Visit Kent: A Digital Creative Student Internship

A view of the River Stour from a boat with someone's shoes in the foreground

Destination management organisation, Visit Kent, worked with the Careers and Employability team at the University of Kent to host an EIRA Innovation Internship with final year student, Natasha Reeves. Natasha’s internship involved marketing, social media and research activities.

The EIRA team up with Natasha and Alison Hughes from Visit Kent to find out more about how this internship has benefitted both parties.

The Challenge

Visit Kent, along with most of the tourism sector, faced huge challenges over Summer 2020 due to the global pandemic. Although Natasha was hired before Covid-19 swept through the UK, her role became very important to the organisation, giving extra resource to the team who needed to regularly track and update the website with changing guidelines. As Alison explained, “Natasha joined us at a very busy time when our consumer messaging was rapidly changing to meet government guidelines. She led on researching and tracking our partners’ Covid guidelines as they began to reopen, updating our content to reflect these changes, along with creating new “Welcome Back” pages on our website that listed those attractions that held the Visit England “Good to Go” kitemark.”

The Approach

Reflecting on her internship, Natasha said:

“I was expecting to be doing odd jobs. However,  I was given serious tasks that enriched me massively. From researching which businesses were reopening to tracking the ‘Good to Go’ database, on top of social media marketing and feature-writing. I was never bored. There were many highlights of my summer internship, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be writing about the Legends of Kent, as it combined a bit of my degree into the feature, writing about Charles Dickens and Ian Fleming. “

The internship differed from what was origianlly planned as it had to be a fully virtual experience for both parties. Alison said:

Although it was a different experience for her than she had probably envisaged, as we were all working remotely over the summer, and Natasha never got to meet any of us in person, she was incredibly productive and communication remained excellent throughout. We were sorry when her 12 weeks came to end.

Alison Hughes, Visit Kent

The Result

Although the virtual internship proved challenging for both parties never actually being able to physically meet each other, both agreed that there were huge benefits to working together. Natasha said:

“I was really interested in Visit Kent due to the creativity it offered with the content writing aspect, as well as the opportunity to learn marketing skills. That was my initial impression, the internship itself offered me much more than just content writing and marketing.  I would highly recommend joining in the Employability Points scheme, there wasn’t a single downside to my whole experience.”

Alison said:

“We really benefited from the EIRA scheme. Natasha Reeves worked within the marketing team at Visit Kent throughout the summer during her internship. She quickly became an integral part of the team, creating some excellent content across our range of digital channels, including feature writing, and creating social media posts. 

Next Steps

Natasha has now begun her Master’s degree in the History of Politics, which is jointly accredited from  Queen Mary’s University London and University College London. From Visit Kent, Alison said:

We were glad that Natasha enjoyed the internship and that she got as much out of it as we did.  We are keen to offer similar internships in the future and would be very interested to hear if the EIRA scheme will be running again next year.

Alison Hughes, Visit Kent

The Enabling Innovation: Research to Application (EIRA) Innovation Internships encouraged SME businesses based in the East of England to temporarily take on a student or recent graduate from a university or college in the region. If you are interested in taking on a student intern from the University of Kent, speak to our dedicated innovation gateway team who can discuss with you the options for doing so.