My name is Emma Walker, and I recently graduated from University of Birmingham with a degree in Modern Languages with Business Management. For the last eight weeks, I have been working as a PR intern at See Media, and as this week is (sadly) my last, I have been reflecting on my journey into PR and my experience as part of the team.
My path to PR
Having always loved writing – so much so that 10-year-old me produced a 32-page novel as part of my Year 5 ‘short’ stories unit – I knew I wanted a career where I could write every day. It wasn’t until a second-year jobs fair that I found out about PR, and I immediately set about looking for opportunities within the industry.
I was very fortunate to be offered two roles – one as a PR intern in Madrid as part of my Year Abroad, and another as a PR assistant for a music festival being held in partnership with my university.
Covid had other ideas though, and both opportunities were cancelled. Despite finding other ways to gain experience such as through virtual events and university societies, I was becoming quite disheartened about my prospects in PR.
Many internships were based in London, and as I already had to pay rent on my student house over the summer, it wasn’t financially viable to pay for accommodation in London on top of this. Not only that, but the pandemic-induced cancellation of internship and work experience schemes meant there were twice as many applicants for each programme that was running.
Discovering See Media
Changing tack, I signed up to upReach, a charity that gives tailored career support to undergraduates with limited access to professional networks. Through their programme, I took part in a number of skills and networking sessions with employees from a range of private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
The session that stood out most to me, however, was from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Seeing the impact that secure housing has on so many aspects of life was eye-opening, and I had a desire to work within the sector in some capacity.
So, when I came across See Media on LinkedIn, it couldn’t have been more perfect for me. Not only did it combine my interests in housing and PR, but the fact the team works remotely meant I could live at home whilst undertaking a placement.
Reading about See Media’s internship programme, I sent off a speculative CV and cover letter and was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply within a couple of hours to schedule a call discussing my application.
Joining the team
From that moment onward, every part of my See Media experience has been fantastic. The whole team has been incredibly welcoming, with the daily Teams calls and weekly quizzes allowing me to settle in quickly. It also helped that the team get-together at the Commonwealth Games happened to take place during my first week!
Not coming from a related degree background, I was nervous that I wouldn’t understand some of the key PR terms and techniques. However, this needn’t have been a worry as everyone explained things clearly and sent through resources to help me with my tasks.
Throughout the course of my internship, I have had the opportunity to write press releases and web stories, create event invites and briefings, make engaging social media content, research potential stakeholders, and draft an e-newsletter campaign.
There are too many highlights to list, but I am particularly proud of helping to draft responses for an interview about EPC A rated homes that was featured in Inside Housing.
Reflecting on my experience, it has really hit home (housing pun intended!) just how much I have learnt during my time with See Media. Thanks to the constant encouragement of the team and the wide variety of tasks I have been exposed to, I leave See Media confident in both my ability and my decision to forge a career in PR.
If you’re looking to start a career in PR and are interested in See Media’s internship programme, send your CV and a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.