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An Italian twist for Saltire internship

By Rebecca Hay - Posted on 17 August 2017

In the second of our Saltire internship blogs, undergraduate Rebecca Hay discusses London life and working with Italian restaurant chain Zizzi for her summer internship.

This summer I have been working with Zizzi in London as their Marketing Intern through the Saltire Foundation internships.

Working for this company has been nothing but amazing - and not just because I get to overload on Italian food! The company culture that exists within the Zizzi office is my dream environment: chilled, fun, and fresh - however a hardworking ethos is still very evident throughout the office.

Over the past seven weeks I have been given the opportunity to work on such a wide variety of tasks, which I never imagined would have been possible.

Each day, I dedicate a few hours to customer relationship management across all social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and I have also worked on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in order to improve the position of Zizzi on web browsers by adding key words and popular phrases. For example, I have been writing descriptions of tourist attractions located near any Zizzi restaurant and hopefully by writing all this copy we will witness an increase of visitors to the website.

I have been heavily involved in organising two photoshoots for Zizzi: one for a Deliveroo campaign, the other for the Christmas trading period. Tasks have included: sourcing, casting and styling models; sourcing and visiting locations for the Deliveroo shoot; creating ‘mood boards’ to determine how I believe the sets should look; and prop shopping for these sets…among many others. Being such a ‘girly-girl’ I have loved organising these shoots and feel extremely privileged this has been part of my job description.

Food is central to my internship and I was lucky enough to participate in a food tasting session for the new menu launch - a foodie’s dream come true. Aside from over-indulging, it was a very interesting afternoon being educated on the ‘science’ behind the Zizzi menu, highlighting the creativity and effort that goes into planning this.

In my third week I was sent into one of the restaurants to be a chef for the day - that was a task I definitely did not expect! This was a great way to gain an understanding of the variety of roles and tasks performed at Zizzi within a normal working day and at the same time learn how things really work behind the scenes.

Last week I wrote a press release for a new restaurant that hadn’t been performing as well as others in an effort to boost publicity. The Hull Daily Mail picked up my story and it received so much coverage across social media that the restaurant was struggling with the volume of customers! The office didn’t stop thanking and congratulating me that day, giving me such a fantastic sense of achievement.

Working on the Zizzi Ambassador Programme has been another task, which involved sending out discount cards to celebrities and influencers across the UK in order to encourage them to dine at Zizzi, while promoting us to their followers. The next day two big names posted their excitement about receiving their card and went for a meal - success! I also track their usage by updating a spreadsheet to record visit frequency and amount of spend per visit.

Another task I have been set is to brainstorm ideas of how to increase the success and improve sales at one of the restaurants. As part of this, I am going on a business trip to Sheffield (which is slightly nerve wracking going solo, however proof positive that my boss has this level of confidence in me) where I will meet with the manager to share ideas and create a plan of action.

My Strathclyde studies have helped with my internship by having a basis of knowledge regarding various marketing areas, therefore I have been able to work on different tasks, such as market research, branding, social media and digital marketing. It has been extremely beneficial having the opportunity to put everything I have learned so far throughout my University degree into practice this summer.

As for the amazing city that is London – I am in love. There are so many areas to explore and I simply don’t have enough time to see everything! The vast amount to do here has made every weekend exciting and diverse. I have viewed the city from rooftops, attended the Queen’s birthday celebrations, watched the spectacular 42nd Street in the West End, and eaten a lot of brunch across the city. It is fair to say I have taken full advantage of my weekends and lived London life to a full. I can now definitely see myself living and working here post University.

I can’t believe I only have three weeks remaining of my Zizzi experience and I really don’t want it to end! My colleagues have been saying how much they aren’t prepared for my departure, which highlights to me that I really have made a positive impact by providing help in so many ways…an incredible compliment!

I believe being a Saltire Scholar has prepared me for my final year at University, in terms of increasing my skill set, as well as for entering the ‘real world’ once I have graduated, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity provided to me.

Finally, I'd say if you're planning on applying to the Saltire Foundation – just do it! 

To find out more about the Saltire internship, please click here.

Contact details

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