Monday, 9 June 2014

Tosin Oluyadi reports on the value of internships

Free Spirited Thinkers at work
Tosin Oluyadi, one of our graduating animation students, recently completed an internship at FST, a creative advertising agency who describe themselves as "free spirited thinkers whose sole purpose is to build, nurture and add value to your brand". We asked Tosin to talk about what the experience was like, and what she learned along the way.

Bucks: Tell us about your internship with FST - what was it like and how did you find out about it?

Tosin: During the Easter break I was interning at an integrated creative advertising agency called FST. FST stands for "free spirited thinkers". I heard about FST through a friend of a friend while I was working on a photoshoot. I found out he was actually a former Bucks student. Not only that, he had studied on the Animation, Games and Interactive Media course, just like me. He had a look at my work and showed me some of the work he does for the agency - and he recommended that I contact FST about an internship.

I put together a portfolio and a graphical CV and got into contact with them a couple of months later about having me in for a day or a couple of weeks during the Easter break, and they were more than happy to have me. I came in for a day and was introduced to everyone by the creative director and worked on a graphic design brief with one of the designers, and they were happy to have me in again for another three weeks during the Easter break
The FST team. Tosin is in the middle of the group.

Bucks: What did you learn?

Tosin: I learned so much during my Internship with FST. I was interning as a creative and was involved in filming, editing and compositing for them. I also learned about the various roles within the agency. FST is split into two parts - creatives and suits. Creatives are responsible for producing a creative outcome to a client's brief and the suits are responsible for managing the money, dealing directly with clients and allocating briefs to the creatives as well as making sure everything meets the deadline.

Bucks: What were the highs and lows?

Tosin: Fortunately, for me there were many more highs than lows. Everyone was really friendly and supportive - something you may not always find in other agencies. But if i did have to list a couple of highs, it was the opportunity to broaden and refine my skills. I had to learn a lot very quickly as I was helping them work on live briefs for big companies such as Canon and Avis.

Another thing that was very unique to the agency was "Lunch and Learn" every wednesday - a special guest will come in during lunch time to share something about their business.

A low I believe was getting into the routine of waking up early. Being at uni you don't really have that discipline but at work you had to be in at 9 on the dot. You could not turn up whenever you wanted because time is money.

Bucks: What advice would you offer to other students at Bucks looking to do an internship?

Tosin: My advice to Bucks students looking for an internship is to be yourself, do what you love and take hold of every opportunity. In my case, one small conversation led to another and this led to an internship - and now to me working for FST on a freelance basis as an editor and motion graphics artist.

So in other words - NETWORKING WORKS! But you should always be sincere and have a genuine interest in people and what they do. Another thing that I would advise students is this: you only get what you prepare for. So ask questions, don't be afraid to ask for just a day in the company - you may create a good impression, and they might ask you back for more days. Work hard and do plenty of outside projects, it will help build up your portfolio!

(Editor's Note: You can see more of Tosin's excellent work on her graduation film project here. For  practical advice on careers in digital media, read about what our graduates had to say at the recent Graduate Panel. Check out this post on how to set up an small business. Also learn about your first client project, read out our post on Portfolio Careers, and read this piece on Survival as a Freelancer. Study the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients, and our guide to freelancers and taxesFor more on careers in general, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business. Finally see our article on the jobs page at )

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