This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here for more information.

Job Search

Graduate Marketing OfficerGraduate Marketing Officer
West Midlands 26/11/2017

Graduate Direct MarketingGraduate Direct Marketing
West Midlands 24/11/2017

Strategic AdvisorStrategic Advisor
London 13/01/2018

School Direct Teacher Training ProgrammeSchool Direct Teacher Training Programme
East Anglia 06/01/2018

Teach in ChinaTeach in China
Rest of the world 31/03/2018

From Intern to Coordinator, a step-by-step journey

From Intern to Coordinator, a step-by-step journey

CarmenA short while ago, I wrote a piece for Grad's Corner on realising your full potential. In it, I described my journey from a confused student with no set career goals to a determined student with vague-but-optimistic career goals – which, to be honest, felt like a tremendous improvement.

Now that I have gone a bit further along this path, I’d like to reflect on this journey again, and hopefully share some of the insights I picked up along the way.

The Internship I mentioned in my previous blog was for an organisation within my University, GUEST (Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team). It was voluntary and it involved bits of graphic design, marketing and events management.

However, I became so involved with the team and committed to our goals, that by the end of my internship I had a voice in the decision-making process that decided what the paid roles for the new year would be.

Having identified some areas for improvement, I have proposed a new Communications role to be set up, for which I successfully applied once it was opened up to new applicants. This has been an amazing opportunity, which I felt truly rewarded my previous hard work.

Being a new role, while I had been given set aims and objectives, it was up to me to decide how to fulfil them. After a while, I realised that internal communications was the area that interested me most. It was quite a challenging new venture, as we had some very serious miscommunication problems.

I therefore took the time to explore the situation and listen to the team to identify what they needed, as well as taking advantage of every opportunity to learn from my peers and our advisers from within the University.

Soon enough, I discovered that what made me happiest in my role was to support the rest of the team so that they could fulfil their tasks with as few roadblocks as possible. It might not be the most glamorous job – to keep minutes, compile fortnightly reports, draft guidelines and research SMART targets for communication strategies, while others were organising bike rides, cooking classes and starting new community gardens on campus.

But what was truly exciting was seeing the individual team members working together, sharing skills and resources, concerting their efforts to build something larger than the individual aims of their branches. And the feeling that I played a part, no matter how small, in making that happen was absolutely priceless.

After that year, I was encouraged by some of my colleagues to apply for one of the Coordinator positions – which is my current role within the team, alongside two other amazing fellow students. What I aim to do now is take everything that I learned during my time as the Communications Promoter and apply it further as part of what I jokingly call the ‘hugs for everyone’ approach.

That is not to say that I aim to be the creepy person invading everyone’s space, but rather the listening ear, the one who is always there to provide a helping hand, chase some leads or find ways around dead-ends. If you’re wondering where this story has been going all along, there were 3 points that I was trying to make:

  • 1) If you believe in something, use that passion to fuel your hard work: I don’t think I would have thrived in any other internship as much as I have working within GUEST.


    Although when I started I did not know nearly enough about Climate Change, Environmentalism and Sustainability, I had a clear interest in these areas, interest that has since grown so much that it now my main focus in all my endeavours, be they professional, academic or personal.


  • 2) Be open to new ideas and have the courage to explore possibilities: when I received my aims and objectives for the Communications role, they mostly had to with PR, marketing, social media tasks.

However, I saw no reason not to dig deeper and tackle the issues that were closest to my heart, such as team identity and cohesion, which is what brought me the most satisfaction. 3) Identify what you’re good at and don’t hesitate to think outside the box when applying your skills: I’m now supposed to coordinate three branches, each with its own projects.

This entails liaising with University departments, networking, making connections, facilitating dialogue etc. However, my personality is still not bubbly and I am not particularly talkative either.

I have been a listener and a person of few words all my life. But I can still get my job done, because I care about each individual member of the team and with their best interests at heart, I can offer the support they need.

All in all, I do not consider myself in any position to give career advice and I am extremely aware of how lucky I have been to have been offered the opportunity to work for a good cause with wonderful people while studying. But I cannot end this piece any differently from last time: no matter what life throws at you, do not, ever, give up on what you yearn for. And never be put off by failure, as it is the most important part of the learning process.

Carmen Paputa Dutu is a student & Guest Coordinator at The University of Glasgow. If you enjoyed Carmen's post, you can connect with her on Twitter or Linkedin.

Please share

Careers Advice

Careers Advice

Where to begin?

Undecided about what to do next after university? Don't panic GradJobs will help you! It is important to remember that you are not alone – there are many who don’t have any idea what to do after graduating.If you are unsure which career is right for you, or simply not sure where to start on your job hunt, then head to the Advice Clinic at the National Graduate...


Careers Advice

Interview Advice

You’ve made it through the first round and you’ve got an interview! Yet, it’s nerve-wracking going into a room and getting grilled to prove how you are the best candidate for the role. To create the right impression and make a positive impact at interview stage, there are a number of things you must take into consideration and prepare for...


Careers Advice

Applying for a Job

From the perfect CV to cover letters, online applications, recruitment agencies, psychometric testing, job AND assessment centres, applying for a job can sometimes seem a little daunting, and that’s before you’ve even secured an interview! Follow our step-by-step guides and handy tips from industry professionals to make you stand out from your...


Recruitment Exhibition

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

For many graduates, looking for their first job can be a daunting and unsettling process – not only are you moving away from university and the community that you have built but you are also having to take that first step into the working world...


Career advice videos

Online aptitudes tests

Are you prepared to tackle the intense recruitment process ahead of you? Get a head start on your peers by taking a psychometric aptitude test! Get full access and learn how to increase your chances of passing the tests successfully.

Take an aptitude test today >> 



Not registered yet?

You can opt to:

  • Search and apply for jobs online
  • Register for the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions
  • Receive personalised job alerts
  • Upload your CV for recruiters to find you


Why register?

GradJobs - Login

Please login or register

If you have a GradJobs account sign in below:

Forgotten your password?