This was the best and worst year of my life I think. I really struggled with mental health due to the intense stress of the job combined with personal matters I had. Although the job was the most stress I have ever experienced, I believe that was just how it is working in PR and the opportunities I was given and what I experienced was unlike any other. I've never been so grateful for the opportunity. I loved the people and I loved putting everything into what I did. I wouldn't have changed it.
I absolutely loved working with my team and everyone at the company was super friendly and lovely. I think perhaps the amount of work I got through and the effort I put in wasn't as valued as it should have been and this was probably down to how busy everyone else was. My colleagues were definitely the highlight though.
They lead a fantastic example for me and I loved working alongside them, however I felt like I could have been given more support. I needed to reach out to have meetings between myself and my manager which I felt should have been a given. I feel as though for the sheer amount of interns the company takes on there should be someone dedicated to their welfare.
Every day was ridiculously busy. I am used to being busy and have worked at a part time job since I was 16 alongside studies but I've never had to work at the urgency and stress deadlines as I did in this job. The to do list was never ending and you ended up learning what to prioritise and realise it's OK not to get through the list.
The responsibility I was given was huge and I was very grateful for that, I was a full working member of the team. My manager could have been off for months and I would always have a job to do because the placement isn't just working around and for colleagues, you have a separate job and responsibilities of your own. The more you learn, the more they hand you to help and experience.
I have never learnt so much about the industry and about myself and what kind of work I want to do. I found myself further work experience through this placement which I loved. I consider myself miles ahead of everyone who hasn't done a placement. Absolutely invaluable experience I have learnt in this company.
Everyone got on really well and seemed happy every day. We had really good traditions in the office and each meeting felt like everyone was really engaging with each other. It was so nice to be a part of the floor and I think despite stress, everyone was happy to be there.
In regard to the company, they seemed to have a really strong internship programme and I thought it was set up in a really professional way for my year. However for the year after me I didn't feel like they reached out for the role at all and I think my team could have participated in assessment days to find the right intern.
My team were really happy to help where I needed to secure personal training and development, it's just that I needed to ask and go after it myself, it wasn't readily available. However the experience that I had from taking on the role that I did, I didn't feel as though I have missed out on anything at all.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
I'd love to go back and work with the company, but perhaps wouldn't stay for a large length of time as I believe some peoples efforts go unnoticed and I wouldn't want to be in that position for years. I believe because they have such a big internship programme, the company do not accepts graduates and require you to have experience at a job for at least 3 years.
It could have been a lot better considering the amount of interns working in the company, however we did have an intern ball in January which was really nice. I had a few meetings with 10 other interns regularly and they were really nice to go to. Something extra should really be arranged though for those who do not have that.
London is obviously the most expensive part of the UK and I wanted to live walking distance to work however my rent was £170 per week (without bills) sharing a 4 bed flat. Food was expensive and I didn't save anything at all. However the experience was worth it and you're there to gain that, not save money for the year.
There wasn't much going on at all, a couple of bars with a small dance area but I only went out 3 times over the year as I was so knackered from work I didn't want to spend my weekend hungover. I went back up to uni for that and to see friends.
I believe there are all kinds of opportunities around London and I took part in a bounce trampoline exercise class, every week which I loved. I know people started netball clubs and other exercise classes. I'm not sure of what else was around, but I'm sure there is lots considering it's London.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
28th July 2018