Since graduating from university in 2019 with a degree in International Relations and Politics, I had always held ambitions to follow my passion for writing and communications. Initially, my aim was to build up my professional experience and knowledge through internships in Policy and External Affairs. However, in what is no doubt a familiar story for many, the pandemic struck, which hindered my search for full-time work in the industry.
Fortunately, throughout the pandemic and beyond, I was able to volunteer for The Brain Tumour Charity, which needed help within its Policy and Campaigns team. This was a wonderful experience and allowed me to learn, develop and continuously improve my communications skills, albeit on a voluntary basis. Whilst volunteering, at times I worked alongside the charity’s PR team and gathered interest in that department.
Henceforth, I developed an interest and understanding of the world of PR and began seeking work within the sector.
During my time volunteering, I secured work within the tech industry, working as a Supply Chain Support analyst with Softcat, a leading IT reseller. The world of tech has always been of interest and when I saw there was an opportunity to work for a PR agency, based outside of London, that focused on this industry, I knew I had to apply.
I was further drawn to C8 Consulting as it is a boutique but growing agency, therefore I knew I would have to learn quickly and be able to contribute to a wide array of PR solutions and functions. Moreover, the chance to work with a multitude of exciting clients here at C8 is the ideal way to begin my career in Public Relations and to continue my understanding of the tech industry. An industry that is constantly evolving.
My First Weeks
Starting a new job at the beginning of the year really does feel like the old cliché, “new year, new me”. I began the process of understanding how C8 operates and the varied tasks that are required to be undertaken within my new role, all within a completely new environment and team.
From day one all my new colleagues have been lovely – the day began with initial welcome emails which was a perfect way to start my new journey.
I have already learned so much. Beginning with daily newsjacking tasks, I’m now adept at identifying any key news that may be of interest to the clients that I work with. Furthermore, I have been involved in pitching comments and articles for media placement, as well as writing social media posts, repurposing blogs, and joining client meetings. While this is great progress, I know I still have a lot to learn and will continue to expand my knowledge by getting stuck in as much as possible.
As restrictions ease, I look forward to meeting clients in person and attending the office on a more regular basis. This will only aid my development so that I can continue helping the team in a more collaborative setting and begin formulating my own ideas for upcoming projects.
Advice to Graduates
It is widely reported and acknowledged that it is becoming harder and harder for graduates to find work in a field that is related to their degree. If I was to give any advice to graduates, , it would be to try and gain as much experience as possible whilst at university and soon after.
Any experience is helpful and one way to get this is through volunteering. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to not only help a worthy cause, but hopefully to also learn a great deal and gather many transferable skills. This will be of huge benefit, not just for applying for jobs but additionally for when you start working in a professional environment, too. This is especially relevant if you manage to gain voluntary experience in a field related to where you hope to work professionally. For example, volunteering in Policy and Campaigns really boosted my communications and writing skills and ensured that I kept up to date with all the latest news stories, something that is essential for working in PR or a related communications role.
Perseverance is vital, as it can be daunting and frustrating when you receive pushbacks. However, if you retain confidence and an interest in a subject then you will always have a chance and you can continue to learn a great deal on the way!
This was my experience of the process and journey into PR, and I am now looking forward to my future endeavours here at C8 Consulting.