From Leeds to London; My PR placement journey

The competition in PR, especially in this digital age, is incredibly high, so in my second year at Leeds Beckett University I decided to seek work experience to help me ‘stand out’ when applying for sandwich year placements. Although any experience is good experience, I wanted to work for a company which held the same values as I do, and Clearsilver was the perfect match because of its vast range of charity clients such as The Haven and Sue Ryder.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much freedom I was given. My first day was spent creating media lists, sending out a press release for our client, The Haven, and consequently, securing coverage in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Since then, I have carried out a wide range of tasks, such as writing blog posts for clients and the agency, creating social schedules on Twitter and Facebook and sourcing information for databases to name just a few.

What I’ve learnt at Clearsilver has given me the confidence to apply for in house roles which in turn has led me to securing my dream job – a Regional Retail Communications (EMEA) intern at DISNEY! There was no interview process or psychometric testing (which I was pleasantly surprised at), just one assessment day. Twenty-five of us attended – a figure narrowed down from around 1,000 candidates, purely from our CVs and cover letters. This is why work experience is so important!

The day consisted of two timed, written tasks; a press release and an attention to detail paper, followed by a group assessment, where we had to create a campaign for the new animated film, Finding Dory, and present it. Finally, were the interviews….

The standard, ‘Why did you choose this course?’ and ‘Why are you best for this role?’ were asked and they wanted real life examples to support claims. “I love communicating,” was not enough as companies want to know HOW a candidate can demonstrate this. This is where I feel my experience at Clearsilver has truly helped, as I was able to list real examples and explain clearly how agency experience has helped me grow professionally and personally.

Although I’m sad to be leaving both Clearsilver and Leeds, I am really looking forwards to moving to London to embark on my new journey this summer at Disney!

Follow Alysha on twitter @alyshaevem

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