The British Chamber has been a holder of the European Label for Quality Internships for a year now. This means we provide fair remuneration, a proper working contract, great learning experiences, supervisors focused on skills development, a great organisational culture and working environment whilst helping them with their transition into full-time employment. But what’s life really like for an intern at the chamber? Communications Officer, Daniel Owen, is 7 months into his year-long internship and currently talking about himself in 3rd person.
9:00 – This is perhaps optimistic but I do my best to stick to it! When I arrive at the office, I get started with some media monitoring. This means picking out the best articles from the online morning press and compiling them using our Flipboard Magazines. Every two weeks, I select 3 articles from each magazine (UK, Euro-bubble, Belgian and Worldwide press) and add them to our News for Europe newsletter which we send out on Wednesdays.
I’m also responsible for managing our social media channels and over the last couple of weeks we’ve been focussing on promoting the Great Brussels Charity Bake-Off! This year, the theme is music and we spent the winter coming up with some catchy puns to go with the funky #BxlBakeOff postcards we had developed. We use our Social Media channels to keep our stakeholders up to date with the goings on at the chamber and it also provides a great way to provide some extra visibility for our sponsors so we can add some extra value for them.
10:00 – This is about the time I kick in to my project of the moment or if it’s a Monday, I’ll be getting ready to take the minutes for our weekly team meeting. Currently, I’m working on updating, restructuring and revamping the chamber’s website. Previously I’ve worked on putting together our 2016 Membership Directory and also organising the chamber’s New Years Networking Cocktail. We’re trying improve the user experience of our website; particularly for first time users which means changing the structure of the website so it’s easier to navigate and to update all the content.
12:30 – Lunchtime! This means going in to the events office (the crèche, named as such for its high concentration of interns) and sowing the seeds: ‘anyone fancy lunch? I could eat. I’m staaaarving’ though me and my partner in crime Tom Pickup can pretty much replace any verbal exchange with a nod of the head and a veiled mumble. Thus begins 10 minutes of stop/start negotiations; sandwiches? Italian? The Thai place across the road? And so on.
13:30 – Back to work! Headphones in and head down for a while. Could probably do with a coffee too actually.
15:00 – About this time, someone from the events office will come in asking for my help with a room setup. It’s at this point I should mention that my secondary role is chamber labourer. It’s great to be part of a team where everyone pitches in to help each other though, it really makes for a great working atmosphere.
16:00 – To wrap up the day, I can spread myself over a few tasks. I might need to update the video in reception which shows all our Patron Members and this month’s event speakers and sponsors or if it’s a Friday, I’ll be updating the office whiteboard with all our upcoming events for the month. This time is affectionately known as Danny’s colouring-in time, a pretty gentle way to finish the week!
18:00 – Home time! Unless it’s Thursday in which case I’m at Plux…
Do I enjoy working at the chamber? Of course I do! I’m part of a great team with a real international feel and a really relaxed atmosphere. I also feel I’m being constantly challenged; British Chamber interns are given big responsibilities, you can’t just hide behind a desk but that’s so great for our professional development and our line managers always make sure we stay on that learning curve. I really do feel I couldn’t have landed myself a better placement for my year abroad!