Wednesday October 17th 2012

Autumn 2012 Introductory Blog

Meet the latest TBF interns – each intern explains their personal journey to the internship programme…

Catherine
I found out about the Taylor Bennett foundation when I read a interview with a former participant on Unicorn Jobs, and I was intrigued. The application deadline was tight, but I got my form in just by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin. I was thrilled to be invited to a pre-briefing on the following Monday, with twenty or so other shortlisted candidates, at the Edelman offices. That day, I practically fell in love…with the company and office that is.

We were briefed on the assessment day set to take place the Friday following, and given a presentation topic; we left knowing the assessment day would be intense but that to secure a place on the programme would be to obtain something worth its weight in gold!

On the fateful day, we gathered for our assessment at 8.30am, and for a moment I did wonder what I was letting myself in for. Thus, I began the day feeling slightly (well, ok, considerably) anxious; however, after the first group exercise I felt more confident, and as the day continued – with another group exercise, one presentation, two interviews and a lunchtime participants-and-assessors informal chat exercise – it could almost be said that I started to enjoy the whole experience.

The day left me feeling really confident that PR is the right path for me and I – along with the other candidates, no doubt – hoped and prayed I had done enough to secure a TBF place. When I got the call to say I had made it, I was ecstatic, and my friend let out a shriek of glee for the both of us! I start tomorrow. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Bolu
I graduated from University knowing that I wanted to work in PR. I had studied law, but my creative capabilities felt stifled and I didn’t want to waste another second doing something that didn’t allow me to use my talents and didn’t reward me intellectually, and so when I came across the Taylor Bennett Foundation scheme on the SEO website, I was excited. It was ideal; it would plunge me in midst of the very sector I wanted to build a career in, and most importantly it would equip me with the hands-on training needed for that career.

The Pre-assessment briefing was vital, as it braced me for the actual assessment day, and helped me realise what I needed to do to secure a place. Seeing that the other candidates were as nervous as I was alleviated my own anxiety a little – but then seeing how intelligent and confident they seemed triggered it again!

Despite this, I got through the day, and though it possibly sounds like a bit of a cliché, it was the words “be yourself” that gave me the confidence to continue. Though admittedly cripplingly nervous before the assessment started, I ended up enjoying showing what I have to offer, and how eager I am to learn.

The phone-call I received that evening gave me one of the best moments of my life. I was ecstatic. I know this internship will be one of the best and most important things I will ever do in my career, and I am excited about the work and training ahead of me!

Jasmin
I first heard about the Taylor Bennett Foundation via the University of the London Art’s website, and having completed five weeks of unpaid PR work experience in previous years, I was drawn to the idea of a paid scheme designed specifically for graduates. Moreover, as my background is in the History of Art the prospect of an in-depth crash course in PR was highly attractive.

I sent in my application, and was subsequently invited to attend the assessment day briefing. I was assured it would be a friendly and informal preparation day, and it was, but I still left feeling highly apprehensive! The assessment day to follow seemed daunting, as we had been told to prepare for a ten-minute presentation, group work and two interviews. Nevertheless, keen to rise to the challenge, I honed my interview skills, read up on current affairs and rehearsed my presentation. On the day, the assessors from Taylor Bennett and Edelman were all very personable, which helped my nerves to ease off, and my confidence grew as the day progressed.

A few anxious hours after we had left, I received the phone call to say I had got a place, and of course it was a huge relief. I look forward to the weeks ahead, and the opportunities that this internship will provide!

Chandni
I have never smiled so much after a one phone call; I found it so hard to contain all my excitement, listening to Kellan as she offered me a place on the Taylor Bennett Foundation Programme!

After completing numerous and various work experiences throughout my third year at university, it was only when I was asked to do some PR work for an independent company that I realised PR was really what I enjoyed the most. I came across the Taylor Bennett Foundation website prior to a previous internship, but had missed the deadline and so was determined to apply for the next programme. As I sent off my completed application form, I knew that it was an important, an opportunity that I desperately wanted.

