Thirty-six Leeds Arts University students and alumni recently completed a month long Digital Micro-Internship with Mindless Academy. BA (Hons) Fine Art student Hollie Wilson shares her experience.
I have learnt the power of storytelling, that stories are not only written on paper. But are all around us, just by breathing we are adding to our story.
What I did
In just four weeks, I created four articles, learnt skills, and gained experiences that I will carry for the rest of my life.
Mindless Academy focuses on three core pillars ‘Mindset, Skills and Experience’.
Every week, I got my content creation brief and mindset coaching. The mindset coaching was mindfulness based and gave me activities to work on throughout the week. They helped keep me grounded, whilst researching my article. Mindless Academy put the mental health of their interns as a priority and incorporate this into every intern’s timetable.
Then I got a weekly tutorial video, showing how to use the back end of a website, networking, digital storytelling, and social media. Towards the end of the week, I was encouraged to post on social media, specifically LinkedIn. I was given tips and writing prompts, as well as prepared images, to help guide me on my way.
Friday was deadline day, where I handed in my article online as a draft, ready for the editors to give feedback the following week.
Every week was split into four categories mindset, skills, experience and extra. As stated on the Mindless Academy website, the first week I had a welcome call. Then the second and third week, there was a focus on networking and understanding the back end of a website. For example, learning the science of SEO, editing, publishing, and scheduling articles; as well as understanding how to use social media (LinkedIn, Instagram) as a tool to promote your articles when they go live on Mindless Mag. My fourth week finished with a completion call.
Every Friday, I had the opportunity to participate in Self Love Stories, where I joined a zoom call with others all around the world. It offered ‘a 45 minute journaling and meditation workshop, guiding you on your journey to self-love.’
During the internship I also had the chance to work for an external client, increasing my network, adding to my online writing portfolio, and developing my skills in working to a brief.
What I learnt
I realised how vital Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is when getting your work seen.
Learning SEO and the back-end of a website has been hugely beneficial to my own art practice. It has given me confidence for when I start my own website and showcasing my work to an audience.
I developed skills in researching, writing, editing, publishing, and scheduling my articles. Researching important topics such as consumerism, sexuality, climate change, and the refugee system. This opened my eyes further, beyond what I just see on news channels. It enabled me to find the hidden voices and play a small part in the bigger change needing to be made.
It was exciting to develop my writing skills again, learning how to organise and curate my ideas and thoughts into an article that spreads the message I felt when researching those important topics.
‘Your network is your net worth’, Mindless Academy preached this, and I really began to understand the importance it has. LinkedIn was an amazing tool to practice networking. Mindless Academy helped me connect with others and utilise the platform as a source for engagement. Understanding the power of networking also encouraged me to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and take new opportunities.
What I enjoyed
Storytelling was the magic of this experience, I learnt that whenever you write or create. Everything tells a story. Has a meaning. Spreads a message. Mindless Academy helped me cultivate the power writing has and install it into my work.
I also enjoyed learning about social injustices which I knew very little about, until my internship. Researching climate change, sexuality, consumerism, and the refugee system, gave me a new perspective, hearing voices that are usually silenced. To hear the one true speaker in a crowd of disbelievers. Formulating my own research, looking further than what it is shown on the news.
I am moving into the second year of my BA (Hons) Fine Art degree in September, I have just written an article for an external client, and I’m currently looking for new work experience and volunteer opportunities.
I will always carry the experience Mindless Academy gave me for the rest of my life. Specifically, the writing skills I gained, working the back-end of a website, and creating a variety of content. My internship experience has given me confidence for my own art practice as well as pursuing other opportunities in the future.
As Mindless Academy taught me, there are a thousand of stories ahead of you that only you can write.
For storytelling however old it may be, once upon time never gets old. Even though happily ever after may not be as sustainable as we were led to believe. We all have stories inside us some we know well; some we barely recognise. But we have them.
And one day, we will know them all.