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Access-All-Areas Y Not Festival

This summer I was extremely lucky to be offered a paid internship through the University of Derby to work as a social media assistant at the Y Not Festival.

I finished my second year of University in May and don’t return until the end of September therefore, I been given a lot of time to work with. I could’ve either spent a total of 5 months being lazy watching Netflix all day and night, or do something purposeful and build up helpful work experience.

With my hopes to graduate and find employment as a Social Media Marketer, it’s extremely important that I have valuable experience behind me. This is where this internship came in hand, I was able to gain experience AND have fun!

For those who have never heard of Y Not, it is an increasingly well-known music festival that takes place in the Peak District across four days in July.

I went into this internship not really knowing what to expect. Stepping out of my comfort zone of education and studying and into the ‘real working world’ is always daunting and scary, even though I’ve held a part-time job since I was 16. Starting something new, somewhere new is always a leap of faith. But I wanted to throw myself in the deep end and see how the Social Media Marketing industry worked for a big organisation. And I loved it!

During my first few days on site (pre-festival), I had a mix of job roles. These involved copywriting for the Y Not mobile app, responding to customer enquiries, organising a press/influencer event and putting together a marketing strategy. 

Once the arenas were built, I took last minute ‘teaser’ images for the avid festival goers and continued to collect content once the festival was in full swing. As a member of the production team, I had access to all areas, which meant I could experience the backstage and side-of-stage buzz before an artist performance and see the crowds get excited. 

Being a content creator meant I threw myself into the festival 100%, switching between the six music venues and jumping between additional events in order to get an overview of the whole festival weekend. Each day was different. On one occasion, I was an escort for two lucky winners who won side-stage passes to see Franz Ferdinand and the next I was taking part in reggae yoga! But most of all, I had a lot of fun and I couldn’t have wished for a better group of talented people to work alongside.

From this opportunity, I have not only walked away with muddy boots, but a whole lot of helpful industry-based skills. And I’ve had the perfect opportunity to network with other professionals such event organisers, photographers, videographers and marketing managers. 

All of the skills I have gained are transferable and I can apply them to any future employment, which is a huge help. Not only that, but having this experience on my CV is highly likely to help me get my foot in the door with future employment. I now feel extremely motivated to work even harder on my final year of university, learn new skills and gain more work experience in order to reach my career goals. 

Moral of the story: time is valuable, always say YES to every opportunity.

Fingers crossed I can do it all over again next year!

To read an alternative view on my experience read it on The University of Derby website here.

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