‘Look for the building that looks like a spaceship.' Famous first words in my pre-arrival email as I headed to Skeleton’s Nottingham-based headquarters on a scorching August morning in the middle of my summer holidays.
No, I’m not a schoolkid. Nor am I a post-16 college student dipping my toe into the world of work. I am actually an English teacher on the Teach First graduate programme, a charity whose offices just happen to sit opposite those of Skeleton in said spaceship-style building.
I’ve always had an interest in video and marketing, with some pre-teaching experience of diving headlong into the media-frenzy that is ITV Breakfast, after graduating from the University of Nottingham several years back. Even so, most of my teaching friends thought I was mad: why choose to work when I was finally free from the throes of essay writing, book marking and keeping unruly school kids in check?
Truth be told, when I heard about the opportunities offered in a summer internship in the marketing department at Skeleton (the words ‘cutting your teeth on press releases and blog writing’ featured in the beautifully crafted job spec), admired the blue and pink hues of the website and considered the opportunity of returning to my old university town, I felt this really was an opportunity that could not be missed.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, this week has certainly lived up to all expectations and been filled with tasks so enjoyable I’d hesitate to call it work at all. Let’s face it, as someone who usually spends their Tuesday morning endeavouring to subdue thirty stony-faced fourteen year olds, it’s easy to extol the virtues of being allowed to independently research and write blog posts, while attempting to emulate Lydia’s seemingly effortless written style.
Drafting an eBook on day two meant diving into a sea of research, trying my novice hand at crafting ‘how to’ blog posts whilst assuming the guise of an expert. It wasn’t all nose-to-the-grindstone key tapping and mouse clicking however, with lunchtimes spent with the team at the on-campus cafe, enjoying the sunshine or, more often than not, researching Thug Life cat videos on YouTube (if you’ve yet to experience this internet frenzy, I promise you won’t regret checking it out).
Midweek, I had my first taste of a videographic (currently in-progress for its exciting reveal!). As an English teacher, you can probably imagine the excitement of being set loose on voiceovers, crafting recruitment video ideas and writing scripted animation plans for a brand new informative video. Thursday meant more videographic planning, this time considering content for videos which would complement future blog posts.
Then, to break things up a bit, I was back on the research. Needless to say I’m now a natural expert on filming locations, marketing offers and media awards. Mid-afternoon the team even braved the greying clouds of Nottingham, venturing outside to admire a random display of spitfires ploughing their way through Lenton’s stormy skies towards Derby, much to the excitement of Skeleton’s resident chocolate lab, Bruin.
Now, as I’m coming to the end of my final morning with the team, listening to the Lion King soundtrack (much to the disgust of the boys) and helping Lydia take ridiculous popcorn-themed film photographs for the company’s latest Twitter competition, I know I’ll be sad to leave these guys. It’s certainly been a lovely trip back to my old university town and campus, and a hugely memorable experience here with the team. So, thank you Skeleton.
When September comes, and I’m faced with the joyous, glowing faces of bottom-set year eights, trying to drum up some enthusiasm around 19th century poetry, who knows, maybe I’ll stick on an inspirational video, and see if this might call my ever-resistant target audience to action.