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HCX Campus Celebrity: Olivia Dolan

This week HCX caught up with the beautiful Livvy Dolan about her year in industry and her plans for returning to Exeter next year…

Name: Olivia Dolan

Degree: Sociology

Year: 3rd Year


So, you are on your year in industry, what company are you working for?

I’ve worked for two companies on my year in industry – I did a small internship with a marketing company called Triangle Management Services first and I am currently working at the Telegraph Media Group, in Victoria, London. As you can see I am studying ‘sociology’ and may think it is strange that I have taken a year out in industry as nothing in industry directly relates to sociology exactly. However I don’t think this should stop you from doing so, on numerous occasions I have been told by so many people how important gaining any experience is before applying for a job after university therefore I decided I’d give it a shot and I’m very glad I did!

What sort of tasks do you have to do?

I’m part of the marketing and operations team within the ‘Business Events’ team. On a day to day basis I carry out various tasks from email marketing campaigns to final production tasks and general ops tasks (involving speaker and sponsor management for our events). We have three major events coming up in the next 6 weeks – Business of Sport, Cyber Security and Digital Leaders. It’s been an extremely eye opening experience to be a part of the huge amount of work that goes into these senior level events. I’m lucky enough to be a part of a great team who are all very supporting and encouraging of each other. As well as the tasks I am involved in for the Business Events team, I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to help out at some events within the Bespoke and Consumer Events teams – working at the Preview of Florence Foster Jenkins with a Q&A with Meryl Streep (!), a Guinness Event and BeFit London. This has given me great experience in a range of events.

What inspired you to want to work for the Telegraph Media Group?

I actually carried out a week of work experience at The Telegraph last summer in the ‘Lifestyle’ section, so very different to the events side of the organisation. However it is from carrying out that work experience that I realised what a great company and atmosphere there was at The Telegraph. I persistently checked on their website for upcoming internships and found this one that I felt suited the skills I have obtained up until now, best. Events is always something I have had in mind to pursue a career in.

What advice would you give to anyone considering doing a year in industry?

From my own experience I would advise trying to do a very short or insight work experience early on in your degree, possibly at the end of year one. This could help open up opportunities for your year in industry later on. Also. I suggest that you start applying for an internship as soon as they are advertised on websites such as ‘Rate my Placement’ and ‘Target Jobs’. There is huge competition for places on these schemes and it can be deflating at times when you receive rejections. My advice would be to just keep trying but also to broaden your search beyond these sites I have mentioned. If there is something very specific you want to do it is also worth emailing some of the smaller companies direct and asking if they have anything to offer. A year is quite a long time so I would suggest you don’t take something that you are not interested in just because there is nothing else on offer. An alternative may be to even consider an unpaid internship over a shorter period of time if you feel you really want experience in that field.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Exeter?

Despite taking this year out I am definitely looking forward to getting back into (some of) the student routines again! Working 8-6 everyday non-stop has definitely made me miss those occasional lie ins during the week! It’s hard to pick my ‘favourite’ thing to do in Exeter as there are far too many to choose from! Some of my favourite things to do in Exeter… on a sunny day it would definitely be going down to the quay to any of the lovely places to eat! Also, my friends and I have love tandem biking by the quay too, I would definitely recommend it, it’s not as easy as you think…! And not to forget the classic pres followed by Lemmy or Arena (of course).

What are your future plans for after you leave University?

I am still not exactly sure what I want to do after university, I would definitely love to travel after earning some money. I think events would also be something I would definitely like to pursue a career in as well. It’s been a huge advantage for me to take this year out to gain work experience as its really thrown me in at the deep out of what the ‘real’ world is like! My line manager said to me on one of my first days at The Telegraph “We don’t treat interns like interns, we treat them as proper employees…” And now I know exactly what she meant!

Thanks Livvy, enjoy the rest of your year working!

Culture EditorCurrently studying Biological Sciences in my third and final year at the University of Exeter. I love adventures and exploring the world around me so I'm trying to squeeze as much fun into this stressful time - you only get one life! 
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