If you want something – don’t give up!
12th July 2019
After graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a 2:1 in Journalism, Emily Mitton joined Eden Public Relations, in Nottingham for a Summer Internship in May. Here she talks about how perseverance is the key to getting a foot in the door in PR or indeed any career.
At the start of the year I was terrified I would never find a job, or an internship, or even just a role making the tea! Admittedly this might sound rather pessimistic, but after deciding I did not in fact want to pursue a career in journalism, instead I was drawn to the world of public relations.
One slight obstacle to this was that I had quite literally no experience in public relations. It’s a common catch 22 that students and graduates face. You need work experience to get work experience, but how do you get that experience when you’ve never had any? Sifting through rejection emails doesn’t exactly motivate one to carry on the search.
However, and I can say this with confidence, you have to persist. Even when you feel like you’re a constant nuisance, hit send on another email or application. That’s what I did. I must have emailed at least 50 agencies and got little to no response. Finally, though, Eden responded and invited me for an interview and writing test. Again, I felt the fear of not having enough experience, but my eagerness to learn and get stuck in shone through and I was offered position.
I had no idea what to expect at first, but what I found was an incredibly challenging but rewarding work environment.
As a complete beginner in PR, it’s so important to ask what you think are stupid questions- otherwise you’ll be three hours into a task only to realise you’re doing it completely wrong. Luckily for me, the team at Eden PR are always happy to help – and have been so supportive. After all an internship is for learning all about a potential career choice.
I’m really enjoying my time at Eden Public Relations; it’s been a steep learning curve but I’m gaining some invaluable experience and insights into the world of PR. One thing I have learnt is that my tenacity in securing my placement is certainly paying off. It’s definitely a skill that has value in the industry. Whether it’s contacting journalists who’ll politely (or not so politely) tell you they’re too busy to talk, researching sector reports or looking for the next big opportunity for a client.
So, after going through the experience of trying to get a foot in the door, here’s my top four tips for anyone trying to get a placement or internship in PR;
- Don’t give up – you’ll never achieve anything by doing nothing
- Ask stupid questions – better to sound like an idiot for five seconds than to waste a whole day’s work
- Know your worth – just because your position is temporary doesn’t mean you’re not valuable to the company
- Be enthusiastic, view everything as a learning opportunity