Things I learned from my year in industry

As many of you will know, I have recently completed my year in industry working as a regional communications intern. Many more of you will know that I had a BALL.

I was working in a role in an environment I loved, with a team I loved, for an organisation I loved.

Here I reflect on some of things I’ve learned in the last 12-months.

Read and write. Then read and write some more.

The joy of working in such a diverse organisation is that you have to read a lot, and write a lot. This year, I’ve read articles on articles and as such my writing has improved enormously.  I’ve written for so many different platforms; from press releases to blogs to magazines, my days of writing jargon-filled sentences are long gone.  My world-view has exploded in size. I’ve learned about the challenges people living overseas are facing and it’s been an honour to be able to tell the stories of the people here in England who are playing their part in helping ease these.

Level up

It’s so important when you’re starting out in your career to put yourself out there and learn new skills.  Think you have something to add? Share it. Speak up in meetings. People will soon flock to you as they’ll know you’re reliable and have value to add to a task. While you’re doing this, you’ll be learning, building connections and improving your skill set.

Tenacity is key

The regional media landscape is changing, and sometimes a small-time local story won’t quite cut it. It makes me sad that print media is declining, but the rise of digital brings new challenges and opportunities.  Developing meaningful relationships with journalists is more important than ever with the time constraints they are facing.  If your story doesn’t quite make it, don’t take it personally but look to see how you can make it more relevant to the publication you’re pitching to.

Don’t sweat the small stuff (but sometimes do)

I’m a perfectionist, and I can’t deny it.  I take great pride in putting out high quality work, and sometimes this means I sweat the small stuff.  I think it’s good to have high standards but you must be careful that you don’t get too hung up on the small stuff. Take time outside of work to do the things you love, see your friends, and create a really strong work life balance.

Learn and reflect

Sometimes life in a full time job can be so fast paced that it’s hard to take a step back and reflect on the things you’ve picked up.  But in my opinion, reflecting on what you have learned is such an important part of the process. It solidifies your learning and allows you to become self-aware and see the areas you can improve in. I think this is why I’ve enjoyed writing essays about my experience, as it’s forced me to stop and think about the skills I’ve developed over the past year.

Overall, I feel that my year in industry has been so valuable and completely re-affirmed my career goals. If you’re a second year on the hunt for a placement, don’t give up!

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