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Degree done… now what?

July, 2018

University of Exeter graduate Mary Dewar explains her week’s introduction into public relations at Kent-based PR and marketing agency Maxim. 

Finishing your degree is all fun and games until you arrive home and you’re swiftly reminded by your loving parents that ‘it’s time you get a job’ and ‘now the real world starts’. With very little clue of what career-path I wanted to take I decided to look around for potential jobs that would interest me. Having studied history and politics at the University of Exeter and previously carried out work experience with local politicians I decided gaining experience in public affairs and communications would be a good place to start. 

Why Maxim? 

I wanted to spend time with a local firm as my prior experience in local politics would help me get to grips with the public affairs that Maxim deal with. When I came in for my informal interview with the director, Philip Jones, the team were very friendly and made me look forward to my week’s work experience. 

What I did at Maxim 

One particular case that I worked closely with was the construction of the Ashford International Truckstop. At the start of this project I was given the opportunity to go to Ashford with Andy, an account director at Maxim, to meet the general manager of the current Ashford truckstop. With him we discussed the PR plan going forward to ensure that the public were made aware of the work that was going to happen and the benefits that it would bring to Ashford. Following this meeting I helped write a press release for Andy explaining a potential new software development for the execution of Operation Brock on the M20. 

I also worked closely with Erica on her account with the Rochester Bridge Trust, which is in the process of planning for the refurbishment of the bridges. I helped work on a PR plan to make sure that the public will be well-informed of what the refurbishment involves. Alongside this the Rochester Bridge Trust is also dedicated to educating and inspiring the younger generations in the field of civil engineering. I wrote a number of press releases explaining the ways in which the organisation is encouraging school pupils to learn more about civil engineering. 

Other tasks I completed during my week at Maxim involved writing magazine articles on defamation law, proof-reading documents and writing opinion pieces explaining the best ways a business can engage with their MP. 

What I learnt from my week at Maxim 

Having had no prior experience in PR and communications, I have learnt a lot from my week at Maxim. However, the most valuable lesson was the range of topics that you deal with while working in PR. 

The insight that I gained into so many different issues and policies meant that there was never a dull day at Maxim. In the short five-days that I worked there the projects I was working on ranged from Operation Brock on the M20 to renewable energy. The diversity in projects at Maxim meant that I am taking away from my week a wealth of knowledge on subject matters I would never have otherwise considered. 

For anyone that is unsure of what they want to do after university I would strongly urge them to gain some experience in PR and communications. The nature of the job means you get to cover so many different topics and every day brings a new challenge. Starting my journey in PR and public affairs at Maxim was such an interesting and inspiring experience and I cannot thank the team enough for being so friendly and helpful. 

posted in: maxim/client news, public relations, students’ views,

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