Archive for the ‘work experience’ Category

Our latest work experience student, Alannah Williams joined Petersens to learn more about the world of PR. In this blog, she reflects on her last month here. Have a read through to see how she got on…

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Before starting university, I had hoped that I’d successfully balance my academic and social life with lots of potential work experience opportunities, thus emerging out the other end with a cracking CV and a job already lined up. For those fortunate types, that does sometimes turn into a reality. Yet for many others, including me, those aspirations might not always come to fruition straight away. Now, after finishing my university career with a clearer picture in mind of what I want to do, I find myself at Petersens PR for some short-term work experience.

Throughout my three years of undergraduate study in the field of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, I made sure that I contributed regularly to student media and various publications both online and in print. Creative writing was always my passion and that is certainly still the case. However, after returning from a semester abroad in Canada and then subsequently taking on the role of an ambassador for studying abroad, I began to carry out work that reflected Marketing and Communications more than straight Journalism. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an ambassador and it solidified my desire to pursue this kind of work in the future.

I consider my work experience at Petersens PR, which I gained through the Careers and Employability service at Cardiff University, as my first proper insight into this industry. The six weeks I’ve spent here have proved invaluable and I’ve been given a reasonable amount of autonomy to complete work in areas such as social media marketing, e-marketing, press release writing and administration. In the process, I’ve learnt about the agencies wide range of clients and the daily workings of a busy PR team.  Just through being in an office environment and observing my surroundings, I’m much more confident about gaining further work experience and transferring the skills and experience I’ve acquired here into future endeavours.

At 21 years of age, the world of work is still an incredibly daunting prospect. However, if I’m certain about one thing, it’s that I now realise the importance of volunteering and securing work experience whilst you still can. Not only does it provide you with the essential skills needed to develop in your chosen career, but it also demonstrates to future employers your dedication and shows that you’ve given up your free time for bigger and more important things.

I would like to thank Rob, Phoebe, Danielle and everyone else I’ve met at Petersens PR who’ve kindly helped me along the way, giving me an extremely worthwhile placement and one that I won’t be forgetting any time soon!

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Today we welcome Caroline Hodges, who has joined us for a three month placement. We asked Caroline to write a short blog to introduce herself…

Caroline HodgesLike a lot of young people I spent most of my time at university with no definitive idea of what I was going to do as a career after I finished. My initial dreams of a career in law were abandoned after spending my first year at university struggling to remember case lists, make sense of judicial decisions and generally not fall asleep from boredom and substituted for aspirations of working as a journalist. I transferred to a degree in Journalism Media and Cultural Studies and began to work on my writing and on building up my journalistic portfolio. It was during a work experience placement with a local newspaper that I first became properly aware of PR and its importance; whenever I was asked to write a piece I would be sent a press release and simply asked to reorganise it. I realised increasingly that the people who were writing the press releases were the ones creating the news, not the journalists.

This was confirmed for me when I took advertising and PR modules as part of my degree and began to look at the industry from an academic perspective – the changing face of media means that PR professionals and the work that they do is becoming increasingly important and exciting as it adapts to the digital and social media age. My strengths have always been in writing and communication and my favourite aspect of every part-time job I’ve had has been building relationships with customers. I decided that a career where I could build on those existing skills while helping to create content and to be a part of an exciting and developing industry would be the perfect fit for me so I began to pursue a career in PR. I feel extremely lucky to have been offered this placement with Petersens as the opportunity to gain experience and learn about the industry from an award-winning firm is something a lot of recent graduates would kill for and I know that it will be invaluable to me moving forward.

Everybody at Petersens is extremely friendly and welcoming and any nerves that I had disappeared within minutes of arriving. After attending a team meeting I was talked through the main clients and the kinds of work Petersens does for them, and given the chance to look through portfolios containing press releases. Learning about the clients that I will be working with and the kinds of work I will have the chance to get involved with was both interesting and very exciting. I can’t wait to get started and I’m very confident that I’m going to enjoy my time with Petersens.

