Winter 2013 Introductory Blog

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

As I began to look into different career options, I knew that I wanted a career that would require writing and communication skills, as well as creativity. Before long, I felt that my strengths would be best applied to a career in the PR industry.

One day, while scrolling down my twitter feed, I saw a tweet from the University of East London’s careers centre regarding the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme, and I immediately followed it up with a look at their website.

I had previously gained experience at a number of PR agencies but the TBF programme seemed very different; not only would I gain experience, I would also get the chance to learn about the PR industry from PR industry professionals. I quickly completed the application form, and was delighted to hear that I had been selected to attend an assessment day.

There was a briefing in advance of the assessment day, and at that I realised that the assessment day itself was going to be truly intense. I knew I had to be well prepared and worked hard to ready myself. In the event, day turned out to be fun but challenging, and I struggled with nerves throughout the day. I made sure to communicate my passion and enthusiasm, however.

When I received a phone-call from Sarah Stimson, who told me I had won a place, I was ecstatic, and grateful; finally, it seemed, I would give my hoped-for career in PR the kick start it needs.

My initial interest in the communications industry was sparked while I was pursuing A Levels in media studies and English language and literature, and since graduating in July 2012 I’ve been fortunate enough to gain PR related experience in charity, in-house and agency settings. My first taste of fashion PR as an intern with a London based designer gave me the confidence to follow my dreams, and my most recent internship at Beauty Seen PR has only reinforced my desire to work in beauty PR.

I initially found out about the Taylor Bennett Foundation on Twitter, and I was particularly keen to secure a place on the Talk PR programme especially, as I’m aware of the agency’s reputation for consumer PR. I was invited to an assessment day, and attended a briefing about it, alongside the candidates I’d be competing with. The big day quickly came around, and after having spent most of the week feeling anxious about what to expect on the day, it was nice to arrive to a room full of friendly faces.

The first half of our day was nerve-wracking, and included timed scenario based group work followed by individual presentations; yet by the second half of the day I felt a lot more relaxed and at ease, just in time for the interviews. After a busy and exciting day at the CIPR offices in Russell Square with all the other programme candidates, it was difficult to say our goodbyes, knowing that the decision was now out of our control.

I was therefore delighted to get a call from Sarah Stimson confirming my place on the programme. I’m eagerly looking forward to what the next eight weeks will have in store for us all.

I graduated from University with a Law degree, but knowing I did not actually want to pursue a career in law, as I felt doing so would stifle my creative abilities. Following extensive research into alternative careers, I found my vocation: PR. It encompasses everything that I love: writing, communication and current affairs.

I was excited when a friend told me about the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme, and the fact that it was a lifestyle & fashion internship intrigued me even more. This was the perfect opportunity: it would equip me with structured training and advice, as well as hands-on experience to start a career in my desired field.

I sent in my application hoping for the best and was delighted to hear I had been invited to the pre-assessment briefing. This event calmed my nerves slightly, as it prepared me for the assessment to come: an intense day filled with group tasks, presentations and interviews.

Although I was very nervous at the start, as the day went on I felt much more confident and educated about PR, as well as simply glad to have met all the people involved.

I received a phone-call that evening telling me that I had been successful, and after it, I could not get the big smile off my face. I am excited about the training and work ahead of me, and cannot wait to start.

After graduating from London Metropolitan University in public relations, I was of course eager to enter the workplace and put into practice what I had learned. Despite already having a little work experience in Public Relations, this didn’t seem to be enough to meet the requirements of an entry-level position.

One day I was discussing my problem with a friend from university and he started telling me all about the amazing internship he was doing with the Taylor Bennett Foundation. He explained that unlike with most internships he had a mentor, and classes that allowed him to fine tune key PR skills, and that he was receiving continued help and advice on how to start a successful career in PR.

I filled out and sent the application form for the next internship immediately. A few weeks later I received the news that I had been selected to attend the briefing and assessment day. The assessment day consisted of three parts; two group exercises, a presentation, and finally two interviews. During our lunch break we were able to liaise with those assessing us, which seemed to put everyone at ease for the two interviews that followed.

At the end of the day we were informed that those who had been successful would receive a call later on in the evening to let them know. When I received my call from the course director Sarah, I was over the moon and impatient to start on Monday (after what seemed like the longest weekend of my life).

Whilst I enjoyed studying for my History or Art degree, I realised that it wasn’t going to lead to the career path I wanted to take. I did various internships and work placements in my quest to find the right career for me, but in July 2012 I was invited to attend a Talk PR open day, which I absolutely loved! My experience there confirmed that PR was the career for me.

I first heard about this programme from a tweet by Talk PR, and applied straight away. I was incredibly happy to discover that I had been short-listed to the next stage. We had a pre-assessment meeting, which not only prepared us for what would happen on the assessment day but also gave us the opportunity to meet the other applicants. The assessment day itself was very gruelling, although meeting fun friendly people definitely made the entire process easier to get through.

I was on the way back from the assessment day when I received a phone call from Kellan Palmer telling me that I had secured a place on the programme. I screamed with excitement! It was completely unexpected and has truly changed my life. I cannot wait to throw myself into this programme and kick-start my career!

I’ve always been vaguely interested in a career in PR, but felt that I didn’t have enough knowledge about the industry. However, my friend Francis, an alumnus of a previous Taylor Bennett Foundation intake, explained to me what a career in PR might involve, as well as telling me all about the Taylor Bennett courses. I researched the foundation, and read past alumni blog entries, fascinated by the journey each trainee had made; it gave me hope that I might get this chance too, even though I hadn’t had past work experience in the PR industry.

I applied for the 2013 Talk PR programme, and was ecstatic when I found out I had got through to the next stage. The subsequent assessment day was nerve-wracking but enjoyable, and the assessors were extremely pleasant, while the candidates were very supportive towards each other.

When Kellan called to offer me a place on the programme, I felt extremely happy and had a huge sense of relief. I feel lucky to have been offered a placement and I will work to the best of my ability to learn everything I can about working with public relations industry. I believe this experience will give me the start I need to go on to a successful PR career.