My experience at Reload Greece has been fantastic. While I will no longer be coming in to the office each day, I do not wish to simply forget everything that has happened over these past 2 months. The skills I have learned I am keen to carry on with me, and the people I have met at RG will always have my respect.
I strongly believe that before embarking on my journey at Reload Greece, I possessed a whole host of valuable skills which made me suitable for the role. But I cannot leave this internship without acknowledging how under the supervision of some brilliant teachers and with the support of my teammates at the organisation; I have learned how to better apply my skills and hone them in a way that benefits myself and the team in which I am a part of.
What I have learned:
In my first week I began learning the ropes of the organisation but also l did a full onboarding on the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UK, Greece and rest of Europe (i.e from basic startup buzzwords to incubators and accelerator programmes). By my second week, however, things really started. I got involved in several parts of RG Challenge18, Reload Greece’s intensive 11-day Accelerator Programme and also had the chance to attend the Dragons’ Den final pitch event at CCT Venues in Canary Wharf. It was a fantastic finale for the programme which saw 14 teams of entrepreneurs grow their businesses and gain knowledge and experience in the process, an unforgettable experience for real. I was impressed with the teams, both in their ideas and in their pitches in front of a packed room of judges, a full audience and also, reassuringly for them, their RG mentors who had been with them every step of the way over their journey with the accelerator.
In the second half of my internship, I then became involved in a number of tasks which allowed me to fully utilise the skills that I have been practicing long before my internship started, in research and analysis. While I did, technically, have a strict set of areas to work within, namely the research and mapping of key stakeholders across the UK, Netherlands and Germany and the scouting of potential YEP ambassadors across the various locations, I quickly found myself venturing into a lot more areas within the charity developing new skills and improving some others. For example, I love writing so I took the initiative under my manager’s guidance and conducted an interview, with previous YEP ambassadors for the RG blog. In several occasions, I did visual designs ranging from posters to infographics detailing the organisation’s business plans moving forward. This task, in particular, was an opportunity to not just stick to what I am good at or what I am comfortable with, but to branch out to different areas that I have some experience in but had not really considered myself well-versed in. I also got involved in strategy discussions between team members with regards to the Young Entrepreneurs Programme’s expansion. Now, however, I am more than capable of using a variety of different programs and software for designing visuals, a skill which will no doubt come in handy in the future.
Finally, as the internship drew to a close, I assisted further with social media engagement and project planning but I also familiarised myself with a CRM tool the team is using. One of the ‘hacks’ I learned is the must do after work networking events which gave me a good insight into how everyone in the entrepreneurial ecosystem operates, how they socialise and how they all meet.I met so many interesting people, RG alumni, RG board members, mentors, people working for large corporations and I attended events as a team member, such as the discussion with the Greek Prime Minister at London Business School and a Growth Hacking workshop in East London. Never did I expect such a large attendance at some of the events that I attended at various companies across London, but low and behold, people came in their masses, all keen to explore further the potential for links and connections that could further their brand and to help it grow.
How I will use this experience going forward:
I am sure there aren’t many other organisations that would treat their interns as nicely as mine did me. I didn’t just enter the team as an intern, just another number, another cog in the gears of the company. On the contrary, people sometimes much older than me and with a lot more experience and industry know-how listened to and respected my ideas. Granted I did only share my best ideas, but still, I liked that my voice was heard and that I was able to make an impact on the charity in one way or another as it wasn’t just an internship for me, it was also the chance to take on an altruistic position in a charity I believe in.
The team members at Reload Greece are clearly passionate about their collective cause. When said discussions arose I really enjoyed watching each team member stand up for what they believe in, not for their own personal good, but out of a genuine desire to better the charity and further the success of Reload Greece for the good of everyone involved.
I only wish I could have helped more, I am just happy to have been a part of it. And as I learned here, ‘once a Reloader, always a Reloader’.