Our latest work experience student, Luke Aldridge joined us to gain more experience of PR. Have a read of Luke’s blog to hear how he found his two weeks at Petersens…

LukeAs a recent History graduate of Swansea University, I left university full of optimism about what the future would hold for me but due to not doing a vocational course I did not have specific career path set out for me. I had vast possibilities of careers, but this meant it took some time to indentify a career which suited me. After exploring many potential career paths, I came across PR. I have always enjoyed writing and have always been a very social person, thriving on developing relationships and it is for this reason that I identified PR as good fit for me.

After this revelation, I went about gaining myself some relevant experience to beef up my CV and ultimately get a taste of what working in PR actually entailed. I went to London for work experience at a mid-sized PR agency with a reasonably broad portfolio of clients and I enjoyed every minute of it. The constant adapting of methods, variety of client demands, and the way PR was evolving appealed to me as I never wanted to be in a job where the same tasks are just repeated day in, day out. As I completed this work experience, the Chairman of the company suggested I get in touch with Rob from Petersens PR in order to gain more experience and the Petersens team were more than happy to have me.

When arriving at Petersens I was welcomed to a friendly atmosphere and immediately briefed on the various services Petersens offer their clients, and shown examples of their previous work. After a team meeting where various ideas where bounced back and forth, I was put to work on a variety of different tasks, from researching, to drafting a press release, to social media. These tasks showed me how broad an industry PR can be, and how the techniques and demands are evolving with new trends and technology being introduced all the time.

As I come to the end of my work experience, I am extremely grateful to Petersens for having me and giving me the opportunity to hone my skills and gain further understanding of what a career in PR is like. I am sure the experience I have gained will benefit me hugely in the future, and I fully recommend others who are looking into a career in PR to do work experience at Petersens.

Our latest work experience student, Ellie Bristow has joined us to gain her first experience of PR. Have a read of Ellie’s blog to see what drew her to Petersens…

Ellie picLike most undergraduates at university, it may come as no surprise to know that my future is viewed through frosted glass. I do not have a clear picture of where I want to be at 30 years old and what I want to have achieved by that point. However, when deciding on what career I would like to pursue, I differ from the stereotypical student. I am passionate about marketing. I enjoy building relationships with customers, whether it be the local who always pops in the shop to buy his copy of the Gazette or whether it be an entire company with a host of employees. Communication is something I enjoy and something I am good at (just ask my mum), so to have the opportunity to build a career around communicating with people is my ideal.

I am currently a second year undergraduate at Cardiff University studying Econ Sociology, which might sound strange after I’ve just said that I’m keen to pursue a career in marketing. It is precisely this reason which led my desire to do a Work Experience Insight at Petersens PR. Sociology degrees provide you with little experience specific to marketing and I wanted to learn more about marketing and the areas around it, such as Advertising and PR, from within a working environment.

I arrived at Petersens on the day of the solar eclipse, so was greeted by a crowd of people. I stepped into the office and any worries and anxieties I had previously held about this Insight vanished. The team were very friendly and the atmosphere was positive and relaxed, but still very professional. I sat down and was talked through what Petersens PR does as a company, who their main clients are and then I was shown examples of what they had done for their clients, as well as being informed of what my role would be over the coming weeks.

I have just finished reading through the press releases for some of Petersens main clients and it would be fair to say that I am thoroughly looking forward to working with this team for the next few weeks. I know that I will gain a wealth of knowledge from the company and that I am really going to enjoy my time here.

Our latest taster student, Kristina Salmane, has just joined us in the Petersens office. She has written a blog to introduce herself and explain why she wants to work in PR…

kristinaSince I was a child I enjoyed writing stories, taking part in organising different family events and meeting new people. I was curious and enjoyed learning new things.  Therefore, later on a career in Public Relations has proven to be the right choice for me. I have recently graduated from Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration with a BSc (Hons) in Public Relations and Advertisement Management and am currently a postgraduate Public Relations student in the University of South Wales.

Public Relations is not just a career for me, it’s my passion. It’s exciting, vibrant and never the same. Moreover, Public Relations gives me the opportunity to make a positive impact on society by promoting worthy businesses. During my undergraduate degree I have noticed a growing interest in online Public Relations, and after a couple of internships I have been lucky enough to work as a social media project manager with Vivax Communications Group. However, I wanted to learn more and further my professional skill set beyond the new media environment and work among other PR professionals. That is how I learned about work experience positions with Petersens PR. I’m now on my first day and I have already had the chance to work on press release creation. The first day at a new place can be stressful, but that is not the case with the Petersens team. You can feel the friendly and welcoming atmosphere from the minute you walk into their office. Therefore, I am very excited for the next weeks to come and get my hands on as many tasks as possible.

