As an English Language and Linguistics graduate, the first assumption people made when I first met them was that I’m going to be a teacher. There were times prior to my graduation where I would come up blank with ideas of what to do after university. Fast forward six months, I’m back in the city that was once my second home, sitting in HR Media’s office on my second internship in PR.
During my time back in Sheffield, I stayed with uni friends who are currently in their second year. Every evening they asked me how I was getting on and as soon as they heard that I sat in on a conference call, their reaction was, ‘Oh wow, you’re ‘adulting’! I suppose that would have been my reaction in their position, life outside the university bubble seems quite daunting. It certainly felt strange being back in a student environment, only I was waking up at 7am (much to the horror of my student hosts) and not working around a week of six contact hours!
Even though this was my second internship, it didn’t make the start of it any less nerve-wracking. However, HR Media were amazing at welcoming me into their office and I really felt included. I started straight away, doing various tasks: helping with the digital side of campaigns, creating content for HRM’s social channels, online research, proof-reading press releases and writing content for clients. I also made phone calls throughout the week, which I was conscious of during my first internship however, this time around it felt like second nature to me. I’m really happy with how my confidence has grown in that area.
In an office environment, communication is key, it is important to keep everyone updated on how you are getting on with your tasks. It also allows you to make sure you are on the right track. Be proactive and ask what you can do to help. Remember to be mindful of your time management, first impressions are everything, so arrive on your first morning in good time. It would also be useful to come to the office prepared with a notepad and pen, ready to write down your tasks for the day. Take initiative and don’t be afraid to offer your own ideas and perspectives on things, you might surprise yourself!
Having left university with no direct PR agency experience, I can now make the changes to my CV and finally say in interviews, ‘Yes I do have agency experience.’ If you’ve already graduated from university, don’t put yourself down for not doing an internship before you left. I’m a prime example of someone who didn’t have it all figured out beforehand.
I’m now ready to further my career in PR and see what’s out there for me. I’ve gained useful knowledge in the short space of a week and the team at HR Media have truly inspired me and offered me insight into the world of PR.