Work experience is something you MUST experience.

Work experience is something I have been given the opportunity to do in the first year of sixth form, so here I am currently sat in the Source Marketing Communications offices with six of the team members learning the ins and outs of ‘Public Relations’ (PR).

Up until March 2018 I was completely clueless as to what I wanted to do upon finishing education, and the thought of not knowing what path I wanted to take made me extremely anxious. However, I’ve often been told that one of my key characteristics is that I’m quite sociable; a trait that is often considered key when working in the media. This initially led to me speaking with my parents about careers earlier in the year, and my mum mentioning that her childhood friend, Martha worked in PR. After a bit of research, I knew it was something I knew I wanted to find out more about.

The first day spent at Source was something I didn't expect, as my prior knowledge about work experience was that you were typically in charge of making teas and coffees and doing the jobs no-one really likes. But to my surprise I was immediately learning how to handle social media analytics and was involved in the weekly Source KIT, where they discuss the clients, any progress that has been made and the new opportunities. Over this past week my knowledge of PR has drastically grown and I’ve been able to experience a host of things I may not have in a different work experience situation. I’ve sat in a client meeting, which gave me an idea of what to expect in those situations, I’ve written press releases for clients and developed a variety of important skills.

Even-though I've only been here a week I've learnt so much and have been given a better insight to what I would like to do in the future. Not only have I gathered a lot of new transferable skills, I’ve also realised the importance of listening to those around you, as you can learn so much from those already working in the industry.

When I first heard about PR I wasn't sure what it was, what it consisted of and if I would want to take it up as a career, but as with most things in life you have to dive in headfirst in order to get the outcome you want, and I am very glad that I decided to dive into work experience at Source even if it was only for a week. Personally, I believe work experience is so important for any student in education even if it’s something you thought you wanted to do but turns out you didn't enjoy, it helps you weigh out your options and make a decision based on your experience.

As I conclude my week’s work experience at Source, I walk away with the skills and confidence to jump into anything else that grabs my eye. After all, if you don't go for what you want you'll never get it. Working in the PR industry has given me confidence in the work I produce and has drastically increased my knowledge by joining Source for the week. It has made me realise the importance of work experience and gaining such experience in something that actually interests me. My time at Source has given me experience and knowledge that I wouldn't have gained from school education alone.

Written by Maddi Procter, 06/07/2018