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A student's view of life in PR

September, 2012

Keen to learn as much about the industry as possible, student Emilia Harris, 20, spent two weeks with Maxim recently. Before heading back to Nottingham Trent University to continue her broadcast journalism course, she shared her thoughts on her time with us.

Slightly bleary eyed from a festival I had attended the weekend before, I was unsure about what to expect when I walked into Maxim’s offices on day one. One thing I was sure about though, I was going to have to keep my post festival tiredness to myself. How unprofessional, I thought, if the team at Maxim knew I hadn’t slept for a whole weekend before an important work placement!

Taken under the wing by Rachel on my first day, I knew I was in very good hands - a keen social networker's hands I was soon to learn - as one of the first things she asked me was if I had enjoyed Bestival? Through the power of Twitter I had been busted, forgetting about my Tweets throughout the weekend, everyone in the office now knew the real reason for my croaky voice.

Luckily no one seemed to mind me croaking around the office and I was soon busy drafting a press release, a task I was thrilled to be given on my first morning. I couldn’t believe I had been given so much responsibility on my first day and it was excellent being treated like a proper member of the office team. I think it’s easy for people doing work experience to feel like an outsider during placements and this can often be down to the employer, but at Maxim I felt like a member of staff throughout my placement and was treated as one. I even contracted the office illness, a bug that only PRs can catch apparently!

A trip to the dark side?

The team at Maxim made sure I was constantly learning and developing my skills and I never had a dull moment. My tasks ranged from updating spreadsheets, ringing and emailing clients, attending client meetings, drafting Q&A’s and writing my fair share of press releases. I was given feedback on all my writing and feel that it improved throughout my time at Maxim. Leaving drinks for Victoria and Friday lunch at Sankey’s were also highlights for me and gave me a brilliant excuse to get to know the team better.

My two weeks with Maxim have been a real learning curve. Studying journalism I didn’t really know what to expect from PR, or the dark side as I often hear it referred to as. However, I feel my insight into the world of public relations has certainly not been dark or dull, I have enjoyed every second and only have the wonderful staff team at Maxim to thank for that.

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