I Got Hired: My first week as a Kickstart Intern

Posted on: 18 March 2022 by Mariam Abood in Student experiences

From the Job Centre to the Careers Centre – My first week as a kickstart intern. Mariam Abood tells us more about the first week as a Kickstart Digital Communications Assistant in the English Department at the University of Liverpool.

Mariam Abood tells us more about the first week as a Kickstart Digital Communications Assistant in the English Department at the University of Liverpool.

I would be lying if I said there was never a point where I lost hope. In and out of dead-end jobs and unpaid internships whilst grappling with the labyrinth that was Universal Credit, I really began to despair. After curiously checking job application after job application, my inbox inundated with job rejections, I came across the Kickstart Scheme. Tailored towards 18-24-year-old graduates on Universal Credit, the scheme and job opportunity seemed too good to be true.

Again, I would be lying if I said I was optimistic. Despite being an alumnus for two Russell Group Universities, the prospect of working for one seemed like a distant dream. And that is what this job has felt like ever since my first day and induction. A dream I never want to wake up from.

What is your role?

I can now proudly say I am the Digital Communications Assistant for the Department of English. My job role is complex and hybrid and very up my street. Having worked as a freelance journalist for years, I have a vision for the department where we can really celebrate our values whilst sporting a digital and communicative edge, that other universities may not have.

What was your first week like?

The first week was exciting and challenging. Constrained by IT, I had to work to the best of my ability with the resources I had at hand. But it was worth it in the end. For the first time in my life I felt validated and like I was doing something worthwhile.

How has the Kickstart Scheme helped you?

Kickstart also helped me realise the benefits of growth mind as opposed to fixed mind, and I found this to be a positively holistic approach. Growth mind helps you persevere. Instead of being constrained by the limitations of loss, use loss to make you realise what you can achieve. For example, if you are facing job loss, be it redundancy or missing out on a job opportunity, use growth mind to see where you went wrong so you can improve for future references. Say you didn’t get a job because you lacked certain hard skills pertaining to a qualification, growth mind would make you work to achieve said qualification or look for jobs that are more attuned to your soft skills, rather than reductively giving up as you would with fixed mind.

Kickstart has given me so many opportunities to thrive through the amazing training I have been given. Often in the world of work we are consumed by a lot of jargon, and Kickstart was able to break down these barriers and explain what was meant by these terms in an accessible language.

What would you say is the best way to prepare?

To put things into perspective, have a think to yourself. What is a hard skill you possess and a soft skill? In other words, do you have more technical skills or more transferable skills? A technical/hard skill is something like a qualification, so for me, my undergraduate degree is my technical/hard skill. Transferable/soft skills pertain to your ability to communicate effectively, or any attribute you possess that doesn’t require a qualification, but is transferable in almost any workplace. Teamwork, leadership skills, these are all transferable, soft skills.

Understanding these terms was liberating for me as it helped me grasp a better understanding of my employability prospects. Knowing your skills and learning how to improve them helps you move from the labyrinth of deterministic thinking within ‘fixed’ mind and help you elevate yourself into a more prosperous growth mind.


I am proud to now say I am in a job and I am even prouder and humbled to be working with and around such great people and colleagues. Thank you Kickstart and thank you the University of Liverpool.