I finally pulled my finger out and scored an awesome internship at Leeds digital marketing/PR/SEO company Epiphany. Thanks to a chance conversation with a former colleague, I was put in touch with the guys at Epiphany who very kindly offered me a placement up until I leave for Australia.
(excuse the random photo, Knickerbocker Shakes happened in the office on Friday morning as part of the monthly 'Ministry of Fun')
After only working on non-for profit Public PR, the step into commercial, agency work was daunting but also very exciting too. After the lecture we had from the guys at Manifest PR (see my blog post here!) I was a lot more open minded and positive about agency work and I am really glad that I am finally catching up with my awesome peers and getting some great material for my portfolio.
So firstly, the Epiphany office and general office culture is amazing. A beautiful, modern building.. complete with ping pong and pool tables, 'Mad Men' meeting rooms, Friday @ 4.30 desk beers - it really is a vibrant and exciting place to be. They also have a range of clients and a selection of specialised departments, including SEO, Earned Media, PPC and a sister company in PR - Shackelton. The dress code is casual, which is actually quite difficult after my 'appropriate' work attire for the past year.. it feels so bizarre to be heading to work in jeans, but hey - at least my clothes are getting a good wearing!
So informalities aside, this last week I have been working in the Earned Media department. I can't confidently describe the ins and outs of this department yet - but it is a lot of blogger outreach and creative campaign planning working closely with SEO. I have worked on a selection of clients already, contacting bloggers, sourcing photographs, thinking up creative ideas and doing some social media planning. Wonderfully, Jessica, a recent graduate/fashion and beauty blogger/new starter started her role on the same day as me, so I haven't been the lonely new girl. We have both received some fantastic inductions from all the different departments at Epiphany which has really enabled me to get a feel for the whole agency and how different departments run together as well as gaining a better understanding of PPC (pay per click advertising!), SEO and most interestingly for me, the power and outreach of social media and how to monitor it effectively.
The plan for next week includes more departmental inductions, working in the research department and helping out on some more creative campaigns. I also hope to try and gain some experience in the content and reactive content departments as well as Shackleton, who take a more traditional approach to PR.
At the moment, I feel like I really lack and struggle with creativity - I am more than happy/capable/dedicated to actioning other peoples ideas and doing my best to help out, but I have never been one to think up such creative ideas myself. I had a lovely chat with my new desk -neighbour-colleague (about cat GIFS and hair chalks!) but most importantly about how to be creative, and use my own experiences and different techniques to stimulate creativity - so I hope this is something I can really work on during my time at Epiphany.
My experience so far has been so great that I am kicking myself a little bit for not embracing the work experience/placement thing sooner, and perhaps getting a little bit more out of first year - although I loved my old job and got a lot of amazing experience there, it really is time I broaden myself and expand my professional portfolio.
I can't wait to see what next week brings at Epiphany, with my calendar filling up already I am so excited (really overusing this word today!) about all the new practical knowledge I will be absorbing!
Hopefully next week I can put together some more in-depth pieces on what I have been learning and experiencing!