Teaching new dogs old tricks: my year as an intern

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I’ve spoken many times about just how much our interns have brought to our comms team. Since setting up the scheme a couple of years ago I’ve been lucky enough to work with eight really talented graduates.

Ian Johnson (@IJohnson5555) is one of our current interns and he’s kindly written this guest post:

After finishing my Master’s degree in June, the opportunity to do an internship at Northumberland County Council was presented to me by an attentive lecturer. He told me, based on my interest and enthusiasm for democratic PR and my desire to move into Government communications, it was just the thing for me.

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My year as a PR intern

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This week I’ve turned the blog over to Hanif Laylabi (@hanifleylabi) our comms intern who leaves us at the end of the month. A year ago – inspired by the new CIPR intern guidelines – I decided to take the plunge and hire a university graduate for the first time.

I wrote about the start of the scheme here and everyone on it has been brilliant. The standard of graduates in the marcomms space in the North East is truly first class. Over to you Hanif.

Back in spring 2012, I was completing the taught part of my MA in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland and was looking forward to a long summer of dissertation writing.

One of my tutors had begun to email the class job and work experience opportunities, but I was set on finishing my dissertation first before I took on the job of finding work. Continue reading

Creative.Digital.Likeable

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In Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1987 film Full Metal Jacket the irascible old drill sergeant looks down the long line of new recruits and barks:

“From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be ‘Sir’. Do you maggots understand that? You will not laugh, you will not cry, you will learn by the numbers and I will teach you.”

Yes, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman was happy to give out some pretty clear instructions and he certainly knew exactly what he wanted from his new starters.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) it’s rarely so clear cut for most of us when we’re looking to break into the sector or find that new role in PR.

I asked some of the communications people who’ve influenced me the most what key skills and attributes you need to stand out from the crowd and get hired.

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Guest post: Local market lovin’

Here’s a guest post by one of our PR interns Maria (@mpfalangi) who has spent the last year working with our team. I blogged about our interns ages ago (see here) and they’ve proved a real breath of fresh air. Now that they’re about to leave we’re really going to miss them. Here, Maria talks about one of the projects she’d been working on.

Who doesn’t love a good local market? This fortnight is an opportunity for both traders and shoppers to be part of something bigger.

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