My Summer Internship Experience in Canada

Hi, my name is Olive, and I am a recent Psychology graduate. Over the summer, I was lucky to do a marketing internship in Vancouver Canada! If you are exploring whether or not you should try one of Surrey’s summer programme experiences, this blog is for you.

How I found this opportunity- the process

Whilst I was in my final year, I received an email from the International Engagement Office (IEO) team about different summer programmes the University have on offer, and I was immediately drawn to the idea of Canada. I wanted to experience the beautiful scenery of Vancouver and everything it had to offer.

I knew for me that I wanted a way to gain work experience skills that would be useful for me in a future career, as well as travel to a cool place, which is why I decided to choose an internship. I managed to receive a Turing grant from the University to help fund my experience, as my internship was unpaid. I was paired up with a company called InternMatch, who helped me find an internship in marketing for a company called Aleph Media Creative Agency. I had an interview with the CEO of the company and managed to secure the role, so then I applied for my visa and booked my flight to Vancouver!

If you are a current student looking to explore spending your summer in another country have a look at Surrey’s summer programmes page.

What it was like in Vancouver Canada

When I first arrived in Vancouver, I was really surprised with how warm it was! I have always thought Canada would be very cold, and at least be colder than the UK in summer, but this was not the case at all. I started off in a hostel until I could sort out more permanent accommodation, then I decided to explore the city. I met some amazing people when I first got there and did different tours around the area, such as cycling around Stanley Park, hiking Lynn Valley Canyon and much more!

Vancouver was such a beautiful place, with a cool mixture of scenery – lots of beaches and mountains, with nature all around but also having a city vibe, with downtown Vancouver having lots of shops and businesses. It was a bit of a culture shock at the start, from even small things like the cars driving on the other side of the road, or everything being in dollars. However, I found this change interesting and refreshing, being somewhere new and exploring a different way of living.

My marketing internship

I really enjoyed my actual internship too. It was a very valuable experience – I learnt a lot of new different skills such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work, creating content for different businesses, meeting client specifications for different projects, and much more. I had never done SEO work before so I was really excited to learn something new and understand how it could be applied. It was really cool to see how making certain changes to a company’s website for example, affected how high up the website would appear on google searches, and also to see actual numerical evidence of the improvements.

My internship has definitely helped me develop my professional skillset and given me important work experience; working on different projects and helping to promote different businesses in a variety of sectors (construction, skincare clinics, luxury brands, etc).

My next steps

Having this experience and learning new things such as SEO marketing skills has given me a lot to think about future-wise. From this marketing role and my previous experience on my placement year at the University’s Employability and Careers Department, I think I would like to continue my growth in my skillset and potentially go into a marketing graduate role, although I have still booked a careers appointment to discuss my options.

My time in Canada has also awakened a desire to want to travel more, as well as re-affirm that I could potentially work abroad. I know I have experience now which will be useful when getting a graduate job, and I am now potentially considering getting a graduate role in a different country and living abroad again.

I am very grateful for this opportunity allowing me to experience living somewhere new, and developing important skills that will help me land a job in future. To be honest, I would really recommend trying a programme abroad, whether this is working or volunteering, as I believe it’s given me a new perspective on life and made me feel more capable to deal with the challenges of adulthood. This summer internship was really an amazing opportunity that’s helped me learn a lot about myself and put myself out there more, I am excited to see what the future holds.

Here are some more photos from my time in Vancouver!