Since my first day (over a week ago!) of my Digital Marketing internship with Docere, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a blog post about it because it’s become such a huge part of my life that I just obviously want to share it with you all. So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to… wangle it into I’m NOT Disordered, and the inspiration came when I talked about the internship with my Mum…

I first found the vacancy on the Indeed site and it was just one of those jobs where I applied… just for the hell of it to be honest! I thought I’d apply on the off chance that I’d get an interview and get some more experience in interviewing. I think that realistically, I didn’t believe I was in any way ready to work but it felt nice to feel like I was giving myself the opportunity. When I got an email from Docere and it began ‘we’d firstly like to apologize’ so I just sighed, but then I read on ‘for the delay in responding to your application…’ And I had a little cheer when I read that I’d been shortlisted for an interview! I’d applied for so many positions in one night that I had to look back through the job description on Indeed! When I discovered that it was one I was actually interested in so far as to that I wished I was ready to take it on.

Why did I decide to go for it?

One of my very best friends had to quit her job because she was really struggling with her mental health. She was at the point where I identified with her by thinking of when I was really poorly - before my two-and-a-half-year hospitalization to Cygnet Hospital Bierley – and self-harming very often whilst rejecting help and support offered to me by professionals. After a few months, she decided to apply for a new job and when she got it, whilst I’m always supportive of everything all of my best friends do, I was nervous for her. Admittedly, I questioned whether it was going to overwhelm her, but she was of the mindset that she wouldn’t know until she tried. And this, was my inspiration!

It was funny because when I told my Mum about the job, she had the reaction I’d had with my best friend in that she was supportive but also hesitant that it might be too much for the current state of my mental health. I understood where she was coming from but had decided – and my Mum agreed - that there was no harm in attending the interview. Up until that point, I’d only ever interviewed for jobs centered around mental health whereas this position was more focused on marketing – an industry I’d ultimately want to work in so interviewing for such a job might be brilliant experience and practice for future opportunities.

My interview went incredibly well and the more I found out about the internship, the more I started to consider the actual possibility of getting the job and taking it on. I came to the conclusion that just like my best friend, I would never know if it would be overwhelming unless I tried. And I remember saying to this friend ‘have you had not even had thoughts to self-harm?’ and she said; ‘I don’t have time; I’m always working!’ I was so desperate to break the new cycle of self-harming again that I thought ‘I wonder if that’ll work for me?’ During the interview - my blog is on my CV (obviously!) – one of the Marketing staff asked me if I wrote it based on personal experience and she said that she too, had some experience of poor mental health. I’m so glad she told me that because it instantly made me feel so much more comfortable and confident that I ended up telling them that my mental health had deteriorated recently but that I believed this internship was just what I needed to motivate me back into a more healthy and safe state of recovery. I decided that if I did get the job then I’d be happier to take it knowing that the rest of the staff knew about my mental health and if knowing it meant that I didn’t get the job… well it’d probably be for the best because I wouldn’t want to work for a company that did that!

At my interview, the staff talked about how the position had been aimed at University students or new graduates and so it would be incredibly flexible around the person’s timetable e.g. for lectures, exams, etc. This was another appealing aspect of the internship because I knew for a fact that I couldn’t work full-time and also, my ‘routine’ often changes from week-to-week so there are some times when I could go in on a Wednesday for a fortnight but on the third week I’d have to do a Thursday… things like that. So, hearing how there was no real pressure to do a particular number of hours sounded right up my street! But assigning a few hours when I’m at the Docere office has really helped me to find some structure in my weeks and allowed me the positive and rewarding feeling of committing to something.

Another part that really interested me was what the job would actually entail. So basically, Docere has an umbrella organization called SS Healthfoods which sell a lot of products aimed at fitness fanatics and bodybuilders; but also, those who are just interested in staying healthy in terms of vitamins etc. Then Docere is a sort of completely unrelated service! Docere is a company that advertises job vacancies in the education sector and features articles on the website aimed at supporting, advising and encouraging teachers with different aspects of their role e.g. I wrote my very first article (which you can read here) for the site last week, and it’s about supporting pupils with their mental health. The internship was set to be about all things marketing and producing content for both the website and the social media (follow Docere’s Facebook page here and their Twitter here! The SS Healthfoods Facebook page is here, and their Twitter is here!). It was the kind of responsibilities I have experience in and enjoy doing. My only concern before starting the internship was worrying that it’d be hard to be passionate about it with it not really involving mental health but then my Richmond Fellowship support worker said something: ‘it might be a nice change though. A welcome break. Mental health’s very heavy.’ And she was right! mental health is such an intense and - often - controversial subject that can be very emotionally draining; so, doing something completely different is actually quite refreshing and enlightening.

When I got the email to say that they’d like to take me on as an intern I actually cried with happiness! When I told my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) she was fully supportive of the notion of me taking the job and had the same mindset as me in thinking it might really be beneficial to my mental health and general wellness and safety. Having a professional’s thoughts on the situation really helped give me even more confidence to accept the offer and join the Docere/SS Healthfoods family!

So far, I’ve learnt: how to create and edit product information on the SS Healthfoods website, how to create memes and images/graphics using Canva, how to write articles for the Docere website using SEMrush, and all about running an Instagram or Facebook ad campaign. I’m not going to lie, after the first day I phoned my Mum and was like ‘my head’s going to explode with all of the information in it!’ But it’s been brilliant learning so many new things in such a short space of time (two weeks). I did worry that once I’ve learnt ‘everything’ I’ll get bored but as one of the Marketing team said, marketing is a constantly evolving industry that changes and grows every single day and websites like Google and YouTube are always bringing out new algorithms that change the way you produce content. I think it’s going to keep me on my toes, and I like the thought of that. 

Finally, I ran a poll on myTwitter to see if anyone would be interested in me doing a little behind-the-scenes of my internship and got a 71% vote of ‘yes’ so I’ve spoken with one of the Marketing staff and that’ll be going ahead next Friday (June 21st) so make sure you follow all of my social media for that!
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