During my work experience with Petersens I hope to put my knowledge into practice, utilizing various PR tactics, and learn more from these talented PR professionals.

As the GO Wales programme comes to an end, our latest, and sadly final, GO Wales placement student Matthew has now completed his 10 week placement with us. Here’s what he thought of his Petersens work taster…

Matthew NorrisMy first blog for Petersens identified my passion for communicating ideas, messages and interacting with others. Needless to say, that is what I have had the pleasure of doing over the past eight weeks. Every project I completed presented a new challenge to overcome, with a rewarding end result.

I have gained incredible value through my experience at Petersens and have enjoyed implementing my academic learning into practice. Gaining the opportunity to develop new skills that can be used in a wide array of applications is a terrific expansion to my existing knowledge.

Coming from a corporate background has allowed me to appreciate the different perspective you gain working with an entrepreneurial spirited business. Having access to all business levels within an arms reach creates a different exchange of information complimented by an open concept office. My enjoyment of working with Petersens has far extended beyond the projects, as a large part of the joy that stems from the work is the amazing people, and the strong family environment that Petersens promotes. I have felt welcome from beginning to end and have been part of a team that fosters development and presents the opportunity every week to complete work that is integral to the clients business needs.

My favourite deliverables have been press release creation, marketing strategy and event planning. Seeing a project you have worked on integrated into print and online channels, or included into a clients business strategy is a great feeling.

As I continue on my academic journey I will look back favourably on my time at Petersens.  I have been provided constructive feedback throughout my time with the Petersens team, which has been a great support in my development, whilst also providing a more robust understanding of the communications industry in the UK and Wales.

As you can tell, I would highly recommend any eager student looking to grow their knowledge of public relations and communications to seek out practical work experience opportunities. If you’re fortunate enough, you might even get the chance to work with a team as incredible as Petersens PR.

Our latest GO Wales Student, Matthew Norris has just joined us for a 10 week taster placement. We asked Matthew to write a blog for us on his first day to introduce himself…

M Norris Profile PhotoMy passion is communicating. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ideas, messages, or interacting with others, I love the exchange of information. I started my career in retail management and then moved into banking. This is where I got introduced to the field of marketing, and that was my ‘Edison moment’. I have since been on an academic quest, which has seen me graduate with High Honours from Sheridan College with an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration and Marketing, and obtain a First Class Honours from the University of South Wales with a BA (Hons) in Business and Marketing. I’m currently enrolled in the MBA program at the University of South Wales and have been enjoying every minute of it.

Although education is an important aspect of my journey, I have always found that there is incredible value in practical experience. I have been fortunate to be a part of the GO Wales Work Taster program, which assists young talent to gain experience within their industry of study. I also consider myself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join Petersens PR who have made an unbelievably positive first impression. I can honestly say that in my first day here at Petersens, I have been a part of conversations and heard ideas that have helped put my previous experience and education into perspective. The team has been so welcoming, and it’s no surprise to see why Petersens has gained not only critical acclaim, but also the respect of their clients and the industry.

I’m originally from Toronto, Canada, so needless to say the market is very different here in Wales. Being able to see public relations used in a dynamic agency is exciting, as Petersens are utilizing all forms of traditional and modern communication tools to help deliver their clients messages across a wide variety of sectors.

I look forward to making an impact with this award winning team in the months to come, and expanding my knowledge, both as a student and as an aspiring business professional.

 

 

Harriet has just joined our team on a 10 week GO Wales placement, having graduated with a 2.1 in English Literature from the University of Reading this summer. We asked Harriet to write a blog to introduce herself and let us know what attracted her to the world of PR!

harrietHaving graduated from Reading University this summer with a degree in English Literature I suddenly found that, for the first time in my life, I no longer had a path mapped out for me. Having not taken a vocational course there was no clear career that I was destined for and it was enough to leave me feeling more than a little overwhelmed! However, I was keen to explore a career path that would allow me to expand upon and utilise the skills that I had acquired during the completion of my course. This made PR and marketing seem like a good choice, especially as it would put to use both my written and communication skills. Despite this, my lack of previous experience within this field meant that finding a position was easier said than done! This is why I am so grateful for the GO Wales scheme for allowing this opportunity and I hope that I am able to gain some valuable skills and knowledge of how a PR company works, whilst also being a valuable member of the Petersen’s team during my time here.

