Posts Tagged ‘Go Wales’

Laura Brindley

Laura Brindley

Our latest GO Wales Taster student Laura has joined us for the summer. We invited her to write a blog to tell us a bit more about herself…

I’m half way into my summer after finishing my second year at University of Birmingham. I study International Relations and although I have hugely enjoyed the optional modules I have got to choose this year, I am well aware that my degree is far from “vocational”. As such I have been desperate to find some work experience this summer to give me some credibility amongst the masses of students.

I have always been drawn to the world of PR and marketing due to its multi-faceted and sociable nature.  On attaining a work taster with Petersens, I couldn’t have been happier. I know Petersens has an excellent reputation in South Wales so the chance to work for them was very exciting. I have to say I felt a huge wave of gratitude towards Go Wales for helping me obtain the placement and making the process so straight forward.

Having received such a warm welcome from the staff at Petersens I was immediately put at ease. Looking at Petersens, I can really see the benefits of a small company. There is a really friendly atmosphere and it is clear the relationships between co-workers are strong and as such the communication regarding work is optimum.  I can also see that staff understand the work of fellow workers and nothing is a mystery to them. I like how the small size of the company gives staff the opportunity to get involved on all levels of the work.

It is only midday on my first day at Petersens and I feel I have already gained a great insight into how PR and marketing companies work. I look forward to engaging with the many aspects of PR and marketing further!

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Today is GO Wales Placement Student Eros’s last day with us at Petersens! We asked him to write a post about his time with us. Thanks for all your help, Eros!

Eros2On my first day at Petersens, I did not know what to expect and had very little experience in Public Relations. However, I could not have found a better team to work with than the one at Petersens.

I felt immediately welcome and was even made a cup of tea. I was instantly eased into my role and was introduced to Petersens as a company. I examined various projects that Petersens had worked on and through this learnt a vast amount within a short space of time.

What I particularly liked about my taster at Petersens was the fact that even on my first day, I was not left to sit by myself doing nothing. I was instantly assigned a task to research various company profiles and to glance at an assortment of press releases.

As the weeks progressed, after each task I completed, the team at Petersens would give me constructive feedback on how to improve on what I had completed. This is a rare feature that only a minority of work tasters/internships seem to offer, especially due to time constraints. The team at Petersens always had time for me and constantly made sure that I was not disinterested.

One week I was able to attend the Cardiff Breakfast Club at the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, where I helped the Petersens team organise the event and even networked with a few guests. It was an extremely insightful event which I was glad I had the chance to attend.

I would like to thank Petersens PR for making my time at the company extremely enjoyable and stimulating and to Go Wales for giving me this fantastic opportunity.

In a nutshell: My work taster at Petersens PR has been exciting, insightful and intriguing. The team never makes you feel like an intern, you are essentially a part of the team. I would highly recommend Petersens to anybody wanting experience in PR; it is the best experience that anybody could wish for.

Eros (3)Last week Petersens welcomed our latest GO Wales student, Eros, who will be with us on a 10 week taster placement.  We invited him to write a blog to tell us a bit more about himself…

I am currently in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree, studying Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University. I chose this particular degree due to my interest in current affairs and communications but I set off with no career path in mind.

In November 2011, I undertook an internship at the European Documentation Centre, a centre specialising in the field of European Union Studies. I decided to apply for this internship as it offered me a chance to attempt something unusual; translating country guides and other EU based documentation into Albanian, as well as learning how to amend the online service. As I approached the final year of my degree, I looked into applying for graduate schemes. I quickly realised that what I was applying for tended to be PR and Communications based jobs. With this in mind, I knew that I would almost certainly need to take on some kind of work experience in this field.

I attended a careers consultation at my University and was informed about Go Wales, who specialise in work tasters. When I applied to Go Wales, I found them to be exceptionally helpful in ensuring that I would gain work experience. I received an email from Go Wales regarding a work taster at Petersens and was instantly attracted to the idea of working for a successful PR firm based in Cardiff namely because it specialises in such a wide range of fields.