When I received the reply telling me I’d made it onto the short-list, I couldn’t stop talking about it to anyone who would listen! However, as the assessment day grew nearer, I got more and more nervous! It was a brilliant day, though, both challenging and rewarding.
Making it to the final eight is a dream, and I look forward to an amazing ten weeks ahead.

Elmira
After completing my final year at university I was very aware that a business management degree would help me in my career, but wasn’t aware if it could help take me in the direction I wanted so badly to go; to a role in PR. I have always been interested in it, and after a bit of research into the PR industry, I knew that my interests and skill set would help me to thrive in this profession. I’m aware that it can be quite hard to get a foot in the door, however, and when a friend of mine, who was a recent graduate on the Taylor Bennett foundation programme, told me about the scheme, I jumped at the chance to apply.

After sending in my application I received an email asking me to attend a briefing and an assessment day. The briefing itself took place in the swanky offices of Edelman, and as well as giving us a great idea about the assessment day, also gave us insight into the world of PR. The assessment day was great fun once my nerves had calmed a little, and although it was tough, it was a wonderful experience and I met some lovely people along the way.
When I got the phone call telling me I had secured a place on the 2012 autumn programme, I was over the moon. I cannot wait for my career in PR to start.

Charlet
In the summer after graduating with a law degree, I found I had lost the passion to become a lawyer, and after zero replies to what seemed like millions of job applications, and weeks of unemployment, I was almost losing the will to live. Then a friend told me about the Taylor Bennett foundation. I had previously interned in PR companies and was always intrigued to learn more, and, having read up on it, the programme seemed to be everything I was looking for. I applied on the day of the deadline, and received a reply inviting me to attend a pre-assessment briefing, followed by an actual assessment day.

‘Wooohooo’ is probably the easiest and most reserved way to describe my mental reaction upon receiving a phone call from Sarah Stimson informing me that I had one of the eight places on the programme. I was in a state of sheer disbelief that I had actually made it through the gruelling assessment day: the selection process was the most nerve-wracking thing I had ever done; but I did it. After receiving the call, I felt as if I was super human, ready to take the PR world by storm.

I’m extremely excited, and look forward to developing my PR skills over the next 10 weeks.

Lola
With my final year at university drawing to a close, I began to focus on the options that would be available to me after graduating. I was considering a career in publishing due to my love of books, however, I had yet to make any clear decision concerning which sector of the business I wanted to work in. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to attend a publishing seminar, courtesy of HarperCollins university tour, I immediately signed up. It was during this seminar that I became intrigued with the role of their in-house public relations team, and realised that this was the career path that I wanted to pursue.

I set about applying for a myriad of jobs in the industry, with unsuccessful results. It was during this time that I came across the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme; while researching what the scheme entailed, I realised that this was an opportunity that I could not afford to miss. I sent in my application and was thrilled when I received an email saying that I had been selected to attend a briefing and assessment day,

I thoroughly prepared for the difficult process that I knew would follow. The assessment day consisted of extensive interviews, group tasks, and an intense presentation, and it was definitely an invaluable learning experience that I would have been grateful to have taken part in, whatever the outcome; however, the phone call I received later that evening confirmed that I had secured a place on the programme, which of course made the experience even more rewarding.

Nadia
I graduated from university in June and already knew I wanted a career in PR; the dilemma I faced was how I was going to get there. Two weeks of work experience at Freud Communications strengthened my desire to work in this industry, but work experience opportunities that are beneficial to learning and yet not financially crippling are hard to come by.

After scanning through the list of agencies who have signed to the PRCA campaign for paid internships, I found the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme, and I was delighted! I only found out about the scheme on the day of the deadline, so quickly filled in my application and then anxiously waited to hear back.

Good news followed: I was offered a place at the assessment day. I knew, following our first briefing, that the day was going to be tough, so I worked hard on my presentation and tried to keep a positive attitude. When I got the call to say I had been accepted, I was very happy; this is exactly what I need to proceed along my chosen career path. It will enable me to learn about the PR industry, and provide me with the experience which is so vital even for entry-level positions in the industry.

Read more from: Autumn 2012 Trainee Blog

 
 
 
 
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