Laura Megatli (English with Creative Writing, 3rd year)
Neuromuscular Centre Midlands internship, Spring/Summer 2013
Laura was a Communications and Fundraising Intern at the Neuromuscular Centre Midlands, a charity that offers specialised services to those with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions. This internship, like many others, was offered only to University of Birmingham students.
During the internship Laura had a variety of tasks including things like writing letters to theatre groups to organise charity bucket shakes and setting up a charity eBay account to raise money for NMC Midlands. She also collected service-users testimonies for the centre to use in their grant applications and gained a great deal of experience in formatting HTML emails, which have subsequently been sent to service users and supporters as a quarterly newsletter. She was also in contact with John Hastie to organise a screening of his documentary A Life worth Living: Pushing the Limits of Duchenne and encountered the BBC filming a news story at the Centre, which was exciting!
Laura developed her communication skills which include telephone conversations, email correspondence, writing letters and completing paperwork. She says, “I always felt like I had good communication skills, but this work experience has proved that I can put them into practice in a professional setting.” Laura also says she has become more proactive during her internship and found she can use her initiative to the benefit on the Centre.
In terms of how this has prepared her for her future career, Laura says: “I think my experience of seeing and helping a charity start up from scratch is a really beneficial insight that I’ve gained from my time at the NMC Midlands and I feel that this would put me in good stead when going up against other students for graduate positions. It shows a potential employer how committed I am to the fundraising sector and it’s given me a test run so I can really be sure that this is something I want to do. I also think doing any type of work experience shows that you have an interest in a certain sector and that you are motivated and use your initiative to investigate what it is like to do a particular job in the real world. Therefore it should hopefully impress employers that students do this in their spare time and are committed to proving themselves in life after graduation.”