Posts Tagged ‘PR work experience’

Phoebe image 2.JPGNo one really prepares you for university finishing and believe me it’s incredibly daunting.  I studied Journalism, Media and English Literature at Cardiff University and always thought I wanted to be a journalist. After completing my second year I began to panic about having little work experience so I decided to stay in Cardiff to try and gain some. I ended up volunteering at George Thomas Hospice Care and Horn Development Association as well as completing a week at Buzz Magazine. Although these three organisations were all very different, they taught me that there were a number of jobs I could do outside of journalism if I was interested in working for the media and communication industry.

I also managed to secure a Marketing Internship at the university’s Student Support and Wellbeing Service throughout my third year. During this placement I thoroughly enjoyed the creative aspect of branding and campaigns so began looking into graduate opportunities in PR and marketing. Now that I’m at Petersens I’m really looking forward to my next three months and am keen to learn a lot more about how a PR agency works. It’s only my second day but everyone here has been incredibly friendly and I feel completely at ease.

Like many other graduates I’m still not completely sure where I want to be in ten years time but the more experience I gain the more I’m gaining a clearer picture. Although finishing university is scary I am beginning to realise it’s also extremely exciting and full of new opportunities.

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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.

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.

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!).

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.

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.

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.