Upon my arrival at Petersens, I was greeted by Sally who introduced me to Rob, Eira and Louise, the team instantly made me feel very welcome. What I particularly like about Petersens is that it is not a vast business but a successful business that works extremely well as a team. It is now my third week at Petersens and unlike conventional ‘work experience’, I have already been given an abundance of tasks to complete including: a draft press release, research on clients and an input in the newsletter. My experience so far has been fantastic and the team has ensured that I always have something interesting to do, thus, providing me with the best work experience possible. I would highly recommend the work taster at Petersens to anybody wanting PR experience.

Postgraduate student Charlotte Seymour is now in her second week of  a Go Wales Work Taster with us, alongside studying for an MA in International Public Relations. Here’s how she’s getting on so far!

Our latest Work Taster student is Charlotte Seymour.

Our latest Work Taster student is Charlotte Seymour.

I found it very interesting reading over the blog post from this month’s Breakfast Club with Julie Lydon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan. She openly discussed the big debate among students: why do a degree? I had struggled after graduating in a Bsc Psychology and Criminology from Kingston University, and found myself moving to the Mediterranean job searching, in hope of some career spark. I settled for an international school, teaching English. After a few years of deliberation, I finally found inspiration in what I enjoy and decided the communications industry will give me the challenges and diverse environment that I always hoped for.

Interestingly, a lot of my family and friends discouraged me from seeking Higher Education as I started to think about a Masters at Cardiff University. But after much research, I realised that what is needed these days is a professional based degree or what comes with it, work experience. For this reason, I found great encouragement from Julie Lydon’s talk this month; combining education with work experience, helps push you as a potential employee, and develop a number of skills set for industry.

When I had (begrudgingly!) started to pay my Masters Tuition fees, I actively sought out work experience to help guide my understanding of theory.  With determination, I was ecstatic to find a little angel in Go Wales’ work taster scheme who led me to Petersens PR. Not only am I studying what I love, but I’m learning ‘on the job’ from the most fantastic team.  I am now in to my second week and already feel settled in. I have already helped update the newsletter, researched media lists and drank lots of warming tea to help warm me up after the long, cold train and bus journey to get here.

I strongly encourage anyone who is unsure about contemplating University or even a career change, to try out the taster programme because this has set me in the right direction by giving me the confidence to aim high, thanks to Petersens strong ethos in helping students work set skills and Go Wales commitment.

Our latest GO Wales work taster student is Laura Watkins, who has been with us every Tuesday for the past few weeks! Here’s her blog about her experience so far…

Work taster graduate Laura Watkins

My name is Laura and I’m a recent graduate from Cardiff University’s school of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Being a very focused individual, I started the job search immediately after my last lecture at Cardiff.   The process was fairly monotonous, (as many job hunters my age will only be too aware of!): getting up early, searching job websites, emailing employers, sending my CV around etc.  I had been used to getting ‘yeses’ prior to the job search so receiving rejection emails was new and, if I’m honest, a bit scary!  Finally little bits and pieces began coming through for me: I started presenting my own radio show at Neville Hall Hospital and began volunteering at the Cardiff Story Museum.  However, the world of PR was something I was yet to experience so I decided to extend my job search to include ‘PR and marketing’.  I was searching the Go Wales website and an advert from Petersens popped up looking for a graduate interested in PR.  I had applied for many jobs, some that I didn’t even really fancy, but something about Petersen’s advert really stood out to me.  After doing a bit of background research, I knew straight away that Petersens was a company that was not only highly thought of, but could offer me what I was looking for.  The fact that Petersens is a relatively small company also attracted me; personally I enjoy working as part of a smaller group of people and felt they could offer me that kind of working environment.  I applied for the post, and a few weeks later I received an email from Sally, saying I had been shortlisted for an interview!

This was my first job interview so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I arrived at Petersens on the day, feeling a little nervous, but keeping my mantra in mind: “if it’s not meant to be, then it won’t happen,” a saying that has got me through a lot of challenges in the job hunt!  I was invited into the office by Sally who introduced me to Rob and Louise.  They were all very nice and I immediately felt at ease, which was great.  I felt the interview went well, and was pleased that I hadn’t been asked any tough questions I hadn’t prepared for!

