My Story So Far: John Orchard began his sector ascent as an intern

The marketing manager at Cavell Nurses' Trust says the internship route has given him a wider understanding of the sector

John Orchard
John Orchard

After I left Leicester University with a human geography degree in 2006, I applied for charity internships. I wanted to work in the third sector, and thought that the internship route would give me a wider understanding of the sector and would look good on my CV.

I was offered a three-month internship in the community fundraising directorate at Cancer Research UK. It was my first exposure to marketing, and I loved it. I was asked to stay on as materials coordinator and had a great two years, but living in London was expensive. So in 2008 I relocated to Birmingham in order to take up a role as a communications officer in the NHS.

However, my heart was in the charity sector – so after a year I moved to the Children's Liver Disease Foundation as press and communications officer. I was advised that working for a local organisation would be good experience, so in 2011 I moved to the John Taylor Hospice as communications manager. It was a new department and an exciting role, and I was promoted to associate director of brand. During my four years there I embarked on my Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification, which I will complete soon.

It was hard to leave the hospice, but I wanted to develop further as a leader. Cavell Nurses' Trust, which I joined in October, appealed to me because there's huge scope for growth. It's good to have a goal – mine is to be the chief executive of a small charity in about five years' time.

John Orchard is marketing manager at Cavell Nurses' Trust, which supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants

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