Katy Grant, FFBS Intern
This summer I was lucky enough to secure an internship with Family Fund Business Services’ (FFBS) who help charities and other third party organisations get the best procurement service that they can. My role included conducting market research for events, writing and scheduling social media posts, creating reports and lots more.
The internship has been a huge learning opportunity for me. Fresh out of university where my learning has been almost 50 percent online, I really needed to start thinking about my future. What on earth was I going to do with an English Literature degree? What skills do I need to make me attractive to an employer? How can I spend my time in the most valuable way?
Fortunately, I have a graduate scheme lined up to start in the autumn but I wanted to make the best use of my time over the summer to try and answer some of these questions, so when I saw the intern opportunity with FFBS it sounded like the perfect role..
A passionate team
As well as everyone at FFBS being welcoming and friendly, I could tell straight away that everyone was passionate about making a genuine difference to other people’s lives. This was made clear in my work helping to create ‘End of Year’ infographics for customers to highlight the impact of the work they’d done with each client organisation over the last year. As well as learning how to use design software to create the graphics, I saw just how many clients FFBS partnered with and how many households they have helped – over half a million! Whilst I had read about this on the FFBS website and heard about the positive impact from colleagues, seeing the numbers in black and white really put it into perspective.
What drew me to FFBS was their philanthropic drive. FFBS is a business with social value at its heart; gifting every penny of profit to their parent charity, Family Fund. I quickly learned that what makes FFBS’ business model even more powerful is the way they help those in need, twice over. The work they do with their customers (largely local authorities, housing associations and charities) supports people experiencing hardship and then their profit is gifted to Family Fund to help sustain the work of the charity, providing assistance to even more families raising disabled or seriously ill children.
From creative skills to a confidence boost
Ironically, my time at FFBS embodies the idea of helping twice over. The beauty of an internship is that it benefits both parties involved – the employer, and the intern. From Ellie, FFBS’ Digital Content Officer, teaching me how to use Adobe Illustrator and UTM tracking (a way of ‘writing’ web addresses to make it easier to track campaigns across various marketing channels such as social media), to wise words and proactive mentoring from Helen, the Head of Business Development.
I can’t deny the massive role that FFBS has already played in not only my professional development, but also my personal growth. I hope that I have also been an asset to the business. Unfortunately working from home means that I can’t fulfil the stereotype of making everybody endless cups of tea (!), but I have been working to make measurable contributions to the business and all of my work has been part of live projects; plus I have tried to be available to support anyone in the team that needs an extra hand. I hope, too, that having someone new come into any business provides a different perspective and a burst of extra enthusiasm.
One of the main things I wanted to gain from my internship was the confidence to hit the ground running when I start my graduate scheme and I really feel that I’ve achieved this. Everyone was so friendly and I was given the opportunity to work on a range of tasks and projects in a really supportive environment. Helping FFBS to help others has been a really rewarding experience and I know it will make joining a large corporate organisation later this year just that bit easier.