How to shine during PR work experience: Be a meerkat

By Juliet Cameron, COL, Launch,

Here at Launch we offer paid work experience placements and see these as a key part of our succession planning strategy.  Today, we can safely say that people who’ve made (the right) impression as a ‘workie’ number some of our brightest rising stars, including a current account manager and three execs.

Every work experience placement is an opportunity – not just to bolster your CV but to get a job once you’ve sussed out whether you like the nature of the work and the culture.  We always give people an itinerary and induction to our business before we allocate them key tasks – but the rest is very much up to them.

So how can you show you’ve got what it takes to be a comms professional of the future without looking over confident and high-fiving the CEO as you take the top chair in the boardroom?

1: Introduce yourself

Sounds obvious but this is so important.  Your buddy will no doubt introduce you to key people on day one but if they don’t or if later in the week there are new faces, be proactive and introduce yourself.  A great way to make early friends and keep engaging with people is to do the tea round, often.

2: Always show willing  

We’ve all been there.  You’ve done your finals, have some strong work experience placements under your belt and quite frankly you might feel a bit overqualified to source a pink flamingo hat, hunt down a copy of Pigeon Keeper Weekly or get in the chocolate brownies for a meeting.  You’re not.  Work experience is one long interview.  Show genuine enthusiasm for every task you are given and it will be noted.  Employers know your academic credentials, what they want to see is some great common sense, perseverance and resilience.  Buying pink flamingo hats is not easy!

3: Take notes

If you’re in a meeting or even an informal catch up, take your note book and write notes.  You may never need them, but it makes you look organised and keen.  And, you never know when someone may come back to you and ask you to do something related to that meeting.

4: Get involved

Accept every invitation – to meetings, team lunches, socials whatever.  If people are inviting you to stuff it hopefully means they are happy to have you along.  Good start.  Get to know your colleagues, ask them questions, act interested (even if you’re not) and be open about you, your interests and passions.  But, do NOT drink too much.  Never as a workie.

5: Be a meerkat:

You need to have your eyes and ears open at all times so that you’re not only taking everything in and learning but it also means you can contribute to the office banter and show your personality (very important), and also volunteer your help at every opportunity showcasing your skills.

6: Have fun!

The job is yours for the taking.

Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

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