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Reflections on my internship at LINE

This post was written by Claire Burn and first appeared on the LINE blog on 12th April 2013.

“In 2011, 3,800 people applied for 150 graduate jobs at BP, the energy company.”

This fact, taken from the Financial Times website, reflects my own experience following my graduation in 2010. Not only were there too many people graduating for the number of jobs available, I found myself competing against people who had graduated up to six years ago.

With bills to pay, I accepted a position which wasn’t my dream job and set about using all my spare time to research and apply for something different. By the time I came across a Learning Design Intern position at LINE, I had seen a lot of job adverts.

But LINE stood out…

After surviving the initial sift, I was asked to complete a written task. Based on a real project LINE had worked on, I was asked to write a video teaser which could be used as an introduction for other online materials. This gave me an insight into what it would be like to work at LINE as a Learning Designer and allowed me to demonstrate my writing skills and creativity.

Was this the sort of company I wanted to work for? Yes.

I joined LINE in October 2011 with three other interns. Like most new starters I was nervous so I liked knowing I wasn’t the only new face.

In addition to the obligatory health and safety chat and other box ticking activities, my first few weeks included:

  • Lunch with my manager, a senior member of the team and the other interns
  • A presentation and informal chat with one of the directors about the history of the organisation and e-learning industry as a whole
  • An induction presentation given by the CEO attended by other new starters
  • A chat with my manager about LINE’s clients
  • Meetings with other department managers who explained what their team does

As documented by the CIPD, “Employees who have a well thought-out induction are more likely to stay with the organisation” I could see a lot of thought had been put into organising these meetings and activities. The best part was knowing that senior members of the organisation had made the effort to speak to myself and the other interns (I recognise that this would have been more challenging in a larger organisation).

LINE’s Director, Steve Ash, talked about the importance of effective induction or onboarding in his blog post last month.

Over the course of my internship the experience I have gained has been fantastic and my work has spanned the corporate, automotive and defence sectors. The most exciting opportunity involved working for a few days as a production assistant for a video shoot in Sweden. I interviewed people as they were filmed, greeted people on arrival, supplied drinks, tidied up, watched customers being filmed and generally made sure that everyone felt welcome and comfortable before and after being filmed. For me the best part was learning about video production, something I didn’t know about before.

Through my involvement with a variety of projects, I’ve gained experience of working with different clients. I’ve had a taste of what the culture is like in those organisations and learned about the work they do. My writing skills have improved too. The language and style I’ve used for this blog is very different to e-learning which needs to be more succinct. I’ve also been able to review other courses and follow industry blogs; finding out what makes a good (or bad) learning experience. I use this knowledge to inform how I design my own learning solutions.

Everything I did throughout my internship helped me to learn about the role of a Learning Designer and figure out whether it was a career path I wanted to follow.

Towards the end of my internship I was asked to participate in a short interview where I talked to a member of my team (who wasn’t my line manager) about the highlights and lowlights of the experience. I felt my opinion was valued and I enjoyed being a part of LINE’s plans to improve their intern programme. I am now supporting HR to improve our induction process by helping to create a portal where we have arranged information, such as how to use the company email account and how to find document templates.

After becoming a permanent member of the team in April last year, my exposure to clients increased. I’m still working on a wide range of projects, learning and honing my skills as I go. I’ve designed a workshop, scripted scenarios and helped to write training materials for LINEstream, our new mobile enterprise platform.

Last year I asked my manager if I could get involved with the Career Mentoring Scheme at Sheffield Hallam University. The scheme matches students to a professional who works in a role or industry that they might like to pursue. LINE has supported me in doing this and it means that I’ll be able to use the skills, knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the past year to support a student as they prepare to start their own career. In turn I’ll improve my relationship building skills and confidence.

It wasn’t until I started writing this blog post that I realised how much I have achieved since I started at LINE. Despite this, I still have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to seeing what new opportunities 2013 will bring.