Last summer I was preparing to hand in my final university project and like all final year students I was nervous yet excited to see what the future might hold. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in PR, I just needed the right company and the right team to give me the chance at gaining some valuable experience.
My only real work experience up until then had involved spending a week in a newsroom and more recently, helping with online content creation for a local marketing company. I had nothing lined up for summer, and I wasn’t successful in other job applications but I really wanted to start working so I felt like an internship was perfect for me.
I spent some time really perfecting a creative CV and the main thing I tried to portray was just how much I was willing to learn if I was given the right opportunity by the right company.
I was lucky enough to be shortlisted and offered an interview, which at the time was virtual. I spent a few days prepping looking into Motive, their work, but also preparing myself for the kinds of questions I could be asked.
Looking back, I would definitely say I was nervous, it was my first ever interview and I realise now that no matter how much I had prepared for it, nerves are just natural in this instance and the best thing you can do is just try and be yourself.
After my first interview over Zoom, I was invited into the office for a second, where I felt far more relaxed. I was myself and I took this second interview as an opportunity to learn more about where I would be working, which is just as important as letting your potential employer find out more about you.
I was always willing to learn, but at the time, one of my main concerns was being part of a team that was supportive and friendly and I definitely voiced that. That’s the kind of environment you hope for as a graduate, not somewhere intimating and daunting.
We chatted, and after hearing more about how I would be supported, I really felt like I could see myself working at Motive. I also remember asking what was expected of me as a team member and because I was eager to get involved and learn, I knew that I was capable of meeting these expectations.
Within that same week I was offered the internship and of course I said yes - It was a great feeling. I knew I was about to have a productive summer, getting some real hands-on experience in PR and I felt like I was in the perfect place for that.
Joining the team only two weeks after finishing uni worked in my favour, it didn’t give me any time to overthink, worry or get too nervous. Of course, joining my first team meeting was a little nerve wracking but that feeling soon went away because everyone was super friendly and chatty.
Looking back, I would say that the first week was crucial in determining how I would settle in at Motive with everyone going forward.
The team did virtual one to ones with me which was a great way for me to get to know everyone individually. I got to know everyone a little better and after that, I was never really worried when it came to questions or asking for help.
I would go to different team members for different things and everyone was always more than happy to help out.
As a graduate, you want the opportunity to be taken seriously and unfortunately there are companies out there who don’t really let young people reach their full potential.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised with how involved and hands on I was able to be, I wasn’t just doing the jobs that no one else wanted to take on, which can sometimes happen in an internship. I was involved in proper tasks right from the start that I still do to this day like writing press releases, talking to clients and pitching to press.
Within a couple of weeks I felt pretty settled with the team and within my role and before I knew it, my first month went quite quickly.
You never know what is going to come out from an internship and at the time I was just really grateful that I was getting some hands-on experience in a field I knew I wanted to work in and I could definitely see myself doing it as a permanent career.
I wasn’t too heavily focused on what I would do after my internship was over. I was just focused on what I was doing at the time, I took it seriously, I was getting involved and I was giving everything my best.
I think it’s really encouraging seeing results, that’s why when I started to see press releases that I had written be published online in national publications, it felt really exciting!
And it’s not as daunting as it sounds, I would write up press releases and then get them checked over by a team member who would go through it with me and tell me what parts were good and how I can improve it - I was learning. And that’s something that never stops.
After only a couple of months, I was offered a permanent position at Motive and I was really chuffed. Not only was I able to secure an internship so soon after uni but I was now being given a chance to really start my career, something which I know has been really hard for recent graduates in the past couple of years.
It just goes to show you never know where an opportunity might take you.
I’ve now been at Motive for almost a year and have grown so much in confidence and ability. I’ve learnt to stay calm under pressure, how to write better, my natural initiative has developed and my PR knowledge is growing all of the time.
I’ve had a lot of support along the way and I’ve always been able to see just what I need to do in order to step up in my role. Having monthly one to ones has meant that I’m aware of the skills I’ve learned and what’s left to achieve.
Now after working for almost a year, I feel like the self confidence in your first job after university often stems from your team, the support they give you and the confidence they have in you too.
Taking the internship with Motive PR helped me kickstart my career in an industry that excites me but it’s also really helped me grow in confidence. Being in a supportive environment, being exposed to the real world and having the opportunity to network throughout my role really did give me a competitive edge that’s set me up for my career.
This summer the agency is going to recruit at least two interns. To find out more about how to apply for these roles please click here.