A quick start from the blocks in a PR internship designed to start off swimmingly
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
An afternoon of vox-popping and a second-hand hot water bottle helped cap a memorable first week in a Scottish PR agency
By Catriona Timoney
KNOWING I would have to write a blog about my first week at Holyrood PR, I had hoped to be able to create a storm with something quite unlike anything else written by an intern.
Unfortunately for me, the work is as hands on as I’d hoped, the people are as nice as I had read and the intern bible is as hefty as the jokes – nothing new there then.
I arrived on my first day unsure of what to expect. I graduated in June 2015, with a first in Politics and Sociology but no clue about what I actually wanted to do with it.
I began sending out countless CVs and what felt like thousands of 20 page job applications. Turns out these days, even with your degree, you’re a tiny little fish in a big ole’ pond. Without relevant experience it’s pretty difficult to ‘just keep swimming’.
Fish metaphors aside, I began seeking experience but even internships were few and far between, often also requiring experience which confused me- surely an internship is the experience? With every rejection email, I felt my spirits dampen, until I was lucky enough to be asked to fill Holyrood PR’s March intern slot.
I had applied to this position as reading the success stories of countless interns who gained skills, experience and confidence in a fast-paced friendly environment- I didn’t want to miss out.
One week down and I’m so glad that I did. Quickly welcomed into the office, my first day jitters were instantly soothed by the first tea run and a quick once over of the intern bible.
Once I was settled, I was given hands-on tasks and left my first day having: created social media content for clients and even drafted a press release.
I was also asked to contact news desks to update media list contacts, which meant using the dreaded phone, however with the script provided by the lovely Melissa I completed the task and left day one with a real sense of achievement.
The rest of the week flew by, I was involved in the morning paper sweep, which gave me great insight into our clients and made me feel like part of the team.
I attended meetings, continued drafting press releases, uploaded a post to the website using WordPress and even had a blog post for a client signed off in one day. Who knew I’d ever get so excited over a post on potholes.
On Friday I took to the Edinburgh’s Castle Street with Stuart and Craig, where I politely pestered the public in a bid to discover the true importance of a Facebook first-impression for business. I had never presented a video before but I really enjoyed the experience and it was really interesting to find out the work that goes into creating video content.
Overall, it’s been an amazing first week, I have been involved in some really interesting tasks, and warmly welcomed to the team (quite literally- thanks for the hot water bottle Alie).
So without further ado, to all future interns, my week one top tips are as follows:
- Ask questions even if you think they are silly- the team will set you up for each task really well, but if you need to ask questions or clarify, they are always on hand with helpful advice and feedback
- Don’t be scared of the phone- it provides you with quick responses and means you can continue to gain communication skills
- Get involved in the tea runs- although this isn’t the main thing you will be doing, surprise yourself by finding out how many different tea/coffee orders you can remember at once!
- Enjoy yourself, take on every task you can because each day can provide you with a new set of skills that, whilst boost your CV, make you feel accomplished.
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