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An Internship at the Mercury Theatre

Posted 26th Feb 18


Melissa Tang (BSC Psychology)

After graduation I didn’t have any professional work experience which made it hard to find a job. Like a lot of students I worked part-time throughout my degree, but not in a role that could have given me the experience I needed to kick start my career after Essex.

I quickly realised that I needed graduate level work experience before I could secure a permanent position and avoid the classic graduate catch 22 where you need experience to find a job, but you can’t find a job because you have no experience. I spoke to friends who had taken internships before securing permanent positions and an internship seemed like a great stepping stone. I didn’t need experience to secure one, as long as I was enthusiastic and willing to learn and I wasn’t expected to perform straight away, allowing me to focus on my professional development.

With a career in HR in mind I chose an internship with the Mercury Theatre to help me develop transferable skills. My manager was fantastic and when I told her I wanted a career in HR, she did her best to give me as many HR related duties as possible! I gained all the skills and work experience that I was hoping for.

I also developed a number of unexpected skills: my telephone manner has improved, I have gained negotiation and sales skills, improved my ability to work under pressure, gained more confidence in myself and was able to work effectively both on my own and within a team.

Proving to myself that I was able to work well independently was particularly satisfying as I did not have a lot of confidence prior to my internship! There were definitely challenges but taking an internship was definitely the stepping stone I needed to start building a successful career. I gained new skills and experience and realised that despite not having any knowledge about the theatre industry, I could adapt and learn quickly in a lively and great work environment.

The Mercury has a great relationship with the University of Essex, offering internships to their students and graduates. For more information please visit

Posted By Valentina Borja Herrera

Valentina is the Executive Assistant at the Mercury.

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