08 May Interning for an Equestrian Business
My name is Caitlin and I am currently a Marketing and Business Enterprise student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. For the past eight months, I have been a Digital Marketing Intern for Teqnox. The experience has been invaluable, and I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work within this exciting and innovative start-up company.
When I first applied for the internship, I’m not going to lie – I had no idea what I was letting myself in for… I had visions of me doing coffee runs and speed writing notes in important meetings where I wasn’t allowed to make eye contact with anyone. Think Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway running about NYC with hundreds of bags and a constantly ringing phone – I thought that is what I would resemble, only in rainy Glasgow!
My original vision could not be further from reality. Right from the beginning I felt valued within the company, being trusted to make important decisions and being encouraged to add my own flair to my work. I worked closely with CEO and founder of TEQNOX, Carmen Cummiskey to help build the brand and online digital presence. I even got to attend Olympia Horse Show on behalf of TEQNOX – that was a real ‘pinch me’ moment.
When I was offered the position, I couldn’t believe that I had been given the opportunity to work for an equestrian business. From a young age I have been around horses and started to learn to ride at my local riding school when I was only six. I remember learning to trot for the first time on a pony called Shandy. Looking back, the poor pony was ancient and was always a bit bedraggled looking – mind you, wouldn’t we all if our sweet nature meant we were subjected to tiny, leg flapping children every weekend… Despite his tired legs and shaggy coat, Shandy would be my proud, noble steed as I paraded around the arena in my pink wellies.
Many years on and I still love equestrian sport as much as I did back then. Due to university and other commitments I unfortunately don’t have as much time to ride as I once did but even the odd visit to the stables is enough for my horsey fix. I cannot recommend highly enough looking for a job or an internship in an industry that you are actually interested in. I have first-hand experience of being bombarded with internship offers and potential graduate schemes in industries that I may have never even heard of whilst being at university. It can be tempting to opt for an opportunity because it offers good pay or perks; but ultimately if you don’t love what you do then I think that diminishes the value of the benefits offered. I believe that if you truly love what you do, then you would be more than happy to do it without the fancy gym memberships or company cars.
I can say that I love working for Teqnox and that is largely down to the fact that it is specialising in something that I enjoy, and I am interested in. I would go to bed at night and wake up excited for what I was going to be working on that day or even when I wasn’t at work, I would be brainstorming ideas for interesting social media content or blog posts. I think that when you have that fire in your belly to perform well and learn new things, then that is when you are completely happy and satisfied within your job. Let me tell you – when you have that feeling, waking up early or putting in extra hours is so worth it.
A huge part of why I have loved working for Teqnox is the dedication and passion of the CEO, Carmen Cummiskey. What is amazing about working with a start-up company is that you have the opportunity to work closely with the top-level management – something that would be unheard of within bigger companies. Throughout my internship, Carmen has been great at offering support and guidance and also passing on any information that she has been given at workshops or events that may aid my professional development. From the outset, it may seem daunting as an intern working with the CEO, but throughout my time with Teqnox I felt comfortable asking questions or advice and feel it has benefitted me greatly to have been exposed to the harsh realities but also real highs of the start-up world.
For the duration of my internship, I have worked closely with TEQNOX’s Brand Ambassadors. The Brand Ambassadors write bi-monthly blogs for the company website and part of my role was to keep these updated. I have learned lots from working with them and it has been great to have their input and creativity in developing the company’s online presence. As well as this, I have worked closely with the website designers in the creation of the TEQNOX website. This was really interesting as website content design was something that was new to me and I feel really privileged to have sat in meetings with the website designers and plan the website design as well as take part in brainstorming sessions to come up with new and exciting ideas for the website, blogs and social media outlets.
This is another reason that I would definitely recommend partaking in an internship with a start-up or smaller company. I have had the opportunity to sit in on meetings and was encouraged to put forward my ideas. I was encouraged to create and develop social media series and competitions without strict guidelines and was able to take one of my own ideas and run with it. This is incredibly empowering especially at the beginning of my career as I felt that I was an integral part of TEQNOX and that my work was valuable to the company – there really is no better feeling.
So, as my time at TEQNOX comes to an end, I would like to thank the company, especially Carmen for investing in me as a person and taking seriously my development and training as a marketer. The experience has been invaluable and I cannot think of a company that I would have rather spent the last eight months with. As well as the incredible products, it is the empowering and inspiring culture that will drive TEQNOX’s success and for any future employees, have fun and enjoy the ride!
So, for now – over and out!