Interning with Instant Neighbour

“I knew that homelessness and poverty existed here just like any other city but I did not know the extent of it”

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This summer I’ve had the privilege to work as the ‘Communication Strategist’ at Instant Neighbour. To be honest I did not know much about the charity previously but I saw a post about the position through my university. For the entire spring semester at uni I had been dreading the coming of summer due to the lack of prospects in terms of finding an internship and even more so – a paid internship. I’m an international student who just completed the third year of my undergraduate. I knew that I needed to get a job over the summer in order to pay for my flat and in order to be able to keep it for the next academic year. And so I was thrilled to find out that I was selected to do a four week internship with Instant Neighbour over the summer.

The job has involved various tasks and projects such as creating an infomercial about the charity, creating monthly brochures featuring events that are to be held that month, creating leaflets and posters for events and sales, setting up a YouTube, LinkedIn, and Snapchat account and keeping those accounts updated, and last but not least creating a blog. I’ve enjoyed the autonomy of the job and that it’s allowed me to be creative on ways to promote the charity through social media. The job has certainly taught me more about marketing and promotion and using various programs and tools in order to meet those ends – skills that I am sure will be valuable for a future job and for my future career.

Not only that but this experience has given me a whole new insight into the city of Aberdeen which for me until now has almost exclusively revolved around the University of Aberdeen campus and the city centre. Whilst heading out with the Instant Neighbour van to collect food donations I got to see all of Aberdeen from Cults to Footdee for the first time. I have also gained more insight into some of the social issues that the city faces in terms of the poverty that exists here. I knew that homelessness and poverty existed here just like any other city but I did not know the extent of it; that 1 in 10 live in poverty. That is a remarkably high number. A sad fact to say the least. Instant Neighbour does an incredible job in supporting these people in different ways from handing out food donations, providing ways to create a nice and comfortable home at affordable prices and offering opportunities for personal development through volunteering. I will definitely keep supporting this charity any way I can after the internship is over.

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