needless to say, I didn't get much done in those hours!).

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about doing an internship?
Go for it. It's a valuable experience and you will certainly learn a great deal and pick up a lot of transferable skills. Also, working for a start-up or a small company is an advantage in that you get to build strong relationships with everyone.

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