“Work experience provided me with confidence, relationship skills, and a versatile skill set that has allowed me to become determined and tenacious when it comes to job searching.”

First of all, what is work experience? 

Work experience can be different for everyone, but it generally involves working at a company temporarily to understand what they do, and learn from them. Ultimately, this can be a huge driving factor when it comes to deciding what type of job you enjoy and these skills can add to your experience when applying for jobs later down the line. Here’s Charlotte Watts’ account of her work experience at Marketing Signals

This summer, I decided it would be a good idea to embark on some work experience. After recently graduating from a three year Marketing Management degree at Northumbria University, I have been faced with lots of new decisions as to where I want to go next. I think it’s a very common phase that graduating students go through when facing the reality of finally leaving years of education. 

Although you might assume that a first class honours, in a three year degree, may have prepared me enough for the challenging world of employment, I disagree. With more and more people attending university, the qualifications are becoming more common, and less enticing to employers. In order to stand out from the crowd, I needed to differentiate myself from others. This is where my first thoughts of work experience began to creep in. 

I initially wanted to do work experience to build my confidence and also get an understanding of what a day in the life of a PR professional entails. Luckily I was able to find a completely digital, remote working search engine marketing agency called Marketing Signals.

During my time at the company, I was allocated a number of tasks. This included adding to media lists, sending emails and writing pitch emails. It even included the opportunity to write my own press release for one of the clients the company is working with.

From doing such a wide range of tasks with the company, I learned a lot about the PR world and its functions. I was able to understand the importance of building good relationships with clients, as well as prospective journalists, and this was enhanced by training in Google meetings on the subjects. I was also introduced to a number of new software tools including Cision, Google Trends, and Google Analytics. 

One of the best things about working with Marketing Signals were the values and its people. All of the employees I liaised with were more than generous when helping me understand my tasks and pointing me in the right direction. I was never in a place where I felt like a burden, even though I probably was a slight extra handful. 

At Marketing Signals, mental health is at the forefront of the company’s values. All employees are encouraged to work flexibly, and a new four-day working week has also been implemented to encourage employees to enjoy activities and life outside the workplace. This meant that if I felt stressed or overloaded at any point, I was simply able to walk away from my laptop to have a break and return with a fresh head.

The work experience also taught me the ability to work remotely and produce the same quality work as if I were in an office. Quick emails back and forth and regular Google meetings throughout the day meant everyone was able to communicate at ease. At no point did I struggle working completely online, which I previously doubted.

Overall the experience has allowed me to go on to apply for jobs with more confidence in the industry that I would like to work in. I’ve also been able to add work examples, including PR releases and an email draft, to my portfolio, enhancing my employability. Working with Marketing Signals also showed me the type of company values and work ethic I will look out for when applying for jobs in the future.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone at Marketing Signals for being so welcoming, considerate, kind and helpful. Over this week I got a realistic overview of what life in PR was really like. I had the best time and would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of doing work experience there.