WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE DOING A PR INTERNSHIP.
From learning time management to throwing axes (literally!), Bella tells us what her PR internship at DEC PR involved, and why she’s pleased to have leveraged it into a role.
If I had to sum up interning at a PR agency in one moment, it would be my first social event with the DEC PR team, a very intense but extremely fun Axe Throwing competition. The competitive, tenacious nature of the company was present from the first throw to the last, we were all hungry for the win. Somehow, I, the intern, progressed to the finals and was thrust into a cage, axe in hand, to battle it out with the company’s Chief Client Officer. If that wasn’t terrifying enough, the rest of the team were cheering and rattling the cages, whilst “The Final Countdown” was blaring from the speakers. I did not win, but in that moment, it was clear to see the ever-present qualities of tenacity, enthusiasm, and passion that are necessary to working at a PR agency translated to social events, too.
I was first attracted to working on the agency side of PR because of the variety of brands and industries I would get to work across, which seemed like an exciting way to learn, and grow a wide range of skills. Each industry brings with it a different set of challenges and each brand a unique approach, which keeps every day exciting and interesting. However, what I thought less about was how fast-paced agency life would be in response to so many different clients and conflicting deadlines. Agency life is most certainly not for the faint hearted, resilience and tenacity are vital (and not only in axe throwing). Rejection is abundant when working with various stakeholders and media professionals but there is no time to feel disheartened. Rejection and feedback must be taken on the chin and used to improve for next time.
One of the most important things I learnt during my internship, is how fundamental communication is in building a strong team. With variety comes complexity, and communication is key to delegating tasks, staying on track, and meeting deadlines. Alongside communication, the utmost importance is placed on organisation, particularly when it comes to multi-tasking a range of accounts at once. I have found my organisation skills have improved both in and out of the office since working at a PR agency, as you quickly reap the benefits of staying organised in such a fast-paced environment.
The best part about my DEC PR internship experience was having a mentor, who organised my day, offered guidance and support, taught me how to manage my time, and was always there to answer any question I had, big or small. I learnt so much from modelling my mentor and her approach to her work, and applying it to my own. Starting as an intern can be extremely challenging as you feel out of your depth and have so many questions, but the DEC PR team were so welcoming from the get-go, providing lots of support, and were extremely accommodating to my hectic part-time student schedule.
I would highly encourage anyone who is interested in PR or enjoys communicating, solving problems, and being creative, to consider doing an internship to get that real life experience. Public Relations is such a versatile industry with so much to offer, which I did not fully appreciate until I did my internship. I was so excited when DEC PR offered, and I accepted, a permanent, part-time role whilst I finish my Media and Communications degree. Starting as an intern gave me time to adjust and learn at a comfortable pace, without the pressure of immediately entering a permanent role. I know it will be challenging (in a good way!), but with the support already shown by the rest of the team, I know that DEC PR will be a very nurturing place to learn and grow my career.