I had a phone call the next day from Rob who told me that unfortunately I wasn’t successful in gaining the work placement, however would I be interested in having a ‘work taster’ with Petersens, spread out over a few weeks.  Rob explained that he felt I would benefit from gaining experience in PR and believed a work taster would be a good way for me to do this.  This was great news and just shows the level of care that Petersens have for its employees, confirming my pre-conceived ideas about the company.  The following day Helen from Go Wales contacted me to set up a meeting to discuss dates and times of the work taster, which brings us to today!  This is my fourth week at the company, and I’m gaining a valuable insight into the world of PR.  I’ve written press releases, created media lists, conducted research, the list is endless.  I really feel that I am gaining priceless experience in a small company that is committed to providing an excellent service in a big way.  I would definitely recommend work experience at Petersens to anyone looking into pursuing a career in PR, and for all those job hunters out there: just try your best and something positive will come from all your hard work, or as my mother says, “You reap what you sow!”

This week our latest GO Wales work placement student, Eira Jepson, started a 10 week internship with us at Petersens. We invited her to write a blog post to introduce herself!…

On graduating from Cardiff University, with a BA in French and Spanish, this summer I’m not ashamed to say that I had little or no idea as to where life was going to take me.  Being a graduate proved as disconcerting as everyone had forewarned; for the first time in my life, and despite having spent time gallivanting round countries on gap and sandwich years, my time wasn’t structured and full-time education would not be welcoming me back with open arms come September. Luckily however, and in the nick of time, an exciting alternative came along in the shape of Petersens.

When I say I had no idea about my future, that’s not the say that I didn’t have hopes and aspirations.  My decision to study French and Spanish at university was based not only on my love for those languages, their countries and their cultures, but also on my overall interest in language use and communication, and it was always my aim to find a career with the scope to develop and use that interest.  PR and Communications seemed the obvious choice as it provided the diverse, busy environment that I was looking for, while offering the opportunity to use my writing skills and explore language the way I always wanted to.

I’m now three days into my 10 week placement and I already feel at home among the coverage books and cups of tea.  Sally and Louise have been extremely welcoming, and already have me reading up on clients, researching media and, evidently, updating the Petersens blog! I’m now looking forward to becoming more involved in forthcoming projects, writing my first press release, and of course having my first taste of Cardiff Breakfast Club in the upcoming weeks. I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity of an internship in an agency as reputable as Petersens who have provided me with that all important, first step on the professional ladder.

We’ve been joined in the office this week by our latest GO Wales placement student, Holly Claydon Bevan. Here’s what she thought of her Petersens work taster…

Cardiff University graduate Holly Claydon Bevan joined Petersens on a week work taster

After three exciting and challenging years at Cardiff University, last month my time in this beautiful city finally (and all too quickly) ended when I attended my graduation ceremony. My emotions were mixed; happy, excited, upset, and anxious.

Having graduated with BA Joint Honours in Journalism and Sociology, I have always enjoyed the Journalism side and considered it as a career prospect, but have always also had PR and Marketing in the back of my mind. I haven’t had much practical experience of this, as my degree was mainly theory-based, so I decided to approach GO Wales who were able to offer me a work taster with Petersens.

On arrival on Monday morning, I was quickly greeted with a cup of coffee by the very friendly Sally and Louise, and we had a chat about what I wanted to achieve from the week. Embarrassingly, my knowledge of PR has always been quite vague and I thought it was ‘something to do with marketing’, so I decided I’d like to get some real experience of it.

I was quickly given some interesting projects to work on, including writing press releases, media research, writing articles for the August newsletter and updating client portfolios. All of the tasks were enjoyable and informative and really helped to give me a better idea of the world of PR, rather than just stereotypical work experience placements of making the tea. In fact, I haven’t made a single mug since I’ve been here!

I was also given the opportunity to attend a Social Media Seminar and Networking Lunch with Sally, which was very helpful. It felt a bit like an episode of The Apprentice as we entered the boardroom and all sat around a big meeting table waiting for the speaker to arrive, but once the seminar began it was very informative. We learnt about how businesses can utilise social media in order to improve communications, for example by creating business Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the etiquette that goes with this. Even though I’m not an owner of a business, it was still a useful event to attend (and the GB Women’s Olympic Football Team was also staying at the hotel which was quite exciting!)

