Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Case Study

M.A.D Communications

Beth Waldron BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism

“As a small business, taking on our first team member was a huge step – both financially and in terms of the responsibility. The Graduate Internship Scheme allowed us to take our next step safe in the knowledge that we were being supported by the University throughout the recruitment process."

European Regional Development Fund logo

M.A.D Communications are a PR, design and communications company based in Gateshead and co-founded in 2013 by two University of Sunderland graduates, Amy Armstrong and Marie Donnelly. After the initial few years working to establish the company, there was a clear need to grow the team to enable them to increase capacity within the business. 

Amy and Marie looked to the University of Sunderland Graduate Internship Scheme to recruit a graduate Communications Coordinator to support the business across all of their client services, including social media, copywriting, PR and marketing. The successful graduate, Beth Waldron, graduated from the University with a BA in Fashion Journalism, and as well as providing services for clients, Beth has also been managing the company blog and social media platforms. Following her 12 month internship, Beth was offered a permanent role.

Talking about the scheme, Amy and Marie said; “As a small business, taking on our first team member was a huge step – both financially and in terms of the responsibility. The Graduate Internship Scheme allowed us to take our next step safe in the knowledge that we were being supported by the University throughout the recruitment process. The financial support also made the transition from a two-person team to a three-person team a lot easier to manage. Since taking Beth on, M.A.D has continued to grow and we’re looking to take on another full-time member of staff towards the end of this year.”

Speaking about her year on the Graduate Internship with M.A.D, Beth said, “The last year at M.A.D has completely exceeded my expectations in every aspect and I’ve become one of those annoying people who likes to talk about how much they love their job. I've learnt so much in the past year! Listening to feedback and asking a million and one questions throughout the year has seen my writing improve, from blog posts to product descriptions and everything in-between.”

The University of Sunderland’s Graduate Internship Scheme can provide regional SME’s with a cost-effective approach to recruiting graduate talent for a 12 month period. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by the University’s Graduate Internship team, the team work closely with the organisations to support the internship from role development, sourcing the graduate, supporting the recruitment and selection process, as well as being a point of contact for the organisation and the graduate throughout the internship period.

Following an assessment by the Internships team, if eligible and accepted onto the scheme, the organisation will receive funding towards the graduate’s salary. The scheme will support 130 SME’s, one graduate internship per company. The company will pay a minimum of £18,000 per annum to their successful graduate and the scheme will offer £375 a month of funding over a 9 month period towards the graduate’s salary totalling £3,375 over the 9 months. The funding will be paid every third month upon receipt of the monthly financial evidence received from the organisation which totals to three single payments of £1,125.

For more information contact: Internships@sunderland.ac.uk

ReciteMe accessibility toolbar button