Lily, a third year Anthropology student, secured an internship through our COVID-19 SME Internship Fund with Purplefish PR, as a Social Media and PR Intern.
Lily wrote this blog for us about her experience while she was interning from June to July.
When my search for a summer internship began, I could not predict how drastically the world would change over the following months. I had anticipated waking up at 7 am; sprinting to Pret on my lunch break; losing hours to board meetings. However, in consequence of a worldwide pandemic, my experience has been more unconventional.
Working from home
Like any new job I was nervous to start, so when I walked into the office (formerly known as My Bedroom), I was keen to make a good impression. Making a round of teas and coffees has always proved a popular way to get to know people in the office. I could not rely on cappuccinos this time though, and fortunately I would have scheduled calls and Slack as a way of keeping in touch.
Throughout a series of video calls, I was warmly welcomed by the Purplefish team, who remained patient and supportive whilst I found my bearings. I was never once shamed for asking questions (which I did, a lot).
My first week consisted of various responsibilities such as scheduling, drafting posts and engaging with responses on social media, to writing press releases. My manager briefed me with tasks to conduct myself which gave me a great sense of responsibility and that I was making valuable contributions to the agency’s work.
One of the most valuable learning experiences was that I managed to enhance my writing skills across a range of techniques. I had to adopt different styles dependent on the content being created and the audience it was intended for. After two years of churning out academic essays, the creative freedom was invigorating. I was encouraged to put my own spin on each writing task, which filled me with confidence.
As part of my role, I attended virtual Springboard sessions that were offered to companies resident at Future Space to assist with planning and ideas generation for handling marketing and communications. These sessions have taught me to reflect the needs of the company you are speaking to and advising so they feel they can open up and respond to you.
My internship gave me first-hand insight into how a PR agency operates and how relationships with clients are established and maintained. I undertook a variety of tasks for a range of clients and learnt a huge amount about the industry in a very short space of time.
Working alongside the highly hardworking and successful team that is Purplefish, has given me a complete eye–opener into the working world of PR. It has encouraged me and made me more determined to set and achieve goals as I approach graduate life.
The aim of the COVID-19 Fund is to support local SMEs including charities, social enterprises and start-up who are operating at maximum capacity as they respond to the challenges of Coronavirus, while giving students valuable and meaningful work experiences in a difficult economic climate.
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