COLD WEATHER AND HOT COFFEE – MY MONTH AS AN INTERN

by Melissa Clark

Friday, January 17th, 2014

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Written by Jordan Ferguson

The first thing I learned from my time at Holyrood Partnership was to wear layers. It can get pretty cold working next to the fire exit and a jumper is the one thing you cannot work without.

As a fourth year student I, like all others, am terrified of graduating. It is that time where the loan payments stop, council tax starts and you need to go into the big bad world of work.

These days a degree is not worth much, all anyone cares about is what experience you do or do not have.  So when the opportunity came to intern at an agency who have been recognised for “nurturing new PR talent”, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed. This is my story at Holyrood Partnership.

Let me set the scene, having never properly interned at an agency I had no idea what to expect; in fact most of my assumptions were based upon Hollywood movies. If the movies were anything to go by my main task would be to make the coffee and thank everyone for the privilege.

So imagine my surprise, after being shown to my desk, when the director makes me a coffee before we have even been properly introduced. I had just stepped in the door and was a little overwhelmed, and a touch nervous, unsure of what the day would hold.

Before my coffee was at adequate drinking temperature I had already been issued a social media account to handle and left to tweet away.  Surely they could not be leaving me to start work on something after only fifteen minutes?

I had just got my head round the social media aspect when I was asked to upload media coverage to the Holyrood PR website. Promptly followed by a research task, there was an article in Danish to translate that one of the directors wanted to know more about it. My coffee was only half drank by this point. It was sink or swim.

The following day I was given two stories to work on.  After a few phone calls and a spot of research I was able to start drafting my first press releases. The highlight of the month for me was seeing these releases I had worked on published in a local paper. There was a bizarre sense of achievement and a feeling that I had made my first step towards a career in public relations. From then on I was treated like every other member of the team and each day I was given my share of the day’s jobs.

It was a challenging placement because I was given responsibility from day one and expected to deliver results just like every other member of the team. However, coming to the end of the placement I am amazed at how much I have learned through this tactic. I can confidently say that in four weeks I have learned more about public relations than I have in my entire academic life.  Looking back on my month at Holyrood PR, I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to, for however brief a time, be part the team.

Having immersed myself in every opportunity presented to me throughout my time at Holyrood PR I am more determined than ever to pursue a career in public relations. There are some things that you can only learn from an internship. For example, in public relations the office runs on coffee; drink it fast though because like the work there is more on the way.

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