Life as an Swapabee Intern
My name is Siobhan and I am a 3rd year International Events Management Student at Glasgow Caledonian University. Over lockdown I have been educating myself about sustainable fashion and began upcycling clothes. I started a sustainable fashion account on Instagram (@flipit_n_reverseit ) and joined a community of people sharing what they have learnt about the fashion industry and ways to be more sustainable.
Although I had this new hobby to keep me busy, I was becoming increasingly worried the effects coronavirus would have on my degree, work experience and chance of getting a job.
Online work had never crossed my mind until I was scrolling on Instagram one day and I came across Swapabee. The company are a sustainable swapping app where you can exchange your old things. My first impressions were one of amazement and that I would love to get into something like that one day. I looked on their page and they had a post-up looking for marketing interns. I could not believe my luck – it was paid online work in sustainability!
I was put on a voluntary trial period over the Summer where I had a different task each week from creating a press release to making a social media post to gain more signups for the app.
I used my interest in sustainable fashion to my advantage and created a virtual swap shop where people swapped their old clothes via the swapabee app. I always find no matter what job you are in remembering your transferable skills is so important.
In September I was selected along with a few others to join the Swapabee student ambassadors’ team. I work ten hours per week which equates to £500 a month. My hours are flexible which is perfect to fit around my studies.
My main jobs are running the Pinterest, organising workshops/ swapping events for schools and universities and distributing facemasks for promotion. We communicate regularly over a group chat and send our hour sheets every second week.
For the Pinterest account I create different boards with graphics about circular economy, sustainable fashion and the benefits of swapping. I am just starting with this but it is very enjoyable to be creative and hopefully as it builds it will become a great marketing tool for the app.
For the virtual workshops I have been working with another intern and together we have been liaising with universities and their societies. Our workshops are held over zoom and we teach the scary statistics of items going to landfill each year and the impact this has on the environment. Then we show attendees small changes they can make to help reduce this through swapping.
It is very interactive with quizzes and games and everyone who downloads and swaps with the app receives a free face mask.
Currently I have been handing out face masks to student accommodations for students who download the app as we cannot physically hand them out at universities or at our workshops.
The company was set up by Jesse Jalore who previously worked as digital marketing director for companies across Europe. He has an executive team of three other co-founders together with volunteers and a student ambassador team.
His idea came for the app through realising the number of unwanted items we hold onto in our homes that end up wasted. Everyone has that drawer or even cupboard full of unused or unwanted things. Instead of wasting these items they could be swapped and you could have something new you would use instead. The app is really relative to the saying ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure’.
Currently the app is set up in the UK and has just launched in the US. Working with Swapabee so far has been amazing and all my co-workers are brilliant. The team is full of like-minded people who care about the environment and are passionate about the growth of the company.
I can see myself progressing in this role as I have already learnt so much and can’t wait to see where it takes me. Perhaps by the end of my contract as a student intern this could lead to a full time marketing job.
If you are interested in a Swapbee workshop email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
by Siobhan Duff