My internship experience

Student spotlight | Kate McNaughton, BA (Hons) Media, Communications and Cultures


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Hi, I'm Kate and I am halfway through my third year studying Media, Communications and Cultures at Leeds Beckett. In this blog i'll be talking about my internship with Shoo Social Media, a digital media marketing agency based in Ilkley and how links from the university helped me to get there.


Going into this year I knew how critical my self-development and employability would be for complementing my degree. I had not given it much thought before I came back from my year abroad, but one of the key things I learnt whilst I was away was how important grabbing and making the most of every opportunity can be for you building your skill set and making yourself appealing to employers.

How I got my internship

I missed out on a module Shoo Social Media runs at the university in the second semester of second year due to being on exchange. However, a friend of mine who sought out experience during the module raved about Shoo and was an influence in my pursuit of the internship. She now manages a branch of the Shoo Academy which is the name given to Shoo internship sector and has gained a huge amount of experience through working with the company for almost a year now.

I contacted Shoo following a career session during Beckett Careers Fair at the start of the academic year. I expressed an interest in gaining experience in the digital marketing industry as well as making connections with the CEO, through our shared experience of living in Australia. I remembered that this was mentioned during the session and my curiosity got the better of me. It worked out very well in the end and I got the internship!

I've gained so much from the experiences during my internship that will be really valuable for my future career and development.

A day in the life of an intern

I was brought on to help bring the company's social media accounts to life with podcasts, live interviews, and round table discussions on account of my personality and confidence. My time with Shoo has been completely remote. It seems so strange that I've never met any of the people I work with, especially since we've formed a very close-knit team and have worked together for almost five months now (from my start point). This has worked very well for me, partially I think because I presumed the meetings would have been virtual anyway due to the large scale of the team and the experience has provided me with a whole load of knowledge and skills.

To make it easier to understand how I fit into the company, here is a structure of the Shoo Academy team:

  • Shoo Academy—All Interns
  • Team Goose, Team Wilbur, Team Evergreen – Sub teams of Interns
  • Podcast, PR, Facebook Ads, Tik Tok – Mini project teams within sub teams

We have one big team call with all the interns and Chris and Rachel, the owners of Shoo to provide updates on where all the branches of Shoo Academy are at and to raise any questions or concerns, we may have. Then there is another meeting with ‘Team Goose’, the branch of Shoo academy which I am a part of where we outline our plans for our assigned projects for the team and ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what they are doing.

I am then a part of a further sub team which is the Podcast Team for the Shoo Academy Podcast ‘Shoocast’ which I host and produce with two other academy members as well as an editor and graphics creator. I’m in charge of what happens with this team in terms of organising our own separate meetings, plans for future podcasts, organising PR for the Podcasts with the PR team etc.

I wouldn’t let yourself be put off by virtual work, both my jobs at present, including my internship are all remote and although I do miss the social side I have managed to work really well from home.

I encourage you to take the opportunities available to you, that's why they're there and that's why Beckett is so great. They want to help you succeed and grow both personally and professionally.

Skills I've gained from my internship

There is no doubt that my involvement with Shoo has had a valuable impact on not only my self-development but also my professional development, enriching my skills set and overall employability. I have gained both teamwork and team management skills, I have interviewed industry professionals on a podcast giving me both production and interviewing experience. I have also become increasingly confident in presenting ideas to teams and groups and can easily adapt to working with people I have not previously worked with.

My course really encourages you to get involved and get experience. The skills you attain and the interesting projects you get involved with are what help you to stand out from the crowd. It sounds cheesy but it is so important to get involved and add to your cv by taking opportunities you seek out yourself or in this case grabbing an opportunity I discovered through the university.


Hi guys, my name is Kate,  a third year Media, Communications and Cultures student here at Leeds Beckett. I'm really passionate about the opportunities Beckett provides for its students. Following my study abroad year in Australia, I'm now an unsolicited advocate for throwing yourself into every opportunity and making the most of any and every situation. Read my blogs for more on how life at Beckett can lead you somewhere you never thought you'd go! 

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