We regularly take local students on for a week or so work experience in Orchard HQ. We usually find that PR is something they are interested in, but not quite aware of exactly what it is PR means doing every day. Naomi Denziloe spent last week in the office getting a flavour of what life as an account executive might be like.
As one of the few non-graduates at Orchard Towers I often wonder what it was that made me stand out from other degree-educated applicants and land me a job as an account executive.
There’s been a fair bit of chatter about whether degrees are worth the money when you could be spending three years climbing the ladder and this is particularly relevant in sectors such as communications where competition for roles is fierce.
CIPR president Sally Sykes recently visited the Channel Islands and when we went along to her seminar we discussed how PR is not a graduate only profession. She said that it was important to find your own way; that might mean a degree for some and a route through journalism for others. It’s all about whatever works best for you.
So if you choose not to get a degree in PR, how are you going to prove that you have what it takes?
Orchard has been taking part in the IoD Management Shadowing Scheme (sponsored by KPMG) and for a few days this week we have had Laura Butler in the office with us. Laura is really keen to get into PR and plans to study it at degree level after she finishes studying at The Grammar School next year – so she seemed like the ideal candidate to come along to Orchard and see what a manager does here. She will write a report and give a presentation on her experience later in the year, but for a sneak preview – we asked what she thought of her short time here…
The end is nigh for my time at Orchard PR and I can safely say I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt a great deal about the industry I hope to become part of one day.
My few days here have really surprised me as this is certainly not your average 9-5 desk job. It was good to see early on that PR would not just be about being in an office when straight away, before I’d even had the chance to take my jacket off, I was off to the Guernsey Press to get a real understanding of how working with the media and PR go hand in hand and are key in this industry.
2012 certainly seems like it will be a year of opportunities. For two people starting out in PR it has certainly proved that way as we have opened the doors of Orchard Towers to Laurence Makins and John McCarthy who have joined the team in account executive roles.
Here is what they thought of their first month in PR.
What made you consider a job in PR?
Laurence: Having written for student publications in the past I knew that I would enjoy a job that allowed me to be creative. But what made me consider PR over other creative careers was that it allows for applied strategic thinking alongside more traditionally creative elements.
John: I was looking for a fast-paced, varied job that would allow me to use my strengths and constantly develop new skills, particularly in communication. I have been a freelance reporter for a few years and have a huge passion for writing.
Last week we heard from our current crop of account executives about working in PR, and of course, working at Orchard. We promised to bring you news of some Orchard apples that have moved on in their PR careers, having been lured away to other parts of the UK and indeed the world. Today we have guest blogs from Martyn and Emily, now forging PR careers in Nottingham and London respectively.
Last week I spoke to about 100 students and managers at the IOD Guernsey Management Shadowing Awards – the reason I was chosen as the guest speaker was that I was the winner of the Management Shadowing programme way back in 2001. For you mathematicians out there you will have worked out that was 10 years ago. My presentation therefore was appropriately titled ‘what a difference a decade makes’….