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Applying skills in a professional context: reflection on work experience

Recently graduated from university in Oxford, Katie spent some time this summer doing a short placement with Crystal PR. Here she shares her thoughts on her experience of the world of public relations…

Q: What made you want to look at getting some work experience in public relations?

Katie: I’ve been developing various skills during my time at university without knowing for certain which sector or industry I wanted to work in. I decided to get some work experience in public relations because I want to go into a sector that allows me to use my written communication and research skills.

Q: What sort of work have you been looking at during your stint with Crystal?

Katie: The work has been really varied, and I’ve learned a lot. One of my favourite jobs has been keeping an eye on various pieces of news that Crystal has been sending out to track where they are getting written about online. It’s been interesting to see the life cycle of these kinds of news stories and the range of publications that want to share them.

I’ve also done some research on publications that Crystal might want to work with in the future and have worked on drafting a few press releases.

Q: Was the work what you expected it to be?

Katie: I had limited knowledge of what a typical day in a PR agency might look like, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have been pleased to find how varied it can be, since Crystal works with a wide range of clients with different PR needs.

I also like the fact that you need to keep yourself up to date on the latest industry news – this is a bit of a contrast from my time as a student when I was mostly working on medieval texts and it was easy to forget about the modern world!

Q: What are some of the key takeaways from your experience?

Katie: In terms of personal development, I have learned a lot about Jersey’s finance industry during my work experience, which I’m sure will be invaluable knowledge going forward. I enjoyed applying skills that I have been developing during my time at university in a professional context, for example when proof-reading and editing content. I also enjoyed the challenge of shifting my academic writing style to something more appropriate for PR. Overall it has been a really interesting and educational experience and has given me a good insight into public relations as an industry.


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