Meet the Team: The Importance of Work Placements
Neo PR continues to grow, and we can now introduce to you the newest member of our team, Hannah Braybrooke, who has joined us as a Junior Account Executive straight out of university! She shares her job journey below, highlighting the importance of getting experience before jumping into the 9-5 world!
After three years of studying Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, this summer I was fortunate enough to find a job working within the industry of public relations. However, this didn’t come without hard work.
Although my degree wasn’t directly PR focussed, within my studies entailed a PR module, and I soon realised this was the industry I could see myself working in. Being able to be creative in my work was something very important to me when considering my career pathways after university. The PR module gave me that opportunity whilst I was still studying, such as creating social media content for our allocated company. This gave me a real insight into what working in PR could be like.
Gaining Real Life Experience
I was also given the opportunity to complete a ten week placement in Digital Marketing and PR. This allowed me to explore the industry beyond just my university module, prior to finishing my degree.
In both my PR module and work placement, I gained experience in writing press releases, blog posts, creating social media content, email marketing and being client facing. I knew the placement was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, as once I finished my PR module, it was highly unlikely I would get the chance to practice those skills again. The placement gave me a chance to learn more about the industry and practice the new skills I had learnt in a professional setting.
Growing up with social media played a big part in developing the skills I need for my new role at Neo PR. Just as any other industry, social media plays a bigger and bigger role in today’s society.
And just like most people, I know how to use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for my own entertainment and enjoyment. However, the placement enabled me to look at social media in a different way.
I had to think about social media with a client in mind, tailoring posts to their requirements, not just what I thought looked and sounded good. Whilst this is a skill I feltl I already had, my placement allowed me to develop that skill further and really take it into practice.
I found doing a work placement very beneficial. Not only is it a great opportunity to learn more about the industry, it’s great to have on a CV for potential employers. This is something I feel helped me in finding the right job, and it made the transition from university to the working world a lot smoother.
Had I not had this time in a work placement, I think adjusting to life after university would have been harder. I was nervous to start my job, don’t get me wrong. However, if I never got the opportunity to experience the working world, I definitely would have found it much more overwhelming and intense.
It showed potential employers my willingness to learn and my commitment to the path I wanted to take with my career. Although I studied a course that has some relevance to the PR industry and had a creative forefront, it wasn’t enough for me to confidently apply for PR specific jobs. The placement gave me the confidence that I could actually go into a PR role with some knowledge behind me and reassurance that it was something I knew I would enjoy and I could be a benefit to the team I was going to be working with.
I’d heard all of these horror stories of university students leaving and really struggling to find jobs, especially in even more challenging times with the ongoing pandemic, and I really didn’t want this to happen to me! Neo PR was the first job I applied for. I was surprised, excited and unbelievably happy when I found out I’d got the job.
To any potential university students looking at getting into a job of any kind, I could not recommend doing placements enough! It gives you a step in the door before even getting there.