I’ve really enjoyed my week here at Petersens and feel it has given me an insightful experience into a Marketing and PR agency. My plans for next year are to earn some money before going travelling in January to do the typical gap year student thing. But when I get back, I’m pleased I will be able to put my Petersens experience to good use and will definitely be looking for jobs in PR and Marketing! So thank you to all at Petersens for a very enjoyable, interesting and informative week.

 

Cardiff University student Becky Wilson joined Petersens on a 10-week GO Wales work experience placement, which today sadly comes to an end! Here she talks about how she found it….

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how my Petersens work experience was shaping. I was excited about visiting clients and was quickly getting to grips with the ins and outs of the PR world. Today is my final day at Petersens, and I am truly grateful for the many exciting and new experiences I have gained through my ten weeks here.

My time at Petersens has definitely been ‘time well spent’. I have been involved in working with many different clients, writing press releases, and researching different forms of media, clients and competitions. All of this has informed me about how PR is such a versatile industry, as each of the tasks I was given was different to the next.

In my last blog I told you how excited I was to be taking a trip to visit a client. This was very informative as, despite the torrential downfall I was able to see how to develop an angle, and turn an interview into a news story. We really enjoyed our morning out from the office, but after getting flooded feet, it was nice to get back into the comfort of the office.

Alongside that experience, I have also been lucky enough to be involved with the organisation and running of the Cardiff Breakfast Club, a monthly business networking event organised by Petersens. I must admit going to my first event was slightly daunting. With the very early wake up call, and the knowledge of having to greet over a hundred people, I was slightly worried, but Sally ensured me that I had nothing to worry about, and of course I didn’t. It was a wonderful morning, with a great breakfast and an interesting speaker. It was a great way to see how a PR company can be involved in so many different aspects of the business world. Rob was kind enough to invite me to help out at a second Breakfast Club, and I jumped at the chance. Through assisting with both of these events, I was able to gain experience in setting up and managing events, and learn how to interact at a networking event, something that will help me when it comes to joining the ‘business world’.

I am sad to have come to end of my time at  Petersens, but I am grateful for all the help, guidance and experience that the people at Petersens have given me. I know that this placement has not only be valuable for my CV but valuable for my own knowledge of the career field I wish to go in to.  I send the best of wishes to the next student who gets to experience work in this fantastic company, I know that they will never be bored.

Our latest PR work experience student is Becky Wilson, a second year studying English Literature at Cardiff University. Here she gives us a little insight into her placement so far!…

The first day of a work placement is a very daunting experience, with the huge stress of not knowing what to wear or where to go, and then the wonder of what is expected of you, it is a case of hoping for the best. Despite the many obstacles the Cardiff Bus route caused on my first day, I arrived on time, and perhaps a little flustered. I was welcomed instantly to the office by Sally. She made me feel at ease straight away and introduced me to both Louise and Rob when they arrived. I felt calm, and I found my place in the office. All of the worries I had concerning my first day suddenly disappeared and I couldn’t wait to get started on my first task.

Cardiff University student Becky Wilson - Petersens' latest PR intern!

My first task was to read some Press Releases for one of Petersens’ new clients, and write my own regional and local press releases for that company. My first thought, as you can probably guess, was along the lines of “AHHHH”. I had never written a press release before, and the only real experience of writing I had previously was from my university work and newspaper articles I had written. I was given a lot of motivation from Louise, and was provided a how-to guide to help me get on my way. I therefore made it my job to present press releases that were worthy of little proof reading and minimal editing, and I have to admit I really enjoyed the responsibility I got with having to write these Press Releases (the content was very interesting too, so that was an added bonus).

I think that through that being my first task, I was able to get a real sense of the world of PR. Not the ‘world’ that some outsiders assume PR is, of celebrity boy bands and modeling firms, but the PR sphere that concentrates on the companies that deserve the utmost commitment and time, not because they sell well, but because their product is worthy of it. This was the first thing that struck me about Petersens, they are known for working with these large companies, yet they still give the smaller companies the same respect, courtesy, loyalty and commitment as they do the larger ones.

