Life in the fast lane – Finding my feet in a new industry

15 July | 2019By Maddy ElliottInsights

What a whirlwind of a summer it’s turning out to be.

I completed two-week work experience with C8 Consulting in July, where I learnt and acquired many skills and valuable information that will put me in good stead as I move onto the next stage of my career and college. Most importantly, I now know what C8 stands for and what is involved in PR, which I must admit I didn’t previously. It’s also helped me adjust to the 9-5 workday, and how to better manage my mornings so I get to work on time. Initially I was quite shy, but the team were super friendly and welcoming towards me, and I have to say I feel very much at home now.

Newsjacking, workshops and personality profiling

In my first week I was asked to do newsjacking, mainly for Carbon Black and Recycling Technologies, who are two of C8’s clients. This involved looking up some key search terms in the news, for example: cybersecurity, data breach, and malware; and when I was seeking opportunities for Recycling Technologies I would look up search terms like, recycling, pollution, and plastic waste. I proactively did this every morning when I got into the office to catch the latest stories.

Thankfully, I had a timetable set for me which meant that each day I had a brief explanation of what I needed to do and an overview of the task in hand. One of my other key tasks was sitting in on daily client calls and writing down all the important actions and sharing this with the team.

During my work experience I attended a personality profile workshop called Insights which is essentially a system to identify my personality type. Personality types are divided up into various colours that signify your workstyle preferences such as blue, yellow, red and green. It turns out I was red which is more dominant than the other colours, which means I am keen to get things done quickly, in my own way. I also had a few little sparks of yellow coming through, which is my social and energetic side. I thought overall it was pretty accurate and good information for me to know about my work style before heading off to college and being in other work environments.

Team values and working collaboratively

Something else I was tasked with doing was listening to a transcribe (from an interview for example) and writing this up. When you’re not familiar with the subject matter I discovered that it can be quite a time-consuming process, but it was really interesting to hear how clients describe their business and approach.

In addition, I learnt how to successfully search and use data to put it into a spreadsheet, which took a few mathematics skills. Maths isn’t my preferred subject, but after a few attempts I managed to complete the spreadsheet on the Thames Valley Business Barometer and the Carbon Black Global Threat Reports.

Overall, I learnt a lot of team values, as on certain projects we have to work together to complete the work and that’s when you appreciate the power of the team as a whole, rather than individuals.

Supporting new business and experiencing new environments

During my second week newsjacking for Carbon Black and Recycling Technologies had become second nature. Also, I was tasked to work on a new business project which required me to research company names and other information on how to contact them, all to neatly capture and organise data in a spreadsheet. It was also great fun to visit C8’s offices in London, where I went to client meetings and wrote up actions points to share with the team. This was very interesting as it was a new working environment, but with the same goals and achievements.

Over these two weeks I’ve learnt so much, have discovered new confidence, and figured out how to do things on my own, as well as part of a team, which will help me when I go to college.

The great aspect about the experience was that I always had something to do – there was never really a time when I sat around. I would recommend anyone considering doing work experience with an interest in PR to approach C8 Consulting, I left feeling very happy with the experience.