My name is Alex Murdoch and I am a second year Economics with German student at the University of Dundee. As part of my second-year module choices I was offered to do an internship; an offer I immediately jumped upon. The University had sourced multiple placements with local employers and regional organisations. By doing an internship I hoped to learn and develop my skills and also discover more about the organisations with have built and shaped Dundee.
Over the last couple of months, I have been working on a couple of external marketing projects on behalf of the HMS Unicorn. The aim of this project was to assess and explore the possible marketing opportunities that exist in order to boost visitor numbers and develop greater recognition for this iconic Georgian warship. It is important to attract more visitors to the HMS Unicorn as it has a very unique history and a story worth telling.
I say ‘external’, firstly because the main aim was to explore ways to attract people attract to the ship through advertisement placed around the city and secondly most of the work done did not take place on the ship, which gave me more independence when designing projects. This displaced perspective allowed me to give an impartial and renewed approach to what seemed at first a relaxed marketing approach. However, over time and with a better understanding of strategy, this allowed me to make more informed decisions and gave me a different view on advertising that my supervisor may not necessarily have had. An example of one of my projects is the ‘Routes to the Unicorn Project’, which illustrated the ways in which the Unicorn can advertise to different groups of people in and around the city centre and around Dundee’s iconic attractions. It highlights routes visitors can use to get to the HMS Unicorn and how we could advertise along those routes to attract more visitors. The project was laid out in a way that allows the HMS Unicorn to expand their external advertising area by area, depending on budget, with a variety of different methods e.g. posters and flyers, PVC signs and by word and mouth.
In retrospect I have learned a lot whilst working for the HMS Unicorn both about the ship’s history, marketing strategies but also a lot about myself. This internship allowed me to work on my transferrable skills; mainly in terms of communication and time management. It required me to plan my time out wisely in order to complete both my coursework and internship tasks. This experience also allowed me to recognise the importance of clear and precise communication, as I would have to explain my projects and visions during my weekly meetings. What I enjoyed most about this internship is the challenges that it set as it really forced me to come up with creative solutions that I would never have initially thought of. Another factor that made it so interesting and enjoyable was HMS Unicorn’s Crew. The team were extremely friendly and helpful and created an excellent and approachable working environment.
Blog Post by Alex Murdoch, HMS Unicorn Intern