Work experience. Most of us dread it. Weeks of nagging from teachers about finding a placement, getting forms signed, actually going to the placement. Actually, it all happened so quickly. Many of us do work experience at the beginning of our GCSEs just to get a feel of the workplace, most having no clue as to what they want to do in the future. So to be doing work experience in my final year of college, I knew that it had to be something that would be productive but also beneficial to me. With my interest in marketing growing, I ended up exploring my options. And that’s how I ended up at Coconut PR.
Having friends who have graduated and are working in their graduate jobs, I always wondered how they can do Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. It was definitely something that I wasn’t looking forward to when I thought about life after university.
Monday morning at 9am I was greeted by a friendly face, Kate the director. Being quite nervous, I wasn’t expecting to be made to feel welcome and comfortable so quickly. Having done work experience twice before, I realised that a recurring question asked by the placement provider is what do you hope to get out of your work experience week? In the past, I’d make up some rubbish about wanting to know what the work place is like. But I remembered that in a few years to come, I will have to face the workplace, whether I want to or not. So for this reason I had mentally prepared myself before arriving, to have a positive mindset but to also make sure that I get the most out of my week at Coconut PR. Leaving the office everyday with something that I didn’t know before, accompanied by a smile on my face, I finally understood why people love their jobs and how they’re able to wake up at 7am everyday. When you enjoy it, it is worth it.
Many of us will see our favourite celebrities tweet something outrageous and the first thing we’ll think about is where is their PR team and what are they doing? This was me. I only knew/thought about PR in regard to celebrities and people of status. However, after a tour of the bright and welcoming office, Kate told me about PR and what Coconut PR does as a business, focusing on travel and hospitality. This opened a whole new world to me, which came with thousands of questions, which were happily answered by Tom as well. Having started a small business where I design logos, content for social media and other marketing resources, to now learn that PR does involve having control over social media and the content that is published about a business, really fascinated me. Being someone who enjoys writing, I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to do some research, write a few blogs and create social media plans that would be examples of what is posted on the clients’ websites. Previous work experience placements involved sitting at a desk doing nothing or simply stacking shelves, but not learning anything, so this was something completely new to me.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re supposed to ask questions, but you didn’t have anything to ask? Well that wasn’t me during my week of work experience (for once). Throughout the week questions kept popping up in my head and I knew that I had to ask them all. Luckily Kate and Tom always answered my questions. Being able to ask questions and have them answered by some of the best in their industry was really a privilege. I even took some notes because I learnt so much, which would be valuable to me and a lot of people around me who have started small businesses. There is so much more to PR than what I knew and I am so glad to have done work experience at Coconut PR. From someone who really did not want to do work experience this year, I have come out of it being very pleased.
A week of learning, observations being made, lots of questions asked and plenty of laughter. Sounds like a pretty fantastic work experience, right? I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Coconut PR and I’m grateful to the team for giving me this opportunity, but for also sharing their expertise and wisdom to enhance my knowledge in regard to the PR industry.