I’m now half way through my first week at Petersen’s and despite still needing to find my feet in a few areas I am really starting to feel like part of the team. Everyone in the office is so friendly and welcoming and they have been careful to give me enough tasks to keep me busy but not to overwhelm me! So far, despite only being a few days in, I have already undertaken a variety of different tasks, writing a blog post for a client’s website and working on creating new content for a number of different social media outlets. I’m also very much looking forward to attending my first Cardiff Breakfast Club next week, as well as assisting in the massive preparations that are inevitably involved in organising such an event.

I am really looking forward to how much I am going to learn over the coming weeks, particularly since working with a small team will allow me to fully experience all aspects of the role. I shall check back soon and let you know how I am getting on!

GO Wales logoOur latest GO Wales Taster student, Holly, joined us yesterday for the first day of her 8 week placement. We asked her to write a blog to introduce herself, and give us her first impressions of the world of PR!

Having just finished my second year of university and enduring a 3 hour statistics exam in the process, I felt relieved and excited at the prospect of a long summer ahead. However, after celebrating the end of exams, inevitably the wave of anxiety came and the thought of going into final year with little idea of what path I wanted to take materialised.

Holly JonesAfter studying Psychology at the University of Exeter for two years I have gained a broad knowledge of how and why people behave (as well as the more unexciting biological and mathematical elements of my course!) and having always had a keen interest in business I felt that these skills could easily transfer to a marketing or PR profession.  Despite my new found enthusiasm for business, I felt that I needed to trial these areas before applying to graduate jobs/ schemes in order to see if PR was as captivating as ‘Sex and the City’ made it out to be.

As a result of my motivation to not waste my summer and think ahead, I got in touch with GO Wales who kindly sent me in the direction of Petersens. Before applying I researched the company and found the emphasis on a small friendly company appealing, in contrast to the larger corporate PR firms which I feel lose their sincerity. After successfully attaining a ‘work taster’ with Petersens I arrived bright and early, and was introduced to the company who welcomed me extremely warmly. Having just come back from a holiday in Greece all my prior research on PR had sadly been forgotten amongst the excitement, however Eira and Susannah explained the basics of PR to me and their insight furthered my understanding substantially.

Over the past years I have worked in many restaurants, hotels and retail outlets and can honestly say my first day at work has never been so friendly and I look forward to the upcoming weeks with the hopes of this experience helping me decide whether PR is what I will focus my efforts after I graduate (fingers crossed!).

Our latest GO Wales placement student Katy has come to the end of her 8 week placement with us. Here’s what she thought of her Petersens work taster…

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Today is my last day in the Petersens office. The past eight weeks have been incredibly eye-opening and insightful. I’ve had the opportunity to get real hands-on experience of the inner, day-to-day workings, in a busy PR office.

If I am completely honest I expected to be making the tea for the whole taster, when in fact I have had the chance to get stuck in and help the team with their day-to-day work. I’ve been lucky enough to practice writing press releases, one of which was used in the Western Mail. And yes, it is on my fridge! I’ve also been able to write blogs for clients, research and compile media packs and contact publications directly. I didn’t think for a second that I would have this much input and a chance to develop real material that would be used. I’ve received consistent, constructive feedback from the team, which has been invaluable, especially as the office has been so busy!

One of the highlights over the past eight weeks has been attending the Cardiff Breakfast Club. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the entire process of the event from the beginning to end. Bright and early Eira and I made our way to the St David’s Hotel & Spa and set up the room ready for the guests. Jon Horne from Cardiff airport was the guest speaker and spoke passionately about how he plans to develop the airport and make it a firm competitor and restore it to its former success. It was a fantastic experience being part of the Breakfast Club and I even had the chance to network with industry professionals over breakfast.

I cannot emphasise enough how friendly and supportive the team has been right from my first day. They took a genuine interest in getting to know me and are fantastic people to work with. I really hope to stay in touch with the wonderful people I’ve met at Petersens and wish them all the best in the future!