Econsultancy recently launched a new Graduate Bootcamp in association with Inspiring Interns, offering people the chance to gain valuable experience in e-commerce and digital marketing.

The week-long programme, which is supported by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, aims to deliver core digital skills and practical application alongside employability training and career coaching.

Programme graduates will be offered the opportunity to take a three-month internship in a digitally focused role to put their newly acquired digital knowledge into practice.

Tag management provider TagMan has offered internships to a number graduates through Inspiring Interns, so I spoke to CFO Darren Quigg to find out how the company benefits from the scheme.

Why did you decide to look for an intern using Inspiring Interns?

I was impressed with the high quality of candidates registered with Inspiring Interns. 

We welcome initiatives like this which help and encourage graduates who are considering a career in digital marketing and Inspiring Interns are great at understanding and identifying the types of candidates we’re after.

How did Tagman benefit from the scheme?

Apart from having very useful additions to our team who have helped with the extra work, we’ve seen some real potential with the candidates. 

We are always looking for new people who are bright, genuinely eager to learn the many varied roles at TagMan and who’d like to work in a fast paced company which is constantly developing. 

We’ve used Inspiring Interns for some time now and 80% or more of the people they have supplied have become full time employees – either during the internship or at the end of it. 

We have also hired a number of candidates without going through an internship, where we have had a graduate vacancy. An internship for us is all about learning for the intern, so they always shadow an existing employee to learn from them. 

Inspiring Interns has turned out to be a real asset to the company because of the quality of graduates it has provided.

What did you expect to get from the scheme, and were you surprised by anything?

All we ask is that candidates are willing to learn about what we do and how we do it.  

I’ve been surprised by just how many high quality graduates there are out there. They were very well motivated and enthusiastic about their work. They really do have every incentive to do well.

How much time has to be dedicated to working with each intern?

We appoint a mentor for each intern that can be someone from the marketing, client services, developer or technology departments.  

It is their job to teach the intern how they will work within a team, their role and what we expect from them. We give each intern a job description which outlines their duties/role within TagMan and we shadow each one. 

During their time with us we monitor their performance, with a formal review at the end of the period. On average a TagMan mentor spends around 8-10 hours a week with an intern.

In general, what level of digital experience do graduates have?

They have a variety of backgrounds and experience, but what is common throughout is their passion for digital and their entrepreneurial spirit. 

It’s less about their actual experience and more about how they fit in the with the culture, want to get involved and want to make a difference.

Do you think there is a lack of digital skill in the UK workforce?

The digital space develops at such as fast pace so it can be challenging to keep up to date with the latest technologies and innovations, but getting the basics right is important. 

The term ‘digital’ is thrown around a lot and people tend to associate it commonly with ‘social media’, but it’s important to remember it encompasses a lot more. 

The demand for digital IT workers is continuing to grow at a rapid rate but the supply of individuals with these skills is yet to catch up. I think initiatives like Graduate Bootcamp are crucial to the development of the UK’s digital industry.

Is it necessary to have previous work or academic experience in digital to apply for an internship?

It isn’t a deal breaker but it certainly helps. Get involved in as many projects, clubs, volunteer work during academics to prove you’re willing and interested to learn.

What goals do you set your interns?

We want them to get the most out of their internship as much as them helping us. It’s a two-way partnership – depending on the department, an intern will focus on a specific project during their internship or interact with multiple teams to help.

What should interns expect to learn while on a digital internship with Tagman?

First and foremost about TagMan itself. The very nature of our business revolves around digital so learning what we do and how we help clients (e.g. our ecosystem) is key. 

Then depending on the focus of their internship – the soft skills of a working environment, project work, client support, etc. 

We want interns to enjoy their time at TagMan. We offer a unique opportunity for interns to get involved with an innovative company whose services are core to digital marketing and, as such, always developing in a constantly changing environment.

How can interns impress you?

By being eager to learn, forward thinking, creative and, above all, dedicated.  

Have you employed any of your interns? Are they still with the company?

Yes and yes. We’re interested in hiring talented people who can contribute to the rapid growth of our business so when we find a talented individual we make sure we invest in them long term.