Since that day I’ve had the opportunity to try my hand at all sorts of different aspects of PR; ranging from updating media contact sheets and client books, market research whilst contacting clients, newspapers and other relative contacts, and also helping to make a few cups of tea (even PR gurus need refreshments).

The time I have had at Petersens has really opened my eyes to the world of PR, and it has been really reassuring to talk to people who know the ins and outs of the business and who have recently or not so recently felt the same as you; indecisive over your future career. Sally and Louise have both gone out of their way to help me with every thing, and I cannot commend them enough for putting up with my questions. Rob has been extremely welcoming and has treated me like a staff member and not an intruding intern. Since it is his company, I didn’t know whether I would see him much or be able to spend as much time with him, but he is always here, making me feel welcome and asking me if I am alright. The laughter in the office makes me look forward to my day and the office attitude has made my experience, so far, very rewarding.

With a few weeks left of my placement I am looking forward to the new tasks that will arise in the next few weeks, and  I am ridiculously excited about my next experience. Petersens have been good enough to allow me to go along to one of their client visits, and sit in on one of their meetings, so I can see what is really involved in maintaining a good relationship between the PR consultants and the clients. I cannot wait for my little road trip, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

I started with Petersens not knowing whether PR would be the career field I wished to go into, but this experience has helped me see that PR is an industry that really suits my ways and attentions. Before I applied for the chance to work in Petersens I read reviews of previous interns, and I must agree with all that they say. Petersens is a fantastic company that makes you feel at ease, whilst also allowing you to learn the ins and outs of the PR world.  All that is left now is to work hard and try to get back into this industry, and I will always be grateful of the experience I have had here.

By Abi Williams, GO Wales WorkTaster Student at Petersens PR

Abi Williams, GO Wales WorkTaster student at Petersens

“Walking into an office on the first day of work experience is always a daunting prospect, and I definitely didn’t get off to the perfect start by getting lost on Cardiff’s intricate bus network. However, Petersens could not have been more welcoming to a flustered student trying to make a good impression. I instantly felt comfortable and was really excited about the experience that lay ahead of me.

It was definitely a case of ‘full speed ahead’ on my first day as I was soon whisked off to accompany the team on a meeting to discuss plans for a new website. It was a great opportunity to see the team in action, and to get a sense of what this strange world of PR really entails. It didn’t disappoint. The team flew into action, talking about how they wanted to present themselves as a company, and I’d never really realised before just how important the colour red could be!

Since that day I’ve had the opportunity to try my hand at all sorts of different aspects of PR; ranging from market research, updating media contact sheets and client books, writing press releases and even dabbling with photography for an inter-office photoshoot. I definitely don’t consider myself the next Nigel Barker or anything and my invitation to appear as a guest photographer onBritain’s Next Top Model is still pending… but it was great to be involved with the development of Petersens’ new website. I can’t wait to see the end result and whether or not any of my little contributions made the cut.

Preparing and attending The Breakfast Club with Becci and Rob was a highlight for me (despite getting up at what felt like

The Petersens Team in Action

the crack of dawn), as it was a brief taster of event management as well as being my first experience at networking and interacting with other professionals. The exact difference between a full English and a full ‘Welsh’ breakfast is still unclear to me, but the guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Didi Wheeler was really entertaining and spoke about a subject fairly close to home for me. With friends in the armed forces, it was great for me to hear a first hand account of life in The 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh.

Becci has been a fantastic person to talk to, as her experiences with uni and Go Wales have been so similar to mine. It’s really reassuring to see that all the horror stories of graduate unemployment don’t necessarily have to come true. Becci and Louise have both gone out of their way to help me with every thing, and with their input I feel so much more prepared to follow a career in PR. Rob has been more than welcoming, and his big personality has made my time at Petersens easy going but very rewarding. Now all that’s left for me to do is get that degree… take a deep breath… and jump straight into the professional world.”