back to top

Two years of GCSEs condensed into three days of work experience

July, 2016

Katie Cantwell-Jones, 16, spent three days with Kent communications agency Maxim to learn more about the work of PR.

First impressions

I am a 16-year-old student at the School of Highworth Grammar. When I did work experience with Maxim, I had only just finished my GCSEs. This meant that I was suddenly taken from the comfort of a classroom to the reality of an office workplace.

This was a completely different experience because I was used to being told exactly what to do and then having the answers immediately afterwards. However, I now know this is the opposite of the real world.

Maxim taught me a new approach to completing tasks, and that independence is a critical skill when working in an office. This big jump from classroom to office was made a lot easier thanks to the friendly staff, and every morning I was greeted by the enthusiastic Alice (Rachel’s dog).

Day one

On the first day I was given an article to proof read. Unfortunately I did not quite understand the task and so only found two obvious mistakes in the article. Nevertheless, after going through the article again with Philip, I then understood that proof reading is about looking for both grammatical and punctuation mistakes.

After that I was told to research and write an article about frozen fruit and vegetables and how they are more beneficial than fresh fruit and vegetables. This was a completely foreign idea to me, because I had always been taught that fresh veg was the best. Yet after actually looking into it, it was clear that frozen is far more nutritional, efficient and available than fresh.

Writing an article on this proved to be very interesting too, because for once I was actually doing English based work on something relevant to today instead of writing an eight-page essay on Shakespeare.

Towards the end of the day, Andy asked me to do some research into Kent-based bloggers and personally I had no experience on blogs and frankly I had no idea what one was! By doing research into different bloggers and what a blog was, I soon realised that bloggers are a small but crucial part in PR.

Day two

The next day I was asked to do a blog about Lappset playground equipment, this proved to be a difficult task for me and I was not particularly good at writing one. The blog I wrote was looked over by Rachel and Philip and they gave me some very useful feedback on how to improve next time.

Soon afterwards I was asked to write a press release about a school nearby, this was by far my favourite task. I really enjoyed doing the research and coming up with a press release about it, I also learnt a lot from this especially on how press releases and articles are different.

Day three

On the final day I practised my blogs and press releases again and in the afternoon I was taken down to the Kent & Sussex Courier where journalist Gabriel Shepard showed me around. This was very interesting because it showed me the office lifestyle of reporters and it also helped me realise how much Journalism and PR is different.

My experience overall

Overall, it was a really fun and educational three days and honestly I probably learnt more English skills during work experience than I had learnt doing an English GCSE for two years! All of the staff were amazing and extremely welcoming, the whole experience was definitely worthwhile.

posted in: students’ views,

we'd love to work with you

get in touch