Confessions of a PR Intern

Crystal Cansdale, Intern, Clarion Communications

I’m writing this during my third week of work experience at Clarion Communications – where so far I’ve actually had things to do and only made tea two or three times. Probably shouldn’t have said that, they’ll be queuing up now.

Anyway, I pondered on what I should write my blog about and settled on the importance of work experience, and more importantly, work experience that will benefit you.

Landing a placement at Clarion was great for me; I was offered a month which meant I could really get an understanding of how the organisation works. Conversations buzzing around university before I left made me scared of taking on long placements because of the costs; however, Clarion pays some expenses which is great. The best thing was that it wasn’t that hard, and I realise now I had been stressing myself out a little too much. All I did was send a CV and covering letter explaining why I wanted to try out consumer PR, came in for a chat and received an email asking me to start in July.

Working at Clarion has been great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is encouraging when you find out lots of people started out doing work experience and are now working their way up in PR. It’s also encouraging to find people who went to your previous university, studied your degree and now have a job doing exactly what they want to do. It has taught me to have faith and stop panicking that I’ve been out of university for two months and I don’t have a job yet.  So if you’re reading this and you’re in a similar situation to me, have faith.

Secondly, I cannot stress how different the ‘real world’ is to what you are taught at university. I studied Advertising and PR and was bored by the PR side; I struggled to sustain an interest and found myself telling people I did an advertising degree and happily missing out the PR part. However, when I came to Clarion I saw a complete different side to PR. The clients are brands that I’m interested in and they create campaigns that are engaging. Before I could never see myself working in PR, but now I’m excited about it.

So I’m my third week and really enjoying being here. I’m getting to know everyone, starting to feel comfortable and getting into the work I’ve been given. I’ve been invited along to brainstorms, sat in on a monthly agency meeting that was very gratifying for all employees, and been shown the ropes of how things work in a busy PR agency. I definitely feel a little more prepared for when I hopefully land a job full-time in PR.

I guess the moral of the story is to not be frightened of applying for work experience or internships because they can be very beneficial. Some may not be paid, but remember you are not in it for the money; you are gaining an experience that many others are not. It is important to test the waters before jumping into a career, PR may not be for everyone, but you don’t know unless you try.

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