Friday 31 July 2020
Second year PR student Eloise Newman caught up with second year PR student Alice Wilmot to discuss her six month work placement.
Hi Alice! Where are you doing your work placement and how long are you doing it for?
I am currently doing a virtual work experience placement with Business South. I am helping them create a luxury trail which will encourage businesses to set up across the South of England. I started it back in April and it is meant to last until November 2020.
How did you feel going into your placement in the middle of a global pandemic?
It has been a challenge because it has affected the way the team communicates. Meetings with the campaign managers have been replaced with Zoom calls, which have been brilliant. It has taught me that if I were to go into a job during lockdown, I would know how to communicate with fellow colleagues and work efficiently from home.
What tasks have you completed during your placement?
So far, I have completed numerous tasks including researching which businesses would fit the luxury trail criteria and sorting them into a database. I have participated in meetings which have involved speaking to members of Visit Hampshire and Business South. I have also worked on a creative brief for the luxury trail, which will run up until November.
Have you developed new skills or improved upon existing skills during your placement? If so, how will you apply these to your third year of study?
I feel that I have developed my skills in researching and communicating with clients and I have learned how to write briefs more strategically. This placement has taught me a lot about leadership skills, as I have been the main contact to the managers at Business South, and I have helped to direct the two other students involved with this campaign. I will take these skills with me going forward into my final year of university, as they will help me with group work and my final major project.
What has been the most important lesson you have learnt from your placement this summer?
The most important thing I have learnt during my placement so far is to keep up-to-date with current situations with businesses. It has been important to keep updated with the pandemic and the effect it has had on business.
What has been the highlight of your time at Business South so far?
As I am from Hampshire, I have enjoyed being able to get to know the South of England more and getting to know what opportunities we have down here. As a result of doing this placement, I have made connections locally, which will help for future employment opportunities.
What pointers would you give to any students looking to approach an organisation in order to earn a placement?
I would advise students who are looking for a work placement opportunity to build up a good LinkedIn profile, know your strengths in your sector and take any opportunity which excites you. Make yourself known to the brand or company that you are applying for and follow them online.
Has undertaking this placement lead you to think about what type of career in PR you would like to pursue post-graduation?
Based on the work experience I have completed, I would love to follow a career in digital marketing and communications after I have finished my degree and after I have completed a postgraduate degree in digital marketing and media.
Thank you so much for telling us all about your placement Alice, it sounds like it has been a fantastic opportunity! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Overall, I have really enjoyed the opportunity and my experience so far. I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of the luxury trail we are creating. I have made some great connections within the PR industry and I am grateful for being given the opportunity during a difficult time.
Thank you again for taking part in this interview Alice, we wish you the best of luck in completing your placement at Business South.
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