I have found second year significantly easier than my first year as we were just building on theories, ideas and concepts that we had originally learnt. Also with the help of work experience it was easier to understand the theories as I had used them in practise when working in PR. I have successfully worked as a team in group work and have achieved some good results for presentations which is very positive.
This year we have been put into groups instead of choosing who we work with and this has been a great experience as not only have I had the opportunity to work with people that I wouldn’t normally, but have also had the chance to work as different parts of a team. Previously, I have often been team leader when we’ve chosen who we were with and I tend to organise what everyone’s doing. However, I worked with people I didn’t really know as well and there were other team leaders within the group. It was a good opportunity to see how other people lead a group and it was and it meant that when I am team leader again, I can use some of the techniques they displayed for myself. For example, in one group they divided the tasks and then went their separate ways, did their work and emailed it to the team leader who put it together. However, when I do group work we all tend to sit together while doing the work and help one another then put it all together with everyone there. However, this doesn’t always work as sometimes not everyone can attend the working session and so if we divided the work up then did it separately, we may be able to share the work load more fairly and then join together to complete the work.
This year I also went for a work placement at Ptarmigan Bell-Pottinger. This was a fantastic experience and even though we were unsuccessful, our group really enjoyed working on the brief that they gave us. What was really valuable was have been given a real brief and little advice on how to go about working on it, so we did everything ourselves and our ideas were very well received by Nathan Lane, who said they were very original. It was a great experience actually pitching to Ptarmigan as it was a taste of the many opportunities Ptarmigan offered the successful student team and the enthusiasm that our group showed was clear. We worked really well as a group and we supported one another well. While we were pitching we were able to bounce off one another’s ideas and pitched with confidence and ease. It was a great opportunity to put all the information that we learnt in Public Relations Planning and Management and Persuasive Communications into practise and we used the theories that had been given to shape our pitch. Although we were unsuccessful, we were not resentful as we knew that we had done our best and couldn’t have put more in and were just grateful for the fantastic experience that Bell Pottinger offered us.
My career goals have always been that I would like to work in the beauty sector of Public Relations as that is where my passion lies. To achieve this I am determined to get a year’s work placement in one of the big beauty companies. I had an interview at Elizabeth Arden although unfortunately this was not able to be followed through as with the financial situation as it is at the moment they had to make cuts in the budget. However, I will keep looking (and hopefully find!).
Overall, although this year has gone very quickly and the work loads have been a lot more than what we were used to in our first year as well as the pressure to find a placement, I feel this year has been a good year! Lets hope it stays that way!!