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A week of work experience at Maxim

July, 2016

Emily Yandle, 17, describes her week of work experience at Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim.

I am a 17-year-old sixth form student, studying at Maplesden Noakes in Maidstone. Having just finished my AS levels, I was beginning to research university courses in PR and marketing when I first heard about Maxim.

I was looking in this direction because I had thoroughly enjoyed both English and media in my time at secondary school; both of which have developed skills that, as my parents informed me, would correspond well in the PR world. However, as I began to draft my personal statement I realised “because my Dad says I’ll be good at it” is not an adequate reason to want to study a university course.

So, having worked with Andrew and the team himself, my Dad introduced me to the possibility of work experience at Maxim. Bored of my monotonous Sunday job, I was excited to have the chance to do some ‘proper work’.

My first day

By the time my first day came around, all that previous excitement had turned to pure nerves. I had suddenly become hyper-aware of the fact that academics are not everything, and yet were really all I had.

Walking into a new company was daunting, as I’m sure it is for everyone, but the Maxim team soon had me welcomed in and working, with the help of the office’s adorable little dog, Alice.

By the end of my first day, I was leaving with more confidence in writing press releases than I began with (thanks to Andrew’s patience and extensive constructive criticism) and a far deeper understanding of Dover businesses than I’d ever expected to have.

I found writing draft press releases particularly useful as they combined the enjoyment I get from writing, with my interest in media by tailoring a piece to your target audience. It was difficult at first for me to change from the essay-style of writing that I’ve been trained in during my school years, to that of a press release. However, with the team’s help I eventually got the hang of writing short, to-the-point press releases.

Throughout the rest of my week I learnt a great deal, from developing my writing style to gaining a deeper understanding of the PR world and its place in the bigger business picture.

Bewl, boats and big business

Halfway through my week at Maxim, I had the opportunity to witness the coming together of a business, a PR company and the press.

The ITV Meridian interview of Markerstudy Leisure, the new owners of Bewl Water, was an interesting and valuable experience to say the least. I was interested to not only see the making of an interview, but the important role that Maxim played in the process as a PR company.

It was particularly interesting to understand more of how public relations and marketing are inter-related. With little knowledge of the industry to begin with, I enjoyed talking to Andy about the roles both sectors play in situations such as the Markerstudy interview.

Additionally, Erica gave me the chance to write an article for the blog for Lappset, a manufacturer of outdoor play and fitness equipment. I really enjoyed doing research into both the company and related news stories in order to write a successful article. I wasn’t the fastest during this process but it seemed the time I spent was worthwhile, as my piece received very little red pen during Erica’s proofreading.

Setting me on the right path

I have benefitted greatly from my week at Maxim, as the company have not only made me certain of a career in PR, but have also made my time truly enjoyable with their patience, support and overall welcoming manner.

I’ve seen what a genuinely effective and amicable team looks like, and gained vital industry experience which will undoubtedly help me going forward. I would like to thank Andrew and the team for their time and help, as I now look forward to studying PR and marketing at university and starting my own career in the industry.

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